Oliver Cromwell: In nome di Dio vattene

Il 5 novembre 2011 il Financial Times ha scritto un durissimo editoriale sulla situazione italiana, invitando Silvio Berlusconi a dimettersi, citando il discorso “In the name of God, go! (“In nome di Dio, vattene!“) del leader repubblicano Oliver Cromwell pronunciato alla Camera dei Comuni il 20 aprile 1653 in polemica con il Parlamento creato dopo l’abbattimento della monarchia grazie all’opera dello stesso Oliver Cromwell (condottiero e politico inglese).

Scioglimento del Parlamento permanente
È tempo per me di fare qualcosa che avrei dovuto fare molto tempo fa: mettere fine alla vostra permanenza in questo posto, che avete disonorato disprezzandone tutte le virtù e profanato con ogni vizio; siete un gruppo fazioso, nemici del buon governo, banda di miserabili mercenari, scambiereste il vostro Paese con Esaù per un piatto di lenticchie; come Giuda, tradireste il vostro Dio per pochi spiccioli.

Avete conservato almeno una virtù? C’è almeno un vizio che non avete preso? Il mio cavallo crede più di voi; l’oro è il vostro Dio; chi fra voi non baratterebbe la propria coscienza in cambio di soldi? È rimasto qualcuno a cui almeno interessa il bene del Commonwealth?

Voi, sporche prostitute, non avete forse profanato questo sacro luogo, trasformato il tempio del Signore in una tana di lupi con immorali principi e atti malvagi? Siete diventati intollerabilmente odiosi per un’intera nazione; il popolo vi aveva scelto per riparare le ingiustizie, siete voi ora l’ingiustizia! Basta! Portate via la vostra chincaglieria luccicante e chiudete le porte a chiave.
In nome di Dio, andatevene!

Cliccare qui per la versione inglese del discorso In nome di Dio, vattene!

Dissolution of long Parliament
It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter’d your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil’d this sacred place, and turn’d the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress’d, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.
In the name of God, go!

Cliccare qui per In God's name, go! del Financial Times

In God’s name, go!

In a Group of 20 summit that fell well short of what was needed, the world’s most powerful leaders were powerless in the face of the manoeuvres by two European premiers: George Papandreou and Silvio Berlusconi.

The similarities between the two prime ministers are striking: both menrely on a thin and shrinking parliamentary majority and they are both squabbling with their own ministers of finance. Most importantly, they both have a dangerous tendency to renege on their promises at a time when markets worry about their countries’ public finances. There is, however, one important difference: having reached €1,900bn, Italy’s public debt is so high that its potential to destabilise the world economy is way above that of Athens.

The good news, of course, is that Italy is still a solvent country. However, the interest rate on its debt is becoming ever less sustainable. The spreads between Italian and German 10-year bonds have doubled over the summer. Yesterday, they reached a euro-era record of 463 basis points and would have probably been higher if the European Central Bank was not buying Italian bonds.

Although Rome can sustain high interest rates for a limited time period, this process must be halted before it becomes unmanageable. Next year Italy has to refinance nearly €300bn worth of debt. As the eurozone crisis has shown too well, once spreads have risen, they are extremely difficult to bring down.

The most troubling aspect is that this is happening even as Italy has agreed, in principle, to the structural reforms recommended by Europe and the G20. That the International Monetary Fund will monitor Rome’s progress can only be a good thing. However, this risks being undermined while the country retains its current leader. Having failed to pass reforms in his two decades in politics, Mr Berlusconi lacks the credibility to bring about meaningful change.

It would be naive to assume that, when Mr Berlusconi goes, Italy will instantly reclaim the full confidence of the markets. Clouds remain over the political future of the country and structural reforms will take time before they can affect growth rates. A change of leadership, however, is imperative. A new prime minister committed to the reform agenda would reassure the markets, which are desperate for a credible plan to end the run on the world’s fourth largest debt. This would make it easier for the European Central Bank to continue its bond-purchasing scheme, as it would make it less likely that Italy will renege on its promises.

After two decades of ineffective showmanship, the only words to say to Mr Berlusconi echo those once used by Oliver Cromwell.

In the name of God, Italy and Europe, go!