When Italy agreed to 65 billion dollars in austerity measures prescribed by the European Union, the result had a crushing effect on the populace. It is largely believed that financial and economic indiscretions in Europe’s southern economies contributed had to the crises. As the EU’s third largest economy, Italy was among those foremost nations being blamed. Once again, Italy stands at the forefront of the EU’s pandemic woes, registering nearly 160,000 confirmed cases. Spain, another southern European nation has also been badly affected.
Since 2008, Italy, had put austerity measures in place that dampened citizen flexibility. France’s ongoing Yellow Vest protests underscored many similar measures southern European states were forced to enact by more the authoritarian northern European states within the Union. The Observatory on Local Finance and Local Government Accounting had served as an oversight authority in recent times to ensure that local funds are managed correctly.
Will Italy’s 377 Million Euro program be able to combat mafia infiltration, corruption and other administrative issues post pandemic? Combating instability has become quite a task in an increasingly connected world . Once again the functions of a world in organic or orchestrated chaos may implode an already volatile system like the EU. The impact of recent U.S. Military actions in Iraq and developments in the Sahel of Africa will ultimately effect on southern Europe and by default the European Union.
Ironically, it seems the largest pandemic numbers and responses reflect the usual cadre of world players foremost in the 2008 Financial Crises: EU, UK and the United States. That is a curious state of affairs worth more investigation, no doubt—that widely affected nations during the 2008 Crises are also now the most widely affected nations during the current Pandemic. Social scientists, economists and others may find more study helpful in determining the instability growing within these states.
Italy’s move to secure both its fortunes and its people continue to be underscored by the Internal Security Fund or ISF which is funded by the European Union. Will the EU be able to continue to help fund Italy’s Internal Security Fund (ISF) at 245 million Euroes, while other European states scramble to secure their own populations? Since its aim is to support police and crime management, such as cross-border crime, external border controls and visa policies, critics and pundits are left to wonder if such functions will remain intact as originally envisioned before the pandemic.
It will be interesting to see how the European Union (and more notably, smaller European states) will manage unforeseen environmental, security and health challenges like the fallout from the current world pandemic. Even France’s controversial military operations in the African Sahel and beyond will have to be re-evaluated for viability.
Many struggling citizens may question the practical benefit in military intervention and intelligence so far spread as to be useless to the local population in times of crises and pandemic. When curfews and bans are lifted, it will be curious to observe how the desperation created in the developing and developed word might backwash without sufficient aid and support to not only corporations and banks, but citizens as well. In an effort to save itself, EU countries with former colonial ties may have to severe those connections in the developing world to save its own fortunes. The UK has already begun the process, formally shutting the door on the EU and repatriating its citizens from around the world. Italy and many other southern states who were already struggling to recover from 2008, will be left to grapple with fallout.