Judy Asks: Is Italy the Achilles Heel of Europe?
No, Italy is not Europe's Achilles heel, and the continued use of such platitudes obscures understanding the desperate situation Europe’s economic and political governance is in from the point of view of democratic legitimacy. We pro-Europeans may not like the messengers (angry, illiberal populists) or the message (euro exit or policies that would make Italy bankrupt and thus imperil the euro), but the basic point is that there is massive, deep, and popular anger over the austerity policy that the dominant view on eurozone governance has chosen.
The obtuse failure to address how Europe’s economy is managed in a less ideological way and with an open mind to alternative proposals is rupturing the union. And there are scores of well-respected economists with critical and constructive views about the eurozone, not just angry populists. Persevering in not listening to this basic message is becoming diabolical. This latest reiteration in Italy of a profound and longstanding European crisis seems to be reaching a point of no return, with little enlightenment about how discontent is transforming into popular vengeance.