When you think of governments ready to fall in Europe, you probably think of Greece or Spain.
Instead it is Italy that is warning of a violent insurrection.
Events in Italy are turning serious. President Giorgio Napolitano has warned of “widespread social tension and unrest” in 2014 as the Long Slump drags on.The protest movement in Italy is literally called the Pitchfork Movement (Movimento dei forconi). Their demands are no less than the overthrow of the government.
Those living on the margins are being drawn into “indiscriminate and violent protest, a sterile lurch towards total opposition”
The protestors, a mix of both right-wing and left-wing extremists, have called for a military junta to replace the government.
It's roots are an anti-EU protest movement. One of its leaders was recently arrested for tearing down the European flag from the EU office in Rome.
"The wind of revolt that is blowing in Italy today is the direct result of the euro and the wrong choices made by the EU and the ECB."
- Mario Borghezio, Northern League member
Italy's economy is expected to have contracted 10% by next year. The unemployment rate is 12%.
The government has no answers for the high unemployment and stagnant economy.
To make things even worse, the depression gripping all of southern europe is now beginning to show up as deflation.
Falling nominal GDP means the debt burden is rising on a shrinking base... It is why Italy's public debt has jumped from 119pc to 133pc GDP in just over two years despite draconian austerity and a primary budget surplus.Greece is experiencing its worst deflation in 50 years. Credit in Spain and Italy is contracting at a rate of 6 to 12 percent a year. Soon there simply won't be any money for people to live on.
Ebrahim Rahbari from Citigroup said the policy is pushing the South into debt-deflation and is likely to prove self-defeating.
Italy isn't the only country with a shaky government.
Bulgaria may be ever further along to government collapse.
“The situation in Bulgaria now is like that in the Weimar Republic in Germany prior to the rise of Hitler,” says Evgeniy Dainov, a political science and sociology professor at New Bulgarian University in Sofia.Bulgaria has witnessed near constant protests for six consecutive months.
It all started quite differently in late January, with peaceful anti-austerity protests against the previous center-right government—at the time, thousands of Bulgarians took to the streets enraged by a sharp increase in electricity prices. The initial target of their anger was the then-finance minister and former World Bank economist Simeon Djankov, who implemented one of the strictest fiscal policies in Europe, beggaring the average Bulgarian in the process. Bulgarians had been living in poverty long before his tenure, owing in part to a rough transition from communism and to policies instigated by the IMF and the EU for more than 10 years, but Djankov’s belt-tightening policies were, for many, the last straw.There's been six public self-immolations.
Ultra-nationalist parties, including one linked to neo-nazis have taken advantage of the unrest.
From Denmark to Greece the right-wing is on the rise in Europe. There is even a pan-European alliance of far-right groups. Their common goal (other than being anti-immigrant)? To break up the EU.
Much like the 1920's and 30's, Europe is drifting to the extreme right because the center-left can't find the political will to stand up to the multi-national financiers nor the political courage to admit being wrong about the EU.
11:38 AM PT: Libcom has an interesting perspective on the movement. Specifically it notes that the police and media are much more friendly to this right-wing movement than any of the larger left-wing protest movements Italy has witnessed in recent years.