Nervous Italians are starting to funnel money across the border into Switzerland, worried that an epic clash between the Italian government and the EU could set off a Greek-style banking crisis and cause a slide towards default.
“There is fear creeping in,” said Massimo Gionso, head of family wealth managers CFO Sim in Milan.
“People are concerned that if we get into the same situation as Greece, they might find the banks are closed and they can take out only €50 a day from cash machines. They don’t want to risk it,” he told the Daily Telegraph.
“These are families with savings of €200,000 or €300,000. They want to set up accounts in Lugano or Chiasso across the border in Ticino where everybody speaks Italian. The big players have already got their money out,” he said.
This is all linked to fears of a euro break-up as the insurgent Lega-Five Star government tears up the eurozone fiscal rulebook.
Fabio Fois from Barclays said Italy’s underlying fiscal profile is deteriorating at an alarming pace. “The risk of Italy sliding into an unstable debt spiral has increased,” he said.
Remember what happened in Cyprus! The EU seized money from Cypriot bank accounts in 2013 as part of the Cyprus bailout deal. No wonder Italians are worried the same could happen to them.
56% of Italians do not trust the EU and 29% want to leave the euro. The level of confidence of Italians towards the EU in the last seven years has halved from 70 to 38 and even when narrowing the observation to the last four years, the descent was still sudden: from 58 to 38.
The democratically elected Government in Italy should not have to bow and scrape to unelected officials in Brussels to approve its budget. The people of other EU nations should not have to bail out Italy if it all goes pear shaped. There you have all the reasons why the Euro is a misconceived political project.
(Articles reflect the views of the author, and not necessarily those of Luke Nash-Jones, The Red Pill Factory, or Make Britain Great Again.)