On May 25th of this year, Italy will elect 73 members to represent the country within the European Parliament. Experts contend that this election will be extremely important in terms of deciding Eurozone policies, including how the economic crisis and single market will be handled. The candidates elected will have the huge task of representing and defending Italy’s interests within the European Union. Undoubtedly, the candidates chosen to represent Italy in the European Parliament will be fundamental to the economic and political direction that Italy will take over the next five years.
The Cinque Stelle Movement (M5S), staying true to its ideal that political leaders are an extension of the people’s will, is promoting active participation in the May election. Citizens are able to vote for who will be the M5S representatives through online voting. This demonstrates how important a role the internet can play to empower everyday citizens. The Italian members of the European Parliament will represent and defend Italy’s interests throughout the next five years, and Cinque Stelle believes that the people of Italy have a right to choose who those members will be.
As of now, no other political party has given the people of Italy an opportunity to select its candidates. Unlike Cinque Stelle, other parties will internally select their candidates, giving the Italian people no power over who is chosen. If you want to take part in who will represent your country for the next 5 years, and help Cinque Stelle select its candidates, click the link below. (Insert link here to online voting)
The Cinque Stelle Movement has 7 main points to focus on in the European Parliament. First, the movement proposes a referendum concerning the permanency of the Euro. Until 1999, when the Euro was introduced, the Lira was the official currency of Italy. Experts believe that returning to the Lira may increase competitiveness and economic growth in Italy. Cinque Stelle does not directly favor either the Euro or the Lira, but does support the referendum on the subject. This vote would give the people of Italy a chance to indicate whether they would like to stay with the Euro, or would prefer a return to the Lira.
Second, the Cinque Stelle Movement proposes an abolition of the Fiscal Compact. The Fiscal Compact is an international treaty signed between 25 of the 28 member states of the European Union. As a result of agreeing to the Fiscal Compact, Italy’s budget is constrained. The amount of Italy’s deficit and spending is regulated by the terms of the treaty. If Italy fails to achieve the terms of the treaty, fines of up to 0.1% of the GDP will be issued. Consequently, Italy is forced to make cuts to programs such as education and healthcare, increase taxes, and take other objectionable measures. Furthermore, economic growth is repressed under the Euro, as Italy is forced to spend its money on debt and the high interest rates of that debt, instead of kick starting the growth of the economy. The Cinque Stelle Movement proposes to eliminate the Fiscal Compact, therefore allowing the Italian state to make its own economic decisions and take alternative measures that will increase the likelihood of ending the economic crisis.
Third, the Cinque Stelle Movement supports the adoption of the Eurobond. In a sense, the Eurobond is a collective loan, with the European commission backing the borrowing of Eurozone member states. Adopting the Eurobond would result in Italy being able to borrow at lower interest rates and would help stabilize the economic market.
Fourth, the Cinque Stelle Movement proposes an alliance between Mediterranean countries on a single policy. This would include an agreement between Spain, Greece, Portugal, France, and Italy that would in turn develop a stronger policy for the Mediterranean countries, as European policy is currently North and Central focused. This alliance would help bring the line for European policy further South.
Fifth, the Cinque Stelle Movement supports investments in innovation and new productive activities excluded from the 3% limit of annual budget deficits. This would allow Italy to invest money in things such as infrastructure, highways, and other production without having to include it under the 3% debt ceiling.
Sixth, the Cinque Stelle Movement supports funding for agricultural and livestock activities that are aimed at domestic consumption. Essentially, consumable goods made in Italy will be tax advantaged over goods imported from other countries, resulting in national consumption favoring goods made within Italy. This will result in increased internal production and encourage sustainability in Italy.
The seventh, and final point, that the Cinque Stelle Movement proposes is the abolition of a balanced budget. Currently, Italy is not able to invest any money into new innovations, productions, or developments due to the huge national debt and the balanced budget policy. Instead of spending money to help grow the economy, Italy is forced to save that money to pay off the mountainous debt and interest from that debt. With the abolition of the balanced budget, Italy would be able to help kick start the economy and create the national growth that is vital to defeating the economic crisis.