Watch Roberto Saviano’s video appeal
"Tomorrow (Today, editor])don’t go and vote in Campania’s PD primaries. This is my advice. The candidates are an expression of the politics of the past. The outcome of these elections will be determined by vote-buying. Packages of votes are ready to go to one candidate or another in exchange for positions in the regional cabinet. And what’s more, the agreements made with Cosentino will be what determines the outcome. The PD primaries were meant to be tools for opening up to the people and getting people to participate, but it hasn’t worked out like that (have a look at what happened in Liguria). As long as there are no laws regulating them, they will just be used as shortcuts for certain groups that hold power. Don’t give them legitimacy. Don’t go and vote." Roberto Saviano
“Banking reform can bring about the growth of a country’s economy. It can contribute to the creation of new jobs and the decrease in taxes. Before explaining that, we need to analyse the ever-recurring cycles of human history that make banking reform a necessity today."
ONE SINGLE CAUSE OF TWO CRISES
Immediately after the great crisis of 1929, F. D. Roosevelt, the President of the United States, turned to savings to put up a defence against the speculation that had become rife. In 1933 with the Glass-Steagall Act, traditional banking activity was separated from investment banking activity with no ifs and buts. Sixty six years later, the world of politics gave way to the sharks of Wall Street The US Congress that had a Republican majority tore up Roosevelt’s reforms. Clinton, the Democrat, produced the counter-reform.
History repeated itself with the great economic crisis that started in 2008. The banks used the force of their universal model to carry out speculative activity and to think exclusively of easy profits for themselves while no longer helping the small and medium sized companies and the real economy. It is the “public authorities“ that intervene using the money of citizens and taxpayers when something goes awry.
This is how it works:
A) the direct save. Banking Institutions are saved by governments drawing on the public purse: Fortìs was saved by the Benelux countries, Hypo was saved by Germany, Northern Rock and the Royal Bank of Scotland were saved by the British. To save its financial empire, Her Majesty’s Government paid out 625 billion euro, while spending 145 billion euro for health care and 104 billion euro for education. Who’s giving the orders? The people or the world of finance?
B) the indirect save. Behind acronyms like SMP, ESM, TLTRO, and QE, there’s the attempt to help the banks to sort out their accounts that are in the red. And this is all orchestrated by Mario Draghi’s ECB.
To stop this from happeneing in the future, we need a real reform of the system. We need to ensure that banks don’t speculate with the money of savers and current account holders.
M5S EUROPE’S PROPOSAL
To avoid new crises occurring in the future, the 5 Star MoVement’s proposal (put forward in amendments that have been presented) is to bring in a modern Glass-Steagall Act in this way:
- strict and obligatory separation between the traditional credit activity and the activity of speculation and investment.
- prohibition on banks having part-ownership of non-financial companies, thus avoiding dangerous conflicts of interest.
- permanent disqualification of any manager that violates the regulations.
- exemption from the regulations for the small banks that operate below certain thresholds in terms of the value of speculative activity in financial statements.
We need to return to the model of Roosevelt’s Glass-Steagall Act: on one side the traditional banks only carrying out activities supporting the real economy (collection of savings and providing loans to small and medium sized businesses) that enjoy state guarantees, and on the other side, the investment banks that continue their speculative activities without public guarantees, and thus they are free to go bust without being saved with money from the tax payers.
Banking separation is above all, a reform of fiscal policy. Austerity came into being because the countries have to save the billions of Euro needed to save the banks. To prevent the return of crises like that, is the necessary pre-condition to construct those political actions that everyone is waiting for: tax cuts and the introduction of a citizen’s income.” M5S Europe
SIGN FOR THE EURO
Find the signing table that’s nearest to where you live by clicking on this map. You can add your signature for the popular law that will make it possible to have a referendum to decide on the future of the Euro. Click on the map:
Your contribution to the referendum is important. It will allow citizens to choose whether or not to leave the Euro:
- organise your own signing station and indicate the details on this map (constantly updated)
- download, print and hand out the fliers (1. Reasons for an exit from the Euro 2. Frequently Asked Questions about the Euro)
- tell all your friends and acquaintances about this new website dealing with the referendum http://www.beppegrillo.it/fuoridalleuro
“In Naples there are 46 families at risk of having no income and no future because of the American multinational that is taking action based on just speculative ideas while forgetting its own industrial objectives. The Itron Group, has an annual turnover of 1.9 billion dollars, and it produces methane gas metres in Naples. It’s got an efficient factory with excellent ROI indicators, plenty of orders from all over the world, from the Emirates to Bolivia, and from Pakistan to Australia. Now this American giant has decided to close down this factory and concentrate production in Rheims, in France. A move dictated solely by financial considerations. And there are unverified rumours that there’ll be a brand new factory in Romania, where labour costs are about half what they are in Italy.
The owners did try to close down a factory in Germany, but they had to give up because of strong government opposition. In Italy, on the other hand, the political sector hasn’t used sufficient power to stop the closure. And the company management struck a blow to the soft underbelly of our government. The protesting employees have found support from the M5S that has taken action to convene a meeting with the Ministry of Economic Development. The factory is due to close by 31 March. But in a meeting to be held in the next few days, we intend to ask for another month so that we can ascertain whether Itron might be willing to sell and whether there are potential buyers that could potentially manage a viable company. One possible buyer could be Italgas, owned by SNAM that is owned by CDP via CDP RETI. Well, this is a player on the periphery of the public sector that is already one of the major clients of Itron Napoli and with an overall investment of about 4 million euro, it could nationalise this company and produce its own gas metres in-house. We will monitor the situation and check that it has a positive outcome. We’ll keep you informed. While the government is absent and Italy is losing pieces of its industrial heritage, the M5S continues to stand alongside the workers and the territories that need defending.”
«Twenty years ago, I was a good hunter and I often went hunting. I had two dogs, a German Shorthaired Pointer and a setter, and from dawn to dusk we went up and down the gullies so by the end of the day, the dogs were tired out. On returning back to the home of the local people, the first thing we did was to feed the dogs. And we gave them a massive bowl of soup that was perhaps enough for five. On one occasion, I saw a small scraggy, starving, weak cat approaching. It was really frightened and it crept closer very slowly. He looked at the dogs, miaowed meekly and placed a paw on the edge of the bowl. With a single swipe of its paw, the pointer sent the cat to his death with a broken spine. This episode made a big impression on me. So - the thing is - we were that little cat.».
Enrico Mattei told this story on 23 March 1961. But the passivity with which Italy has suffered the crises of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Ukraine makes the little story very much one of the moment.
Oil and foreign policy
Oil is still pulling all the strings of an interventionist foreign policy that more than in any period in history, is setting up the world for a scenario that is potentially dramatic.
Just to cite one example, Libya gives us the latest demonstration of how an armed intervention (2011) in an arab/islamic country can further worsen the situation on the ground and has solely one objective: to strengthen the financial and energy agendas of western multinationals.
Italy is the “little cat" that Mattei talked about
The situation with Libya demonstrates that we are once more becoming that “little cat” that Mattei talked about. And without have an alternative plan we are at risk of finding ourselves with a our bones broken - having been batted away by the French Shorthaired Pointer - ooops - no - by the German Shorthaired Pointer.
Under the leadership of Enrico Mattei, the national oil company, ENI, negotiated significant oil concessions in the Middle East and an important commercial agreement with the Soviet Union - initiatives that contributed to breaking the oligopoly of the ‘Seven Sisters', that then (as now?) dominated the world oil industry. Furthermore, Mattei brought in the principle of giving 75% of the profits from exploiting the reserves to the countries owning them. A compensation principle in relation to the people subjected to the plunder of their resources that today we can just dream about.
The courage to be Italian
If we want to ensure that sovereign states are not destroyed by the multinational oil companies of the west we have to redefine our scope and give value to our geographic position and our collective intelligence. Is it possible that we can have a role that is not subordinate to the great powers? Sure. Is it possible for us to have widespread experimentation with alternative energy sources and thus escape from the dictates of the oil god? Sure. We just need to have the political brilliance and the courage of Enrico Mattei. The courage to be Italian.” Carlo Sibilia and the M5S Foreign Affairs committee
“Concordia - no way forward: Renzi just comes to Genoa to get a selfie with the wreck of the cruise ship!
160 people employed by Costa Crociere are at risk of losing their jobs because the CEO Michael Thamm has decided to merge with the Hamburg company called AIDA (and Costa Crociere is still making a profit).
On Friday of last week, the employees received an email, asking them (with no forewarning) to put a cross in a box to say whether or not they are willing to move to Hamburg.
But the Costa Crociere staff are working in highly specialised sectors and their expertise would be lost to Italy. There are 160 of them and there are 120 people working for AIDA, but there are only 150 jobs in Hamburg!
And when the employees went to Rome to meet with Minister Lupi, they discovered that an hour before their meeting, Lupi had met with Thamm, the CEO and that the previous evening he’d had dinner with the Liguria president Burlando.
Today’s meeting in Liguria’s HQ in Genoa, was originally organised to bring together the employees, the company and the local authorities, but it suddenly became a meeting “behind closed doors”! First the local authorities wanted to have a meeting with the company, and then they wanted to meet with the workers without the presence of the Costa Crociere management.
But what are Lupi, Burlando and the regional authorities talking about while the employees are not present? Where is Renzi, now that 160 families are at risk of being plunged into poverty from one day to the next? "
Alice Salvatore, M5S candidate for the position of Liguria president
The passaparola of Hervé Falciani, co-author, with Angelo Mincuzzi, of the book entitled"La Cassaforte degli Evasori" Pub. Chiarelettere
Blog: What are the Falciani lists?
Hervè Falciani: Hello to all the friends of the Blog. Above all they are clues gathered over many years that enable us to check up on the HSBC Bank: a prime example of an International offshore bank, one of the largest in the world, and that explains the workings of this network of banks that currently operate in the shadows and are hiding half of the world’s debt. That’s a fact. Half of the interest we are paying goes into the coffers of these banks.
Blog: After the scandal you have raised, what’s next?
Hervè Falciani: There are many little things to be done that will have a huge effect. For example, how the banks are controlled. The current controls are ineffective because the very people who are paid to do the controlling are controlling those that pay them. To avoid this we have to add something more to the control systems of the firms that do the controlling, namely members of the public. This will change everything! We will be able to put the fear of God into those that organise these tax evasion schemes within the banks and furthermore we will also be able to get our hands on information that is hidden.
The biggest problem we have is with politics that are unhelpful and often there are major conflicts of interest. The Directors are the very same businessmen that don’t pay their taxes. We have seen many examples of this. These days, when we talk about an archive dedicated to politicians, journalists, magistrates and even members of the public, it means that this archive will store traces of who does something and who doesn’t. That’s exactly what we are doing with this HSBC case and all the other cases too. The history of these traces will enable the public to use it whenever in order to change things since it is based on fact in a scientific manner.
Blog: Is there someone who has helped you in the past and is still helping you at the moment?
Hervè Falciani: There are various fields. For a number of years we have been working with the 5-Star Movement to explain things and point out where action must be taken. The 5-Star Movement’s programme is going in the very direction that is needed, in other words, how to implement these basic principles. That’s why I have always insisted, and continue to insist on the little things that will have a major effect. For example, the banks’ hearings on the control of citizens is something that is already included in the 5SM’s programme. As a matter of fact, we have already had the pleasure of starting to work with a number of 5-Star Movement’s deputies to do just that! To ensure implementation with little effort and thereby achieve huge results.
Blog: The 3% clause that Renzi wanted, is that a first step towards successfully combating tax evasion?
Hervè Falciani: That 3% refers to a very serious problem that there is for our schools and our public services. For, example, we need money for hospitals, but where can that money come from? Money from tax revenues. The problem is not how to reduce the amount of tax that only we pay, as usual, but how to arrange things so that only we pay less tax. The large companies don’t pay because they have ways and means to avoid paying tax. Reducing the amount that they could pay goes against the public interest, so for us that 3% law is a problem rather than a solution.
Blog: How can we protect other whistleblowers who, like yourself, choose to reveal information about a bank?
Hervè Falciani: In order to avoid the kind of problems that we have when we disclose information that is in the public interest, a law would be ideal. A law that supports anyone who is helping other citizens. We won’t need whistle blowers if we have principles in place that protect those who have information at their disposal and fight against tax evasion. There should be a law that protects anyone who has information of general interest at their disposal and rewards that person so as to bring some sort of balance against the person that has tried to profit by committing tax fraud. We discussed this with the 5-Star Movement and we will be trying to forge ahead with it.
Blog: What Italian political forces other than the 5-Star Movement have made any attempt to contact you?
Hervè Falciani: There was Antonio Di Pietro. He was the only one who tried to understand the issue and who showed that everything that he saw on the list he had already seen in his Mani Pulite inquiries. He is the one that historically displayed an interest and he has been, and will continue to be a very important figure in this battle, however, you are the only guys that have played a real role in this issue.
Blog: What will happen to you if you ever dare set foot in Switzerland?
Hervè Falciani: Not only in Switzerland but in many other Countries I would land up in jail. When I began working with the French justice department I was technically violating the Swiss banking secrecy law and by doing that the Swiss were able to issue an Interpol arrest warrant, which will remain in force outside of Italy, France and Spain, even if I’m working with other countries’ justice departments. While I may be working with the country’s justice department, some other section of the justice department will haul me off to prison. That’s a fact!
Blog: What is your aim or the dream that you are hoping to realise?
Hervè Falciani: The results are just now starting to appear. Together we can do some incredible things, sometimes with very few people, and having adding some other people from various fields we are now able to do even more. What is helping me a lot at the moment and that is driving me to continue forging ahead is meeting people who are truly courageous and really want to change things without destroying anything. They want to do it for themselves and it’s a feeling of wellbeing that can be passed on and communicated to others. Let’s hope that we can make others understand that this is the direction I have chosen to follow and I want people to recognise this. The best part is precisely to spread the word and to share with others, so spread the word!
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