Certainly not helping European sentiment is the report from the FT that "Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right coalition government in Italy appears in danger of collapsing over European Union demands for a demonstration of concrete action on economic reform by Wednesday’s summit of eurozone leaders. The EU ultimatum delivered to Mr Berlusconi in Brussels on Sunday risks breaking his coalition instead of giving it an external impetus to move ahead on measures to cut Italy’s debt and promote economic growth." So you mean that extending the retirement age by a few hours is not credible reform? That surely is news to Bunga Bunga. And after all, remember the dedication with which Italy promised it would promptly enforce austerity after it was admitted to the SMP bond monetization program, only to completely forget all promises 48 hours later? It seems Europe, which has had enough of being humiliated by the corrupt pederast, has remembered: "The ultimatum was delivered as part of efforts to resolve the eurozone sovereign debt crisis, but the Italians’ failure to reach agreement on reform threatens EU leaders’ stated goal of finalising at Wednesday’s summit a comprehensive solution to the crisis." So the question is: how long before The Guardian refutes all FT speculation that Italy is scuttled with a well-timed rumor at 3:45pm?
Talks on Tuesday morning between Mr Berlusconi and his Northern League coalition partners failed to resolve the deadlock – centred on proposed pension reforms – after negotiations into Monday night made little progress.
“The government is at risk,” Umberto Bossi, leader of the fiercely eurosceptic and federalist Northern League, told reporters in Rome. “The situation is difficult, very dangerous. This is a dramatic moment,” he was quoted as saying.
Commentators said the crisis was the most serious facing Mr Berlusconi since his election victory in 2008, recalling memories of 1994 when the Northern League brought down his first government after just a few months.
The prime minister’s People of Liberty party has proposed that the pension age be raised to 67 years from 65 in line with increasing life expectancy, and that the system of length-of-service pensions also be modified. The Northern League is opposed and La Padania, its party newspaper, on Tuesday attacked what it called “euro-tyranny”.
Altero Matteoli, a PDL minister, said a collapse of the government was a “hypothesis”. He also noted that talks were continuing and that a compromise with the Northern League was still possible.
In other news, it appears that the spin which is so far keeping the Euro from collapsing on tomorrow's now disclosed EcoFin meeting cancellation is that even though Europe's finance ministers can not agree, 24 hours ahead of the deadline, on the formulation of the most complex SPV ever conceived, somehow the Eurozone leaders will succeed...