A Petition To the Parliament of the Italian Republic, to the Political Parties of Italy

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This is an English translation of a petition put together by a group of Italian economists which is seeking and has gained significant support from economists both inside and outside of Italy.  It is due to appear tomorrow in the Italian Press. Additional signatures are welcome. Please see details about where to send them below. Many thanks to Sergio Cesaratto for sending it on.

To the Parliament of the Republic, to the Political Parties

In this difficult period Italy needs an authoritative government which is able to act with determination in both the European and global context. Although we do not neglect the recent serious responsibilities of the Italian ruling class which has been unable to bring about a process of modernisation of the country necessary to put it back on a growth path, the Italian economic stagnation in the last decade has its main cause in the European macroeconomic context, and particularly in the absence in the Eurozone of fiscal and monetary policies aimed at sustaining economic growth, full employment, trade balances between the Monetary Union members, and with which to provide a greater distribution equality within and among countries.

The European crisis, worsening particularly after the financial market attack on Italian sovereign debt, finds its origin in the lack of this pro-growth context, and can only partially be explained by the progressive collapse of credibility of the former government. The absence of the traditional role of lender of last resort within the mission of the European Central Bank (ECB) is an additional explanation of the dramatic assault on Italian and other Eurozone sovereign debt. The financial measures adopted by the Eurozone governments to sustain the sovereign debts of the European periphery, like the EFSF, have been revealed to be largely inefficient at solving the financial crisis of the small peripheral countries, let alone to face that of the larger peripheral economies. The contractionary fiscal measures that have accompanied the European financial support provided have worsened the recession and the financial crisis of those countries. At the moment the Eurozone is without a compass. Because of the opposition of the stronger European countries, it has even rejected the proposal advanced at the recent G-20 summit of a special emission of Special Drawing Rights by the IMF in order to support the sovereign debts under attack. The survival of the Monetary Union and even of the Single Market are at stake.

We believe that the current situation and the solution to its short and long period causes can only be met within the context of a progressive change of all European policies; in this framework Italy must also endeavour to make necessary reforms. We stand for a stronger coordination of the European fiscal, monetary and wage governance subject to a complete commitment to full employment. For this reason we oppose a balanced public budget clause in the national Constitution.

In these circumstances we maintain that the new Italian government should rapidly act through the appropriate European institution, with the required determination and political alliances, to obtain a firm and unlimited guarantee by the ECB on the European sovereign debts with the aim of lowering the interest rates to a pre-crisis level. This intervention has been supported by the American Administration and by many international economists of different theoretical persuasions. Also relying on this authoritative support, we believe that policies of fiscal contraction are counterproductive. The request of the ECB pro-active role should therefore be accompanied by a commitment not to reduce the ratio of national public debts on GDP, but rather to stabilize this ratio at the current levels. Financial markets would understand this commitment and appreciate it. A new Italian government, either composed by “technocrats” or by politicians, that limited its duty as a mere executor of the European requests, as expressed in the last weeks, would cause a worsening of the financial crisis, at the Italian, European and world level, with devastating social consequences, and the unsustainability of the present European monetary and trade institutions. Firm in denouncing such perils, Italy should be an inflexible promoter at the European and G-20 levels of prompt fiscal and monetary policies to sustain aggregate demand, particularly in the trade surplus national economies.

The reduction of the interest rates in association with the commitment to the stabilisation of the sovereign debt/GDP ratio, in the context of international expansionary policies, would in Italy (and elsewhere) free the necessary resources to sustain growth on the aggregate demand side and support competitiveness. More specifically, we believe that these resources – with those forthcoming from a serious attempt to reduce tax evasion and from an ordinary (not una tantum) wealth tax – should be used in the first place to reduce the tax burden on wages, increasing net wages; to support education, R&D and culture; to sustain public investment to promote public direct involvement in production; to Mezzogiorno and the environment, and to sustain legality. Around these objectives an authoritative new Italian government should commit itself in Europe to asking and returning dedication and trust to the Italian people.

(Petition and signatures – regularly updated – will be posted in http://documentoeconomisti.blogspot.com/)


(Further signatures are welcomed, please send them to Sergio Cesaratto ((Università di Siena) Cesaratto@unisi.it, Roberto Ciccone (Università di Roma3) Ciccone@uniroma3.it, Antonella Stirati (Università di Roma3) astirati@uniroma3.it )

Acocella Nicola, Università di Roma 1

Artoni Roberto, Università Bocconi Milano

Bagnai Alberto, Università Gabriele D’Annunzio Pescara

Barba Aldo, Università di Napoli Federico II

Bellini Enrico, Università Cattolica Milano

Biagioli Marco, Università di Parma

Blankenburg Stephanie, SOAS Università di Londra

Bosco Luigi, Università di Siena

Bosi Paolo, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia

Canale Rosaria Rita, Università di Napoli Parthenope

Cangiani Michele, Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia

Carrera Antonio Cuerpo, Università Complutense Madrid (Spagna)

Jorge Carreto, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM),

Caselli Gianpaolo, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia

Castellano Rosaria, Università di Macerata

Cesaratto Sergio,  Università di Siena

Chiodi Guglielmo, Università di Roma 1

Ciccone Roberto,  Università di Roma 3

Contini Bruno, “S. Cognetti de Martiis” Università di Torino

Costabile Lilia, Università di Napoli Federico II

D’Ippoliti Carlo, Università di Roma 1

De Cecco Marcello, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa

De Muro Pasquale, Università di Roma 3

De Vivo Giancarlo, Università di Napoli

Devillanova Carlo, Università Bocconi Milano

Luca Fantacci, Università Bocconi Milano

Farina Francesco, Università di Siena

Febrero Panos Eladio, Università di Castilla La Mancha (Spagna)

Felice Emanuele, Università autonoma di Barcellona (Spagna)

Fiorito Luca, Università di Palermo

Franzini Maurizio,  Università di Roma 1

Saverio M. Fratini, Università di Roma 3

Fubini Lia, Università di Torino

Ghignoni Emanuela, Università di Roma 1

Ginzburg Andrea, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia

Gnesutta Claudio, Università di Roma 1

Hodgson Geoffrey, Università di HertfordShire (RU)

King John, La Trobe University, Melbourne (Australia)

Krimpas George E., Università di Atene (Grecia)

Lavoie Marc, Università di Ottawa (Canada)

Enrico Sergio Levrero, Università di Roma 3

Lombardi Mauro, Università di Firenze

Loperato Francis Luiz C., Università di Campinas (Brasile)

Lucarelli Stefano, Università di Bergamo

Lugli Loris, già direttore IRES Emilia Romagna

Lunghini Giorgio, Università di Pavia

Maffeo Vincenzo, Università di Roma 1

Marani Ugo, Università di Napoli Federico II

Marcuzzo Maria Cristina, Università di Roma 1

Mongiovi Gary, St.Johns University (USA)

Morroni Mario, Università di Pisa

Napolitano Oreste, Università di Napoli Parthenope

Nuti Domenico Mario, Università di Roma 1

Ofria Ferdinando, Università di Messina

Madsen Ove  Mogens, Aalborg University (Danimarca)

Pagano Ugo, Università di Siena

Paladini Ruggeri , Università di Roma 1

Palazzi Paolo, Università di Roma 1

Palumbo Antonella, Università di Roma 3

Panico Carlo, Università di Napoli

Park Man-Seop, Università di Seul (Corea del sud)

Pastrello Gabriele, Università di Trieste

Podkaminer Leon, Wiener Institut für Internationale Wirtschaftsvergleiche Vienna (Austria)

Pennacchi Laura, Fondazione Basso

Picchio Antonella, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia

Pivetti Massimo, Università di Roma 1

Pugno Maurizio, Università di Cassino

Ramazzotti Paolo, Università di Macerata

Rangone Marco, Università di Padova

Ravagnani Fabio, Università di Roma 1

Realfonzo Riccardo, Università del Sannio

Louis-Philippe Rochon, Laurentian University, Ontario (Canada)

Rossi Sergio, Università di Friburgo (Svizzera)

Saccareccia Mario, Università di Ottawa (Canada)

Sacconi Lorenzo, Università di Trento (direttore Econmetica)

Sau Lino, “S. Cognetti de Martiis” Università di Torino

Sawyer Malcolm, Università di Leeds

Schiattarella Roberto, Università di Camerino

Solari Stefano, Università di Padova

Stefania Gabriele, dirigente ricerca CNR

Stirati Antonella, Università di Roma 3

Stefano Sylos Labini, ENEA Roma

Tiberi Mario, Università di Roma 1

Travaglini Carlo, M., Università di Roma 3

Tridico Pasquale Università di Roma 3

Alfonso Vadillo, Facultad de Economía

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)

Vercelli Alessandro, Università di Siena

Watt Andrew, Senior researcher European Trade Union Institute

Zezza Gennaro Università di Cassino e Levy Institute (USA)