November 14, 2012
Italy’s Prime Minister is under fire on many fronts on the anniversary of his appointment. His mandate to rule with a technocratic government and impose unpopular austerity measures has lost support. But the cavalry is on its way.
Media outlets in Italy are reporting that the Bilderberg Steering Committee [see membership list] has convened an emergency meeting in Rome to discuss the unfolding eurocrisis and how to save their man in Italy, Mario Monti, who is facing fresh pressure ahead of shaky legislation elections coming up in April, that many say may not result in a clear, governable majority.
Dignitaries central to European finance and other invited guests are reportedly staying at the Hotel de Russie near the Piazza del Popolo in Rome. Numerous Italian figures in politics and finance are reportedly in attendance. The fate of Greece and the future of Italy are said to be at the forefront of the agenda.
The meeting coincides with tense negotiations between Monti and UK Prime Minister David Cameron over the EU budget and the larger crisis concerning PIIGS nations (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain). The two heads of state have significant disagreements over proposed budget increases, as well as newly-floated single-market rules for Europe and what Monti hopes will be support for establishing a single euro-zone banking supervisor.
Only a few weeks ago, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, just convicted on tax fraud charges, threatened to topple Mario Monti after blasting his handling of the economy. Berlusconi suggested that the People of Freedom (PDL), the largest in parliament, might withdraw support for Monti, which could trigger an early election, according the London Telegraph.
Monti appeared today at a reception hosted by billionaire real estate magnate Francesco Gaetano Caltagirone, whose son son-in-law, Pier Ferdinando Casini, heads the small centrist UDL party and is leading a campaign to keep Monti in office.
Monti, long a Bilderberg insider, remains the establishment’s favorite, and several commentators in the U.S. suggest that his remaining in power is a real possibility that many see as crucial to keeping Europe’s finances under control in the face of mounting protests and displeasure over austerity among the population. Popular support for Monti has been cut in half, down to 35%, while protest parties are gaining influence in recent elections.
Prime Minister Mario Monti says he will not run for office, but would accept re-appointment (without election) if no clear majority results from the April 2013 elections. “If it were necessary, I would continue,” Monti recently told the French magazine Politique Internationale.
Creating the atmosphere for his re-appointment against the democratic will of Italy, may well be the aim of the meeting. While several smaller meetings occur from time to time, the Bilderberg group typically holds its primary meeting with 120-150 high profile guests in late May or early June, rotating locales in Europe and North America on an annual basis.