In August 2011, Italy agreed to 65 billion dollars in austerity measures meted out by the European Union. The reverberations of the world Financial Crises of 2008 cracked veneer of Europe’s largest socioeconomic pact. With southern European nations like Italy and Greece at the forefront of the fray, many saw major economic retraction in their economies adversely affecting the welfare of its people. Coupled with incessant waves of immigration from unstable African economies and asylum seekers pursing safety from the instability created in the middle east by the Iraq war and the Arab Spring; southern Europe has been overwhelmed.
The reverberations of the world Financial Crises of 2008 cracked veneer of Europe’s largest socioeconomic pact.
Shortly after the onset of the 2008 financial crises and into 2011; it was largely believed that financial and economic indiscretions in Europe’s southern economies contributed to the debatable. Italy, the EU’s third largest economy, is among those being blames for the financial quagmire that almost toppled the then nearly 20-year old European Union. Since that time, Italy has put uncomfortable measures in place. The Observatory on Local Finance and Local Government Accounting has served as an oversight authority to ensure that local funds are managed correctly, according to an official government release.
In addition to providing financial checks and balances, it “promotes the correct management of financial, instrumental and human resources” and submits a yearly report to Italy’s Ministry of the Interior. Additionally, Italy, has put in place a 377 Million Euro program to combat “ the spread of those phenomena of illegality, such as mafia infiltration, corruption and conditioning of the economy and administrative action, which hinder the growth of the so-called “less developed” regions, ie Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Puglia and Sicily, through the financing of interventions capable of affecting the administrative, economic and social system.”
Additionally, Italy, has put in place a 377 Million Euro program to combat “ the spread of those phenomena of illegality, such as mafia infiltration, corruption and conditioning of the economy and administrative action, which hinder the growth of the so-called “less developed” regions
Combating instability has become quite a task in an increasingly connected world that sees drug and crime cartels that move easily from Europe to Africa, South America and beyond. The influx of illegal migrants make tracking people and money increasingly difficult. The mechanizations of a world in organic or orchestrated chaos can implode an already volatile or nascental system like the EU. Few consider the impact of recent U.S. Military actions in Iraq and its impact on Africa’s Sahel and ultimately its effect on southern Europe and the European Union. Often it seems one step forward sends many smaller states many steps back. Did the United Kingdom have more intel regarding the imminent threats to the EU’s regional cohesion?
Italy’s move to secure both its fortunes and its people are underscored by the Internal Security Fund or ISF which is funded by the EU to the tune of 245 million Euros. The aim of the Fund is to support police and crime management—particularly securing against cross-border crime, co-targeting actions, high quality external border controls, and cooperation among EU states on visa policies among other actions. It is important to note that Italy launched its “Programma Operativo Nazionale (PON)” targeting immigration and security flows instituted in 2014 during the height of the nations immigration influxes.
It will be interesting to see how the European Union (and more notably, smaller European states) will manage the backwash from covert or overt military operations like the U.S. Air Strike in Baghdad that assassinated Iranian General Quassem Soleimani. Even France’s controversial military operations in the African Sahel invariably creates instability and masses of internally displaced persons (IDPs) that ultimately become asylum seekers and refugees in southern Europe. Just weeks ago, local citizens in Mali protested Frances’ growing presence in the region. While the UK has formally shut the door on the EU, Italy and many other southern states will be left to grapple with the socioeconomic fallout from their own Western counterparts and the impact inflicted upon European Union and its already fragile economy.
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