“Italy holds its breath”, headlines Corriere della Sera. After weeks of rumours, the feared speculative attack on Italy may have begun. With the Milan stock exchange in free fall, losing more than 7 per cent in the last week and opening Monday 11 July at -1.26%, the spread between Italian and German ten years bonds – 5.45% and 2.66% respectively – has reached an all time high. The slump has been made worse by the losses of the Berlusconi group, after a court ruling that the PM’s holding Fininvest must refund €560m to rival group Cir for a corrupt takeover.
Political factors of instability – like coalition infighting that is blocking the new financial bill – are the real reason for the markets losing confidence in an Italian economy otherwise capable of weathering the storm, asserts the La Stampa editorial. Now it’s the time for Italy to display serious self-discipline and for Europe to keep steady on the solidarity path, beginning with today’s Council. “A week is starting in which the judgement of financial markets over Italy will be crucial. To avoid disasters we will need the right decisions from Italy, Europe, and Italy in Europe.”