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Monday, July 23, 2012 1:49 PM


Social Media Panic in Italy: "Enough of this Agony; Give Us Back the Lira"


Black Monday messages on Facebook and Twitter have gone viral in Italy as people have had enough of austerity, job losses, and uncertainty. La Stampa reports on Panic in the Network.

What follows is a Mish-revised translation of select ideas and quotes from the article. My specific comments are in brackets.

Black Monday breaks early in the morning on websites across the world and social networking spreads alarm. "Withdraw money from bank accounts" is the appeal of Andrew to Facebook friends.

Pseudo-analysis on the alleged benefits of a return to the lira go around the net. "Enough of this sad agony. Bring back the old money", Paul insists.

"In 2000 we had the lira. We were producing more, exporting more, and children were living better, the results of monetary sovereignty" says Magdi Cristiano Allam on Twitter.

"We are on the brink of the abyss and the top EU cazzeggiano [slang for F* around]," accuses Ivan.

The tones on social networks are apocalyptic: "This is not a crisis, it's the end of capitalism." On the forum of the economics of printing a black player sees: "Folks, we begin to pray, after Greece's up to us. We are at the end titles, to every man for himself."

Then there are the usual conspiracy theories regarding the IMF, ECB, Germany, the White House, U.S. investment banks, the Bilderberg and the Trilateral Commission. All guilty of "working for the failure of Italy and Spain." "We must defend ourselves from the American speculation, but Merkel holds us hostage," Roberto tweets.

Everyone looks to Mario Draghi: The "ECB needs to intervene at once" says David Sassoli MEP [Member of European Parliament].

"We're towards the end of the line like Greece and Spain?" Asks Matthew.

The stubborn "spread" climbs the ranking of most used words in the blogosphere. [Presumably spread refers to interest rate differentials between Italy and Germany]

Catherine accuses the government, political parties, unions, and banks. "It takes courage," writes Catherine on the Facebook page of La Stampa. Catherine then rattles off a recipe based on "Electoral Law, priority to industry, limiting immigration, elimination of environmental bulls**t, and zero bureaucracy."

Small investors are bewildered: "If I buy U.S. government bonds and Italy out of the Euro, those are always in dollars, right?" asks Stephanie C. on Facebook.
Schools May Not Reopen After Summer Break

Please note that Italian provinces warn cuts may close schools
Italian regional authorities may not be able to open schools after the summer break if spending cuts planned in the government's latest spending review are carried through, the head of the Union of Italian Provinces (UPI) said on Monday.

"With these cuts we won't be able to guarantee the opening of the school year," UPI President Giuseppe Castiglione told reporters in Rome.

Piero Lacorazza, president of the province of Potenza in southern Italy, said the comment was "not an exaggeration", adding that "half of the provinces are in serious financial difficulty".
More Panic in Brussels Than on Social Media

In case you missed it, please consider Ten Major Italian Cities On Verge of Financial Collapse

Also note a Time-Lapse Interactive Graph Shows Stunning Rise in Anti-Euro Sentiment in Italy.

In terms of sheer panic, I bet eurocrats in Brussels are in a bigger state of panic than what you saw on Twitter.

Here is a thought of mine that is worth repeating:

Eventually, there will come a time when a populist office-seeker will stand before the voters, hold up a copy of the EU treaty and (correctly) declare all the "bail out" debt foisted on their country to be null and void. That person will be elected.

Beppe Grillo may be just that person.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com
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