Allegati A-J
ALLEGATO 2
Allegato A.
Top Stories from the Front Page of the International Herald Tribune,
Saturday, December 27, 1997
In Italy, Signs of a Renaissance, Museums, in Turnabout, Are Friendlier (and Even Open)
By Celestine Bohlen New York Times Service
ROME - Museums closed for 15-year repairs or three-hour lunch breaks, ticket offices that can't be bothered to make change, grumpy custodians who push art- gazers out early - these have been the frustrations of visitors to Italy who come to admire works of art and leave exasperated by the languid indifference of Italian authorities.
Now there are signs that this complacency is changing. Museums have reopened, visiting hours have been lengthened, new sources of funding have been tapped, off- site ticket sales and advance booking for popular exhibitions are now possible. And in a departure that some critics deride as overly American, 15 bookshops and six cafeterias have opened for business inside Italian museums, with more on the way.
The first to proclaim a turnaround in Italy's approach to its vast and rich cultural heritage has been Walter Veltroni, the 42-year-old minister of culture, who is also the deputy prime minister in the current center-left government.
Mr. Veltroni came up through the ranks of the old Communist Party and became editor of L'Unita, the old party newspaper, but he prides himself on a businesslike approach to government, which he combines with a fascination with American politics and movies.
Last week, Mr. Veltroni was present at Rome's latest unveiling - the newly restored Palazzo Altemps, a dazzling Renaissance villa in the heart of the city, which is now the home of one of the most significant collections of Greek and Roman sculptures in Italy.
''The reopening of Palazzo Altemps is another sign that the country, after years of neglect and abandon, is once again appreciating, and restoring to public view, some of its best monuments,'' he said at a news conference before the opening.
The inauguration of the Palazzo Altemps - which had been under restoration ever since the Italian government bought it from the Vatican in 1982 - came just six months after the Borghese Gallery, one of Rome's most popular museums, reopened after 14 years of restoration.
Some of Mr. Veltroni's program was in the works before he took office 20 months ago. And some say his focus is too narrowly fixed on the big cities, giving small cities and towns short shrift.
''Veltroni has done many things, and the Borghese Gallery and Palazzo Altemps should be singled out,'' said Floriano Villa, president of Italia Nostra, a public watchdog group devoted to the arts.
''But this must not blind us to the numerous problems we are still facing. Italy has countless treasures in its smaller towns, which are beautiful and probably more precious than those in the large cities, and for the most part they have been forgotten.''
But as Mr. Veltroni recently pointed out in a year-end survey of the ministry's accomplishments, not only did the Borghese Gallery - with its sculptures by Bernini, and paintings by Titian, Caravaggio, Raphael and others - reopen to the public, but it did so with a bang loud enough to be heard in museum cashiers' offices around Italy.
From July to December, 220,000 people visited the gallery, spending the equivalent of about $900,000 on tickets. But in those five months, they spent even more - $1.08 million - on catalogs, postcards and souvenirs on sale at the bookshop and in the cafeteria.
''It is still going slowly because there is an old mentality that did not want to vulgarize the museums, but that's nonsense,'' said Cecilia Mastrantonio, director of public affairs for the Culture Ministry.
''If I sell an umbrella with an image of the Borghese Gallery on it, the money will be used to take better care of the museum.''
At places like the Colosseum in Rome, where until now all the souvenir and guidebook vendors were private, the government-run shop has quickly established itself with its more original and diversified offerings.
Until now, information has never been a strong point of Italian museums, which start from the assumption that their visitors come knowing what to look for. But the newly reopened museums, in addition to installing better lighting, have also put up signs - usually in English as well as Italian - offering explanations of the pieces on display.
''Now the visitors are changing,'' said Ms. Mastrantonio.
''The fact that we sell so many guidebooks means there are fewer art experts, and more ordinary people, which is one of the objectives that we had set for ourselves, to attract a wider range of visitors.''
Mr. Veltroni's plan is to keep up the tempo of renovation and change. The Uffizi Gallery in Florence will open a new wing - doubling its capacity - before the year 2000, while the restoration of the Palazzo Massimo, which will house other parts of the old National Roman Museum collection of antiquities, is due to be completed in June 1998.
Deadlines are another concept taken seriously by Mr. Veltroni, who acknowledged in a recent interview that his effort to stick to a schedule is regarded as un- Italian.
''I am an anomaly,'' he said.

Allegato B.
La Repubblica del 23/12/97
La panchina dell'Europa
di LUCIO CARACCIOLO
DENTRO, fuori, dentro... Ogni giorno sfogliamo la margherita dell'Italia nell'euro come se la scelta fosse secca. Non è così. L'Europa detesta il bianco/nero, adora i toni sfumati. La vera discussione sull'Italia fra i nostri partner verte su un'alternativa apparentemente meno drastica di quella che si vuole presentare in pubblico. Tedeschi, olandesi e altri partner non sono affatto convertiti alla fede nella stabilità italiana. L'unione monetaria in assenza di un'unione politica, economica, fiscale è già in sé un rischio enorme - sostengono - perché mai dovremmo accentuarlo imbarcando anche la lira? Ma l'Italia non è la Danimarca o la Grecia, bensì una delle maggiori potenze commerciali al mondo. Lasciarla fuori significa esporsi al rischio di un'Italia pirata d'Europa, libera di usare delle svalutazioni competitive della lira per conquistare nuovi mercati.
Ma si può tenere l'Italia contemporaneamente fuori e dentro l'euro? Certo che sì - osservano i nostri astuti partner, e ricorrono a una metafora calcistica: la panchina. Se potessero scegliere da soli, è lì che i leader degli Stati a moneta forte ci collocherebbero almeno durante il primo tempo della partita dell'euro, dal 1999 al 2002 (data della definitiva uscita di scena delle divise nazionali). Un purgatorio di tre anni, durante i quali la lira dovrebbe restare fermamente ancorata all' euro, ma dall'esterno. In questo modo si misurerebbero nel tempo la nostra stabilità politica, la solidità del nostro rigore finanziario. Con la garanzia che a esame superato nessuno troverebbe più da obiettare al nostro ingresso nel club degli eletti, magari insieme alla sterlina.
L'IDEA della panchina non è una novità assoluta. Se ne parla informalmente da anni. Ma negli ultimi sei mesi, le evidenti difficoltà tedesche e francesi a rientrare nei criteri insieme ai successi inattesi della cura da cavallo imposta da Prodi e Ciampi, avevano indotto anche i più scettici fra i Quindici (e sono molti) a far buon viso a cattivo gioco, evitando almeno pubblicamente di metter in dubbio le chances italiane di adesione alla moneta europea. Tanto da far maturare nella nostra opinione pubblica la convinzione che ce l'avessimo già fatta.
Certo l'Italia ha oggi buone speranze di entrare subito nell'euro. Ma sarebbe irresponsabile comportarsi come se avessimo in mano il biglietto d'ingresso. Di qui al maggio prossimo non mancheranno i trabocchetti, i tentativi di mettere in dubbio la qualità e l'affidabilità nel tempo del nostro risanamento. Inoltre, resta da vedere fino a che punto la Bundesbank sarà disposta a difendere l'eventuale parità fissa della lira con le altre monete dell'euro, nel caso che fra maggio e dicembre 1998 qualcuno volesse attaccare la nostra moneta. Se proprio non riusciranno a tenerci fuori, i nostri critici più severi cercheranno di farci accomodare su uno strapuntino, ad esempio escludendoci dalle cariche che contano nella futura Banca centrale europea.
Il vertice del Lussemburgo ha ulteriormente chiarito la posta del gioco. Non si tratta solo di aderire a un' unione monetaria. L'euro è un compasso che ridisegna la carta geopolitica del continente in base alla sua logica intrinsecamente divisa. Al centro, l'Euronucleo teorizzato tre anni fa dai cristiano- democratici tedeschi, cui è stata messa la sordina per motivi tattici ma che resta il cuore della strategia di Kohl. Il nucleo duro sarà composto dai 9 o 11 Stati ammessi nel "Consiglio dell'euro", incaricato di coordinare le politiche economiche degli aderenti alla "moneta unica". Poi, intorno al Sole - l'Euronucleo - ruoteranno i 4 o 6 satelliti sistemati in panchina o in tribuna nel maggio prossimo. Ancora, in un'orbita molto lontana, troveremo Slovenia, Ungheria, Estonia, Cipro, Polonia, Cechia, primi candidati all'ingresso nell'Unione europea. Infine, Lettonia, Lituania, Slova cchia, Romania, Bulgaria, relegati nella seconda fase di allargamento, con la Turchia ricacciata nel mondo islamico e la Russia in quello asiatico.
L'UNICA Europa di qualche consistenza sarebbe quella unita dall'euro, ammesso che l'unione monetaria funzioni veramente. In questo senso l'impropria parola d'ordine italiana - "entrare in Europa" come equivalente di "entrare nell'euro" - ha una sua pregnanza. L'Unione allargata sarebbe una sorta di Onu continentale. Adibita a dichiarazioni di principio, a eleganti dissertazioni intellettuali. Politicamente, zero o anche meno. A contare sarebbero solo il "Consiglio dell'euro" e le istituzioni speciali che i paesi membri vorranno affiancargli, con buona pace della sempre più impotente Commissione. Anzi, il "Consiglio dell'euro" diventerebbe il Consiglio di Sicurezza di questa Europa-Onu. Lo stesso Kohl si è lasciato sfuggire in Lussemburgo una battuta freudianamente rilevatrice. Di fronte alla petulanza di Blair, che voleva a tutti i costi affermare il buon diritto della Gran Bretagna a stare nel "Consiglio dell'euro", il cancelliere ha osservato che la Germania non fa parte del Consiglio di Sicurezza delle Nazioni Unite ma non va in giro a lamentarsene continuamente.
Su questo sfondo si può meglio valutare l'ipotesi della "panchina". Di fatto equivale a un'appena mascherata esclusione dall'Europa. Al guinzaglio dei paesi- euro non avremmo nemmeno agio di giocare sul valore esterno della lira e saremmo comunque penalizzati dai mercati.
È comunque un'ipotesi da prendere in considerazione negli scenari alternativi che certamente da tempo il nostro governo sta studiando nel caso non fossimo ammessi nel primo gruppo dell'euro. In modo da apprestare una panoplia di contromisure. Tutto ciò sarà tanto più facile quanto meno indulgeremo alle reazioni emotive, alle isterie antigermaniche. Qui ognuno difende i propri interessi nazionali. Il guaio semmai è che in un dibattito di tanto momento i cittadini europei non sono minimamente coinvolti. I leader nazionali non si fidano di loro. E a ragione: come mostrano le statistiche della Commissione, a entusiasmarci per l'Europa (e per l'euro) siamo rimasti solo noi italiani. Per quanto ancora?

Allegato C.
December 29, 1997
Key Questions Require Answers
As EMU Moves Toward Reality

By THOMAS KAMM
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
PARIS -- Europe's planned common currency is no joke. That's official.
When Luxembourg's prime minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, sent out a letter to his European Union counterparts earlier this month, he wrote that Economic and Monetary Union starts on April 1, 1999. A few hours later, he issued an embarrassing correction: EMU starts on Jan. 1, not on April Fools' day.
Until recently, Mr. Juncker's slip of the pen would have seemed to many an apt metaphor for Europe's bold currency plan: A lot of Europeans lent as much credence to politicians' repeated claims that EMU would start on time as they did to April Fools' jokes.
But in recent weeks, all remaining doubts appear to have vanished. The remarkable degree of economic convergence between European nations and the steely determination of Europe's leaders have convinced all but the most skeptical not only that EMU will start on schedule, but also that it is likely to include all of the EU's 15 countries except for Britain, Sweden and Denmark -- which don't want to join --  and Greece, which falls short of the requirements. "We're ready for EMU," proclaims French Finance Minister Dominique Strauss- Kahn.
•Growing Doubts
At the same time, however, a funny thing is happening: While EMU has never seemed more certain, Europeans have never had more doubts about the huge leap they're about to take. A recent pan- European poll by the EU's executive commission showed that support for the euro, as the common currency is to be called, is now running at 47% -- the first time the pro-EMU camp has polled less than 50% since the Maastricht treaty on monetary union was signed in 1992.
These doubts underscore the growing realization in Europe that if getting to the EMU starting line was hard, making it work will be even harder. For EMU is a gigantic, real-life crapshoot. Never before has such an undertaking been tried: Almost a dozen nations will simultaneously throw out their currencies and willingly cede their monetary sovereignty to an independent, pan- European central bank. "It's uncharted waters," says Norbert Walter, chief economist of Deutsche Bank AG in Frankfurt. "We're on a discovery route. It's nothing short of revolutionary."
If it works, the world economy will change. Nearly all of Europe will become a fully integrated market of almost 300 million consumers, and doing business across national boundaries will be as easy as between Texas and California. The euro will challenge the dollar's dominance of world trade, and Europe will gain real economic and political clout.
•'We're Not Ready'
But there's a huge downside too. Binding together different economies could lead to deflation, higher unemployment, social turmoil and a rise of nationalism, some warn. "Monetary union is a fabulous idea, but it's clear we're not ready," says Noel Goutard, chairman of French autoparts maker Valeo SA. "Three years after its launch, we're going to be wondering why we got into this."
As EMU moves inexorably from the drawing boards to reality, Europeans are waking up to the huge changes it means - - and to the work needed to make it a success. For monetary union doesn't simply mean going from francs or marks or pesetas to euros; it also means developing coordinated economic policies, taking steps to avoid predatory competition between states on taxes or labor costs, and devising new political and economic rules for an entire continent. "To make EMU a success, there's a heavy agenda of open questions," says Mr. Walter. Anxious to avoid frightening their voters, European leaders have played down many of these issues. Some could spark serious tensions within European societies or between countries, as current debates over who should run Europe's central bank and how to arrange relations between the EMU ins and outs show. What follows is a glimpse at Europe's agenda for the coming months --  key questions that need to be addressed to make a success of one of the most dramatic economic transformations ever attempted.
•Can there be a one-size-fits-all monetary policy?
EMU doesn't just mean a common currency; it also means a common monetary policy for all participating nations. But what is the right interest rate for all? Is what's right for Germany or France also right for Ireland or Spain?
True, aspiring EMU entrants look remarkably similar: All the EMU candidates meet stringent low-deficit, low-inflation entrance requirements. Even once- profligate Italy is now among Europe's most economically virtuous nations; its 1997 inflation rate of 1.6% is even lower than Germany's.
But this statistical convergence belies economic divergence. Ireland's 7.7% growth this year has some calling it "the Celtic dragon." But growth in Italy will be a lowly 1.3% this year, while France and Germany are growing at a sluggish 2.5%. Irish short-term interest rates are at 6.75%; French, German and Belgian ones are at 3.3%.
So where should Europe's interest rates be set? Senior monetary officials in key countries are adamant that the lowest benchmark rates in Europe should prevail, rather than an average of national rates. But while that would ensure that the slow-growing countries -- coincidentally, mostly Europe's biggest economies -- aren't punished by EMU, it spells problems for the fast- growing ones.
Indeed, many argue that Ireland really needs to hike rates; instead, to join EMU, it will have to cut them by up to three percentage points. That could trigger inflation.
For now, Irish officials and economists appear unconcerned. "We'll have to make do with whatever happens," says Patrick Honohan of the Economic and Social Research Institute in Dublin. But economists say the country will have to make some tough choices: either revalue the Irish pound, which could damp Irish competitiveness, or tighten fiscal policy.
The Bundesbank's surprise decision in October to raise its short-term rate to 3.3% from 3% shows the difficulty of setting a Euro-zone interest rate. When France -- like Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria and Denmark -- quickly followed suit in what many saw as a dress rehearsal of pan-European monetary policy, an uproar erupted in Paris. The central bank's policy council was summoned by the National Assembly's finance commission to justify the move. Even former EU Commission President Jacques Delors blasted the action. "How can public opinion understand a tightening of monetary policy when the acceleration of growth is not yet tangible?" he asked. "We have an unemployment problem, not an inflation problem."
  •Where's the emergency exit?
The year is 2003. The U.S. goes into recession. Housing starts fall 26%. Demand for wood plummets, sending the forestry industry into a tailspin. Prices for wood and related products fall 15%.
That's a nightmare for Finland, where the pulp-and-paper industry accounts for 40% of total exports and employs 18% of the work force. Its budget deficit rises to 4% of gross domestic product.
And this turns into a major crisis for Europe. Finland threatens to withdraw from EMU unless it is allowed to spend its way out of recession, widening its budget deficit further. But under the German- inspired stability pact linking EMU members, budget deficits can't exceed 3% of GDP, except in exceptional circumstances. What to do?
This fictional scenario, imagined by Patrick Artus, chief economist of the Caisse des Depots et Consignations in Paris, goes to the heart of a big problem with EMU: "It's condemned to succeed, and if it doesn't, we're condemned," quips former Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Martino.
The stability pact keeps EMU participants in a straitjacket, and calls for fines for countries that exceed the budget- deficit ceiling -- which could aggravate recessions. But there are no instruments to counter recessions.
In the U.S., when one region is hit by an economic shock, the federal government helps by redistributing taxes. But there is no federal European government, and the EU's budget amounts to a paltry 1.27% of the bloc's GDP. "The Maastricht treaty doesn't envision a financial-assistance mechanism in case of accident in a country," Bundesbank chief economist Otmar Issing said recently. "At the European level, there is no political will to pay even more for other states."
And with labor mobility restrained by language and regulatory barriers, Europeans can't escape recession by moving as easily as in the U.S. And there's no escape from EMU. "You're abolishing national currencies and you can't bring them back," says Christopher Potts, chief economist at Cheuvreux de Virieu, a Paris brokerage house. "You've burned all your bank notes."
Many analysts say that EMU must be made more flexible. Mr. Artus suggests that the 3% deficit ceiling be set for Euro- land as a whole, not for a specific country. But others say that could lead traditionally more profligate states to seek a free EMU ride, getting the benefits of lower interest rates without maintaining fiscal rectitude.
Though the problem of specific shocks like the Finnish scenario applies mainly to smaller, less- diversified countries, failure to address this issue could lead to "a catastrophe," warns French economist Jean-  Paul Fitoussi. Since most countries will be entering EMU with deficits close to the 3% ceiling, an economic slowdown could lead them to test EMU's flexibility fairly quickly, he says. "The big question is: How will we manage this if there is a recession or a shock?"
  •Can a monetary union work without closer economic and political union?
The union remains divided by 15 different tax systems. Luxembourg, for example, has built a huge offshore-banking industry by imposing no withholding tax on savings. Ireland's 10% corporate tax for multinational companies has made it a prime location for foreign investment. Can that continue after EMU? Many think not. "Nothing will be like before," Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi said recently. "Currency integration can only lead to ever-closer integration of economic policies between different countries."
Indeed, EMU will act as a revealer of inefficiencies and differences previously hidden by exchange rates. With devaluations -- which could wipe out gains -- eliminated by EMU, the field will be level and competition between countries to attract investment and jobs will become intense. And unless EMU countries agree on closer harmonization of taxes, labor costs and welfare systems -- while maintaining a degree of rivalry -- that competition could be predatory.
The question is: At which level should they converge? If countries align themselves on the lowest rates, tax receipts fall and the European welfare state is threatened. But aligning themselves on high-cost countries like Germany or France, which is seeking to impose a 35-hour workweek even as it enters EMU, could perpetuate Europe's declining competitiveness.
In a first breakthrough, EU finance ministers last month agreed to a nonbinding code on corporate taxation under which they will end tax breaks for specific sectors or regions over five years.
But many say that's a timid first step. "If we don't have closer harmonization, we will simply replace competitive currency devaluations with social- protection devaluations," says French banker Olivier Klein. "That's tomorrow's burning issue."
  •Who runs Europe?
"When I need to talk to Europe, who do I call?" Henry Kissinger once reportedly asked. Try the European Central Bank. "The governor of the European Central Bank will be the most powerful man in Europe," says French economist Gerard Lafay.
Indeed, not only will the Frankfurt-based monetary institution inherit the powers ceded by national central banks, but its decisions will have a huge impact on almost 300 million Europeans -- and on global financial markets. That partly explains France's determination to get its central bank governor, Jean- Claude Trichet, named over Germany's candidate, Dutchman Wim Duisenberg.
But many Europeans are concerned that so much power is being handed to unelected officials. "Europe isn't designed to be managed by a European central bank; it's designed to be run by a political authority," says former French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur. In the absence of a federal government, however, "EMU will begin with a remarkable institutional imbalance," says Jurgen von Hagen, director of the Center for Research on European Integration at Bonn University. "The only institution responsible for policy on a European level will be the European Central Bank." Moreover, the pan-European bank's mandate is very narrow -- defending price stability -- and it will be far less accountable than the U.S. Federal Reserve Board is.
To counter the central bank's power, France and others want to form a council of EMU members that would serve as a policy-coordination forum. Supporters of the idea say it will not only make EMU more democratic, but also will help ensure that the central bank doesn't take all the blame if Europe's economies perform poorly. But others fear that such a council could result in political pressure on the central bank -- a charge France's Mr. Strauss- Kahn vehemently denies.
Still, he and others argue, if EMU is at root a political venture, designed to foster closer European integration, it needs political legitimacy. And many feel that the whole EMU process has been short of democratic debate and has sought to minimize the risks it entails. "The euro is being introduced coercively," says Italy's Mr. Martino. "To start a currency with this situation of distrust is to play with fire."
To be sure, the questions raised by EMU are often complex and don't lend themselves easily to debate. But many fear that if it doesn't quickly prove to be a useful tool to promote growth and employment in Europe, EMU could be questioned -- and the governments who promoted it could be ousted. Says French Labor Minister Martine Aubry: "With the euro, you're either in or out. On the employment issue, it's governments that will be in or out."

Allegato D.
Top Stories from the Front Page of the International Herald Tribune,
Wednesday, January 7, 1998
Italy Presses for Council to Oversee Euro
By Alan Friedman International Herald Tribune
ROME - Italy, taking sides with France in its campaign for a political counterweight to the future European Central Bank, is backing the establishment of ''an economic government'' for Europe, the Italian Treasury minister said.
''We need to move toward an economic government, a center of economic policy-making for countries that share the single currency,'' Carlo Azeglio Ciampi said in an interview.
''The existence of the European Central Bank implies the need for a policy-making body with political clout,'' said Mr. Ciampi, a former prime minister who also served for 15 years as governor of the Bank of Italy.
Mr. Ciampi outlined for the first time Italy's strong support for using the Euro-X Council - a policy forum for single- currency members launched by European Union leaders last month - as the main instrument for setting Europe-wide economic policies.
The Euro-X issue has sparked tensions between France and Germany because of French demands that the Council should act as a political counterweight to the European Central Bank. Mr. Ciampi's remarks put Italy clearly in the French camp, but he stressed that Italy did not intend to hamper the bank's independence.
He denied that there were any real differences with Germany, saying he had discussed Rome's position with Theo Waigel, the German finance minister.
Mr. Ciampi also called for a general lowering of interest rates across Europe. He said Europe's real interest rates, when adjusted for inflation, were still too high.
''To bring real rates down, nominal interest rates have to come down across Europe,'' he said. ''When 10-year rates in Germany are at 6 percent, in a country with 2 percent inflation, that is too high.'' The reason real interest rates remained so high, he said, was that ''rate levels still reflect fears about inflation and about public sector finances of the past 15 years in all of Europe.'' But Mr. Ciampi argued that ''since inflation is down now, and deficits are down thanks to the Maastricht process, there is now a margin for a reduction in real interest rates across Europe.''
Lower interest rates, he added, were also ''the best way to fight unemployment by spurring growth.''
In addition to the economic reasons for cutting rates in Europe, the financial crisis in Asia would provide further scope for reducing rates, Mr. Ciampi said. ''While the Asian crisis will mean a slowing of global economic growth, developments in Asia, together with the appreciation of the American dollar, should change expectations about interest rates on both sides of the Atlantic.''
''Six months ago, the United States seemed to be on the verge of raising rates,'' Mr. Ciampi said. ''Now Fed chairman Alan Greenspan is sending opposite signals, and I am in complete agreement with Mr. Greenspan that our concern should be about deflation, and no longer about inflation.''
Europe's economic government, he said, should evolve as a mix between regular meetings of finance ministers and the policy-making Euro-X Council.
The European Central Bank, he explained, would therefore have ''an interlocutor, just like the Federal Reserve in America has a political interlocutor, the government.''
''The Euro-X should be an organ that is no longer just a consultative body for ministers, but a place where decisions are made along the lines of a federal Europe,'' Mr. Ciampi said. ''The Euro-X makes sense only if you can manage the single currency and make decisions that are different from those which would be made with a national perspective.''
Mr. Ciampi was visibly ebullient after the latest figures showed that Italy's deficit was more than halved in 1997 to 2.7 percent of its gross domestic product, comfortably below the 3 percent target for nations wishing to qualify for the euro.
He also made these other points:
To combat Europe's jobs crisis, a two-pronged attack would be needed, comprising both lower interest rates and ''new measures to make our labor markets more flexible and to provide more vocational training for workers.''
He understood fears in Germany that the new euro might be a weaker currency than the Deutsche mark, and conceded that ''it is up to us in Italy to make sure it is not weaker and the way to do that is to continue to keep our deficit low in 1998 and beyond.''
Italy is determined to trim its public sector debt, which in 1997 stood at 122 percent of GDP. As a result of privatization proceeds and an expanding economy, he predicted that the debt as a proportion of GDP would drop to below 100 percent in the next five years.
The idea of legislation now being debated in Rome that would automatically mandate the introduction of a 35-hour workweek was ''nonsense'' and would not create jobs as its advocates argued, but merely increase costs.
The government plans to push ahead with a new round of privatizations in 1998, and aims to raise between 20 trillion lire ($11.2 billion) and 30 trillion lire, an amount similar to the proceeds of 1997. The government is weighing plans for a new partial privatization of the state energy group ENI that would lower its stake to below 51 percent for the first time.

Allegato E.
Caro Bertinotti,
ti mando un pezzo di spunto di discussione che ho attivato il 16/12/97 sia sulla Mailing List Pro-Prodi, sia al sito del Corriere della Sera gestito da Gianni Riotta.
http://www.rcs.it/riotta/97-12-19/9.htm.
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Titolo: Dire noi "no" all'Europa
Amici,
ebbene ci siamo, siamo ormai prossimi all’ambito traguardo dell’Europa della moneta unica.
Chi l’avrebbe pensato, così, solo un anno fa!
Ora però noi dovremmo dire, un attimo solo prima di entrare: NO, GRAZIE.
Nell’Europa della Germania (e della Francia), la nostra dignità di eguali tra eguali sarebbe certamente codificata dalla carta scritta, ma sarebbe, anzi lo è di fatto, offuscata dall’arroganza e dal preconcetto, talora non proprio infondati.
La creatività, che è la nostra risorsa principe, la ragione della serenità del nostro spirito, ne uscirebbe soffocata.
La pendenza della montagna che stiamo scalando è forte, i nostri muscoli sono rafforzati dall’esercizio e dal cuore; quale infelicità ritrovarci ad affrontare lo sguardo di una autorità diffidente nella nostra stessa casa,
quale tristezza vedere sviliti i risultati dei nostri sforzi solo perché nostri e non perché indegni di giusto apprezzamento!
I mercati finanziari non possono ragionevolmente abbandonarci più di tanto, dal momento che avremmo, di fatto, tutte le carte in regola.
Noi vogliamo, per ora, continuare la scalata da soli. Nell’Europa ci
vogliamo entrare, dopo, da una posizione più "in quota".
Un cordiale saluto
G. Losio
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Aggiungo di aver letto con interesse l'articolo di oggi su Financial Times, che riporta la richiesta di "Robert Hue, national secretary of the French Communist party, yesterday stepped up his calls for a new French referendum on Europe, declaring that it was "up to the people to decide".
Naturalmente gli italiani sono tuttora imbottiti di tale e tanta velenosa retorica che un referendum da noi, oggi, non avrebbe storia.
I recenti fatti dell'immigrazione curda, secondo me, cominciano a far aprire gli occhi a quest'Italia che liberatasi dalla schiavitu' dell'arroganza dal Risorgimento alla Resistenza, ora sta andando tranquilla a farsi nuovamente e subdolamente asservire dalla supponenza dei figli e dei nipoti del nazionalsocialismo dei lager. (Alludo volutamente alla offerta fatta dalla Germania di organizzarci in casa nostra i campi profughi, che in tedesco si chiamano appunto LAGER).
Dai un'occhiata, con i tuoi amici parlamentari ed a quelli di Liberazione e del Manifesto alla mia proposta di modifica della Costituzione in tema di Federalismo, da me presentata al sito della Buvette all'indirizzo:
http://www.axnet.it/buvette/curiosando/propemen.html
e trattata nel dettaglio, principalmente con interlocutori vicini all'Ulivo alla mia documentazione:
http://www.losio.com/100citta/
Resta inteso che io stesso ed il gruppo di amici che piu' da vicino hanno contribuito, come Francesco Forti di Lugano e Gastone Bianchi di New York, siamo disposti a qualsiasi personale impegno per far passare le nostre proposte per il bene della causa della solidarieta' nell'efficienza e nell'onesta'.
Una speranza accompagna il mio saluto, che vorrebbe andare in copia anche a Massimo D'Alema
G. Losio

Allegato F.
La Repubblica del 08/01/98
LONDRA NEL CLUB EUROPA
di ANTONIO POLITO
LONDRA
GLI inglesi sono tornati. In Europa. A dire il vero ci sono da venticinque anni, ma nessuno se ne era accorto. Un po' dentro, un po' fuori, incerti se iscriversi al club o starsene a casa, hanno finito per frequentarlo, ma comportandosi male. Da oggi, però, comincia una nuova storia: Santer e la Commissione europea consegnano a Londra la presidenza dell'Unione nei sei mesi più cruciali della sua storia, e la affidano nelle mani del leader più europeista che l'Inghilterra abbia mai avuto.
Per una strana ironia della storia, tocca proprio al paese che ha rimandato - per ora - la moneta unica il compito di tenere a battesimo l'euro. Comincia per la Gran Bretagna la traversata della Manica, l'operazione più difficile e angosciosa che la psiche della nazione abbia dovuto affrontare dalla fine della Seconda guerra mondiale: ricongiungersi al continente, bussare alla porta dell'impero franco-tedesco.
Comunque finirà, si può star certi che gli inglesi non si imbarcheranno sul transatlantico europeo da portoghesi.
L'EUROPA dovrà fare i conti con un paese dotato di un enorme potenziale economico, sociale, culturale, per non dire militare. Col più atlantico della compagnia, col migliore amico degli Stati Uniti. Con lo Stato più multietnico. Forse col più moderno. Stanno per scaricarsi nel confronto con la vecchia Europa un'energia e un dinamismo sconosciuti altrove. Se si può immaginare il mondo che verrà, assomiglierà molto probabilmente alla Londra di questo inizio d'anno. In nessuna delle grandi potenze continentali si lavora quanto lavorano gli inglesi: 1753 ore all'anno, cinque ore alla settimana più degli altri europei. Manager e professionisti tengono il ritmo impressionante di 55 ore alla settimana, meno della metà riesce a godere di tutte le ferie, e un quarto lavora ogni weekend. Basta seguire la giornata lavorativa di un modesto agente immobiliare per capire la differenza con i minuetti di un impiegato statale nostrano. A quei pochi giovani che non lavorano e chiedono il sussidio di disoccupazione dall'altro giorno è stato imposto di presentarsi agli uffici del "New Deal" lanciato dal governo: potranno scegliere tra un impiego finanziato dal governo e un corso di qualificazione professionale. Chi non sceglie perderà l'assistenza. Tutti al lavoro, ordina l'etica puritana di Tony Blair.
La competizione è una realtà asfissiante, a Londra si può scegliere perfino la cabina telefonica che offre le tariffe più basse. Gli effetti sugli stili di vita sono travolgenti. Oliver James, uno psicanalista di successo, ha dedicato un libro a questa società a basso livello di serotonina, quell'agente chimico che decide se siamo felici o depressi, e ha dimostrato -   non era difficile - che vivere in una gara perenne con la vita prosciuga le sinapsi cerebrali e aumenta in proporzione il bisogno di Prozac, la pillola favorita di lady Diana.
Poiché non sono giapponesi, gli inglesi tentano di difendersi: se non si può accorciare il tempo di lavoro, allungano il tempo di vita. La grande rivoluzione del prossimo secolo, quella del tempo, a Londra comincia già a essere realtà. Ed è un fenomeno di portata storica, paragonabile al passaggio d'era descritto da Le Goff per il Medioevo, quando il tempo della chiesa, scandito dal suono delle campane, fu sostituito dal tempo del mercante, rigidamente diviso e computato dalla comparsa degli orologi pubblici sulle torri civiche.
Qualcosa di simile sta accadendo qui. Ormai si parla apertamente di una "società delle 24 ore", capace cioè di lavorare, produrre, divertirsi sull'intero arco della giornata. A Londra si può fare praticamente tutto di notte. Diciassette milioni di consumatori in tutta la Gran Bretagna fanno la spesa nei supermercati dopo le nove di sera sotto gli occhi assonnati degli infaticabili commessi pachistani, e un altro milione di inglesi lavora di notte, magari inseguendo sui computer i fusi orari delle Borse asiatiche. A Londra si può ordinare per fax alle 12,30 un fast food di qualità in un ristorante, arrivare all'una con l'antipasto già a tavola e alzarsi all'una e mezzo perfettamente rifocillati. Nelle ore di punta, sulle strade per l'aeroporto, non è raro vedere giovani manager e broker della City sfrecciare sul sedile posteriore di un moto-taxi, col casco e il giaccone a vento prestato dalla società che organizza il servizio, per tagliare il traffico e arrivare in tempo all'aereo. L'Inghilterra è senza dubbio il paese più veloce d'Europa.
Fosse anche quello più produttivo, sarebbe un gigante economico senza competitori nel vecchio continente. Perché tanto affannarsi produce troppo poco. Ogni ora lavorata vale 23 dollari, sei in meno che la media europea, e tanti in meno dell'Italia che - ci crederete? - guida la classifica della produttività: ogni lavoratore del nostro paese produce la bellezza di 38 dollar i per ogni ora. E' il tallone d'Achille del gigante inglese: mancanza di capacità professionali, lavori poco qualificati, a basso livello di investimenti. Sono i guai di una società definitivamente post-industriale, dove il business della musica rock e del cinema valgono ormai di più che la siderurgia e la cantieristica messe insieme. E' il modello anglosassone: alta occupazione, bassa produttività. Anche per questo l'Inghilterra ha interesse a raggiungere l'Europa delle monete e di restare nel suo libero mercato. Bassi tassi di interesse, stabilità dei cambi, un mercato comune più ampio fanno gola anche al pensionato che fa la spesa da Marks & Spencer, e alla lunga non gli importerà poi molto se pagherà in euro invece che in sterline.
Il problema inglese non è l'euro, è la Germania. E' la consapevolezza che dopo l'unione monetaria verrà l'unione politica, una forma di governo comune, è la prospettiva degli Stati Uniti d'Europa. Negli ultimi 300 anni della sua storia questo paese ha combattuto, con le armi della diplomazia e con il sangue dei suoi giovani, con un unico obiettivo strategico: impedire che nell'Europa continentale si creasse una potenza dominante. Dal Settecento fino a Waterloo contro la Francia, nel Novecento contro la Germania. Per gli inglesi l'Europa federale è qualcosa che toglierebbe al Parlamento di Westminster la sua supremazia, e perciò è inaccettabile, contrario alla natura stessa del "freeborn Englishman". Un signore di Hartflied ha scritto l'altro giorno una lettera al "Times": "La nostra Costituzione, dalla Magna Charta in poi, è stata fondata sulla libertà individuale, mentre quelle dell'Europa continentale si basano sulla supremazia dello Stato". E' un contrasto di culture il fuoco che cova sotto la cenere della diffidenza inglese per l'Europa. Di diritto, adddirittura. Quando gli euroscettici alzano i loro lamenti, ricordano sempre che già oggi un terzo delle leggi cui sono sottoposti i cittadini della Gran Bretagna provengono da oltremare, da Bruxelles: "Gli Stati Uniti d'Europa sarebbero esattamente l'opposto delle libertà che la nostra storia ci ha dato". Gli inglesi non dimenticano che il sistema dell'area di libero scambio come primo passo dell'unificazione politica è esattamente il modo in cui si unificò la Germania nel secolo scorso. E tengono ben custodita, nel loro subconscio, una frase di Sigmund Freud: chi dimentica il passato è condannato a ripeterlo.
Ecco perché l'Europa o sarà senza Inghilterra o sarà diversa. Perché non si può concepire un tale partner accodarsi con la compiacenza degli italiani a una costruzione interamente franco- tedesca, dall'atto di nascita all'euro. Già nel semestre di presidenza Blair tenterà di spostare l'accento dall'unione politica alle cose concrete, come la guerra al crimine internazionale. Proverà a enfatizzare tutto ciò che significa "deregulation", nel mercato del lavoro innanzitutto, contro tutto ciò che evoca un eccesso di legislazione centrale e sovranazionale. E, soprattutto, punterà ad allargare l'Unione ai paesi dell'Est, piuttosto che approfondirla nei legami e nei vincoli tra i paesi che già ne fanno parte. Ha sei mesi di tempo per convincere gli inglesi, ancora estremamente riluttanti, che sono europei prima che anglosassoni. Se ci riuscirà, quella che ne verrà fuori sarà un'altra Europa, più nordica, più liberista, più atlantica. E sarà un bene.

Allegato G.
La Repubblca, 11/01/98
"E' soltanto una ripicca parlano per conto di Bonn"
Gli economisti Vaciago e Baldassarri vedono una mano tedesca dietro la polemica
ROMA - "I parametri dell'Unione Monetaria sono quelli stabiliti e certo non se ne possono inventare di nuovi". È questa la dura replica del nostro ministero del Tesoro alle notizie riportate da Der Spiegel secondo cui l'Olanda sarebbe contraria all'ingresso dell'Italia nell'Euro. Per gli economisti Giacomo Vaciago e Mario Baldassarri dietro la presunta manovra olandese per impedire l'ingresso dell'Italia nell'Ume, si nasconde invece la regìa tedesca.
"La coda olandese non ha mai mosso il cane tedesco, se mai accade il contrario. Se l'Olanda abbaia è la Germania che vuole", afferma Giacomo Vaciago e ancora "si fa parlare la nuora perché la suocera non può", sottolinea dal canto suo Mario Baldassarri. Due metafore dall'identico significato: difficile pensare che l'azione olandese, se confermata nei termini riportati dal settimanale, sia un'uscita non concordata, o per lo meno discussa, con il partner forte di sempre, la Germania. E altrettanto difficile dimenticare, come ricorda Vaciago, che l'Italia non si è mai dimostrata entusiasta della candidatura dell'olandese Wim Duisenberg, appoggiata dalla Germania, alla guida della futura Banca centrale europea.
"Mi sembra più una ripicca che una cosa seria - commenta ancora Vaciago - visto che arrivare a pensare che l'Olanda possa stracciare il Trattato di Maastricht e rimanere fuori dall'Euro per contrastare l'ingresso dell'Italia è assolutamente impensabile. Si tratta di una polemica spropositata che lunedì non sposterà il rapporto marco lira da quota 982". Anche secondo Baldassarri, quindi, l'episodio va ricondotto nel novero degli "inevitabili colpi di coda a cui assisteremo da qui a maggio, quando verrà compilato l'elenco definitivo dei partecipanti all'Euro".
"Non credo all'esistenza di un asse franco-tedesco-olandese, né che l'Olanda pensi realmente di poter restare fuori - commenta Baldassarri - l'Italia deve dimostrare che i progressi compiuti non sono occasionali, ma che quella attuale è la tendenza futura. Questo però è un problema soltanto interno e gli altri paesi non possono certo sindacare sulle nostre intenzioni".
Ulteriore elemento che rende difficilmente credibile un ostruzionismo all'ultimo sangue, fanno notare i due economisti, sono i rischi in termini di competitività che un'Italia fuori dall'Euro, creerebbe per Francia e Germania. "Ipotizzando un'esclusione dell'Italia, gli altri partner non potrebbero certo pretendere - fa notare Baldassarri - una lira inchiodata sulla parità centrale. E con la lira libera di fluttuare i vantaggi in termini di esportazioni per la nostra industria nei confronti dei paesi dell'Ume si moltiplicherebbero immediatamente".

Allegato H.
January 12, 1998
Italy Satisfies Criteria for EMU, But Ciampi Says Work Continues
By DEBORAH BALL
Special to THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
ROME -- Italian Treasury Minister Carlo Azeglio Ciampi looks like a man who just won the lottery.
And well he should. Under his guidance, Italy appears to be close to an achievement that, until six months ago, seemed about as likely as hitting a jackpot. According to preliminary figures, the country has satisfied the major criteria for the common currency, transforming itself from a shining example of how not to manage your public finances to a nation with a smaller deficit and lower inflation than Germany.
While Italy's participation in the common currency appears virtually certain, the debate has shifted to whether the country has made the structural reforms to hold up its end of participation in European economic and monetary union. In an interview, Mr. Ciampi argued that Italy has, indeed, shaken off its long-time addiction to the stimulating effects of an undervalued lira and outsized deficits. He contends that last year's fiscal, labor and pension reforms will allow Italy to compete in the union without resorting to policies that would undermine the strength of the new currency.
Increasing Efficiency
In Italy, "there is an appreciation of the fact that once you are part of the single currency, your chances of expanding economically depend upon your capacity for becoming more efficient," said the 77-year- old minister, visibly satisfied with the latest figures. "Getting into the single currency doesn't mean that is the end of things. It means having to demonstrate that we are able to remain there."
Mr. Ciampi -- one of the few figures to command the respect of virtually all the country's quarrelsome political class -- has been something of a modern- day Cincinnatus for Italy. He was plucked four years ago from the governorship of the Bank of Italy to lead a national unity government during the storms of the corruption scandals. After a brief retirement, he was called upon by Prime Minister Romano Prodi last year to spearhead the new government's efforts to bring order to Italy's unruly public finances.
The results that have trickled in this month have proved a vindication of the government's two 1997 austerity budgets, which snatched Italy from near certain exclusion from participation in the common currency. Seventy-eight trillion lire ($43.6 billion) in spending cuts and revenue-raising measures slashed Italy's deficit- to-gross- domestic-product ratio to an estimated 2.7% last year, down from a whopping 6.7% in 1996. At the same time, average inflation dropped to 1.7% last year from 3.9%. Meanwhile, the spread between German and Italian 10-year benchmark bonds has narrowed dramatically, to just 31 basis points (hundredths of a percentage point) Friday, from about 350 points when Mr. Prodi took power in May 1996.
Integration Is Key
Much of the credit for Italy's remarkable progress has been chalked up to policies designed by Mr. Ciampi, a passionate believer in economic and monetary union. Indeed, the minister speaks emotionally of his days as an Italian partisan when he argues that deeper integration is the only way to drive the last nail in the coffin of the divisions in Europe that sparked two world wars.
"Everything that has occurred in the way of European unity since 1947 has been to the advantage of all European countries," said the avuncular minister from his opulent office in central Rome. "And all the countries that will participate in the single currency will benefit from it."
Nonetheless, some critics say the competitive pressures implicit in a currency union will expose persistent inefficiencies in Italy's public and private sector. In response, Mr. Ciampi contends that the government has faced up to these weaknesses, setting in place fiscal, bureaucratic and labor reforms that will gather strength over time.
Eradicating Waste
And indeed, the shape of the Italian state is starting to show signs of change. The Finance Ministry is rationalizing a tax system so byzantine that even the well- intentioned cannot help but violate one rule or another. Meanwhile, the Treasury Ministry is trying to bring a measure of efficiency to the sprawling state sector, subjecting the spending habits of government agencies to scrutiny for the first time. One government task force is unearthing systematic pension fraud while another is working on reforms of corporate- governance rules aimed at modernizing Italy's financial markets to help corporations compete in a post-EMU economy.
While acknowledging the progress the government has made, some say the country has a long way to go, pointing in particular to the looming pension issue. Despite two rounds of reforms, the system still retains anomalies -- such as generous early retirements -- which may prove a demographic time bomb that could destabilize the country's public finances down the road. Mr. Ciampi responds that the two revisions are adequate, adding that the issue won't be revisited for at least several more years.
On the European scale, Mr. Ciampi dismisses suggestions that inadequate supranational economic mechanisms could leave the European Union defenseless in the face of a world- wide recession or an external shock similar to the oil crises of the 1970s. He argues that the cleanup of public finances across the Continent has rendered European countries more efficient and flexible, while the euro should pave the way for lower interest rates that will stimulate growth. He acknowledges, however, that participants in the common currency have their work cut out for them in harmonizing fiscal, labor and pension regimes.
"There will be external shocks," said Mr. Ciampi. "But if the oil crisis of 1971 had occurred after the unification of Europe, we probably would have responded better. Why should it be true that we could handle [such crises] better if we are divided?"
Central-Bank Integrity
The Treasury Minister also addressed the issue of who will lead the future European Central Bank. There has been talk recently of resolving a struggle over the presidency by splitting the eight-year term in two between the two leading candidates, Bank of France Gov. Jean-Claude Trichet and Dutch candidate Wim Duisenberg, head of the European Monetary Institute. Mr. Ciampi, who served for 15 years as governor of the Bank of Italy, rejected such a solution.
"I think it would be best for us to think in terms of one president for a full term," said Mr. Ciampi. "A full term is an integral part of the very authority and independence of the central bank."
The minister also took issue with the interpretation of recent remarks he made concerning the role of the so-called Euro-X council, the forum in which euro participants will discuss EMU- related issues. He made it clear that he doesn't regard such a body as a decision-making organ overriding the powers of national governments.
"Euro-X is not an organ but a forum for the ministers that are part of the single currency to meet informally to discuss problems regarding the euro," Mr. Ciampi said. "I believe there is a need for a forum where European economic policy is developed. It is then up to the individual countries to work them out."

Allegato I.
January 13, 1998
Will the Euro Be a Success? History Might Suggest 'No'
By LAWRENCE INGRASSIA
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

A U.S. dollar in New York is worth $1 in San Francisco. You fly across the continent. Your dollars are worth the same. Not 95 cents or 90 cents. How could it be different?
Well, things weren't always so simple. In March 1842, a $1 note from Planters Bank in Nashville, Tenn., would get you just 80 cents in Philadelphia, and a $1 note from State Bank of Illinois fetched just 50 cents.
Back then, state-chartered banks issued their own notes, while the government only minted coins. Depending on a bank's strength -- thus its ability to stand behind its dollars -- the value of notes varied from place to place. It wasn't very conducive to business: America's monetary system "is unfitted for a commercial country like ours," lamented Treasury Secretary Hugh McCulloch in 1863.
Only when the government issued "greenbacks" to help finance the Civil War did the era of a truly common currency begin. Commerce bloomed, and so did the economy.
History, Europe hopes, is about to repeat itself.
Contradictory Messages
On Jan. 1, 1999, about a dozen of the European Union's 15 member nations will adopt a common currency. Deutsche marks and Italian lire, French francs and Spanish pesetas eventually will be phased out for the euro. The euro will bind together and benefit Europe's economies as never before, proponents say. And they point to the U.S. precedent as proof.
But there are other precedents, and they aren't so inspiring. The Scandinavian Monetary Union, begun in 1873, was dissolved in 1924. The Latin Monetary Union, linking France, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland and Greece, started in 1865 but quickly weakened as some members pursued their own economic policies to the detriment of the common currency. And the East African Community of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda had a common shilling that lasted just a decade, from 1967 to 1977, as cooperation fizzled.
Past attempts to create a common currency provide "a glimpse of the types of difficulties that lie ahead for the European Union," notes Jerome W. Sheridan, director of American University's Brussels Center, in an academic article on the lessons for Europe from 19th-century America.
Until recently, monetary unions of the past have been of interest mostly to historians. But with the launch of the euro, the issue is no longer academic. Whether the euro will become another dollar, or go the way of the East African shilling, has become a matter of intense debate, not just in universities, but also in parliaments and central banks.
"Europe's monetary union is a high-risk project, that is what history tells us," says Prof. Lars Jonung of the Stockholm School of Economics, who was co-author of a study of past unions. Not so, responds Carl-Ludwig Holtfrerich, an economics professor at the Free University of Berlin. Citing the successful monetary union of principalities in 19th- century Germany, he contends, "I am fairly optimistic [about Europe's latest monetary union]. Failure is not a great worry."
Unprecedented Complexity
The problem: While there have been other monetary unions, there has never been anything like the European economic and monetary union. Economies are far more complex than they were a century ago. Gold and silver coins -- once the basis of monetary systems -- largely have been replaced by paper money, credit cards and electronic transfers. Most trade barriers have fallen: Germany sells autos to Finland, which sends mobile phones to France, which peddles perfume to Italy, which ships olive oil to Belgium. To grease this trade, currency zips around Europe and the rest of the world electronically.
But if the world economy has changed, the potential benefits of monetary union are much the same. It can eliminate the economic costs of exchanging one currency for another, and it makes price comparisons easier. As the governor of Illinois put it in 1863, in words often echoed in Europe now: "A currency of uniform value throughout the entire country is greatly to be desired. It tends to the more perfect regulation of our system of trade and commerce, [and] obviates ruinous differences in the rates of exchange."
The problem had existed since colonial times. To centralize monetary authority, the Constitution gave Congress the sole power to mint coins. The federal government's financial power was strengthened by the Coinage Act of 1792, which created the U.S. dollar, defined in terms of fixed weights of gold and silver.
Paper Trails
Technically, this meant the U.S. had one currency. In reality, it still had many. Lugging coins around to conduct business is cumbersome, so state- chartered banks issued paper money convertible into gold or silver coins. James Haxby's "Standard Catalog of Obsolete United States Bank Notes, 1782- 1866" carries photographs of about 72,000 notes. Institutions such as Boston's Hide & Leather Bank and the What Cheer Bank in Rhode Island printed denominations ranging from five cents to $5,000. (Some linguists trace the word "Dixie" to New Orleans banks; because their $10 notes carried the French word dix, for 10, northern merchants talked about the "land of dixies.")
But one bank's notes weren't always as solid as the next one's, just as one country's currency isn't always as strong as another's. In addition to the issuing bank's reputation, the distance a note traveled could reduce its value. Transporting notes back to faraway issuers for redemption was timely and expensive. After a trip through Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky, a merchant complained in the 1830s about being "shaved at an enormous per cent" at stops along the way, according to "Bank Note Reporters, 18491866" by William Dillistin.
Just as foreign-currency trading is a huge business today, there was money to be made exchanging bank notes in the 1800s. "A New York City directory for 1842, for instance, listed 51 exchange offices or money collectors whose principal business was buying and selling bank notes," notes Howard Bodenhorn, assistant professor of economics at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., who has studied the antebellum monetary system.
The Civil War provided the impetus for a national paper currency. Needing money to finance the war, Congress authorized the printing of greenbacks that, with the adoption of the National Currency Act in 1863 and other measures, led to the demise of notes from state-chartered bank within a few years.
The nation enjoyed enormous benefits from a common currency. The comptroller of the currency in 1878 "estimated that the United States saved $20 million to $60 million annually," or as much as 1% of the total value of goods produced, equivalent to billions of dollars in today's money, according to Mr. Sheridan of American University.
More than a century later, European proponents of a common currency argue that many of the same benefits will accrue to the European monetary union.
For their part, skeptics don't dispute the advantages of monetary union when it works. But despite some fascinating similarities between U.S. monetary union and the European plan, some economic historians contend that America isn't the best parallel. The key difference: The U.S. was a single country, while the European Union will remain 15 separate nations.
Indeed, most cases of monetary union that didn't involve political union have failed in the end. To buttress their argument, skeptics cite the two most ambitious previous attempts at monetary union in Europe.
The Latin Monetary Union was led by France and included Switzerland, Belgium, Italy and, later, Greece. Under the 1865 union, gold and silver coins of equal weight, and thus of equal value, were accepted as legal tender in any member country.
Like today, the union stirred a fierce debate. Economist Walter Bagehot wrote: "If we [in the United Kingdom] do nothing, what then? Why, we shall, to use the vulgar expression, be 'left out in the cold.' " But after it considered joining, Britain declined.
Not much later, in 1873, Sweden, Norway and Denmark created a common Scandinavian "crown," though each country retained the right to mint its own version. A new gold crown coin was minted, as were silver coins of lower value, and paper bank notes circulated freely as legal tender in all three countries.
Both unions lasted for decades -- albeit often shakily in the Latin case -- before falling apart. While various factors played a part, culminating with the economic and political calamity brought on by World War I, many academics maintain that there was a fundamental reason for the collapse of these unions: lack of political union, which resulted in each member's jealously maintaining sovereignty over its financial affairs. And when strains to the system occurred, countries and their citizens tended to act in their own interests, rather than the interests of the union.
In Scandinavia, Denmark's and Norway's economies expanded faster than Sweden's during the war. The inflationary increase in the money supply in Denmark and Norway reduced the value of their coins relative to Sweden's. But because of the currency union, their coins could still be swapped for Swedish coins on a one-for- one basis.
This created arbitrage opportunities for savvy traders who ferried back and forth across the narrow strait separating Helsingor, Denmark, from Helsingborg, Sweden, notes Prof. Jonung, the Stockholm economist. Traders would take less-valuable Danish coins and swap them for equal numbers of more- valuable Swedish coins. They then would return to Denmark with the Swedish coins and use the Swedish coins to "buy" a larger number of Danish coins of the same denomination. With those Danish coins, they would head back to Sweden -- thus pocketing ever larger numbers of more valuable Swedish coins the more trips they made.
To end this drain of its coins, Sweden cut off the currency link, effectively ending the union, though it wasn't formally disbanded until the mid-1920s.
Similar woes undermined the Latin union. Italy ran up recurring budget deficits that weakened its coins. The Latin union's difficulties were complicated by the fact that it had a bimetallic standard -- with a fixed exchange ratio for gold and silver -- that was thrown out of whack when the supply of silver unexpectedly increased with new discoveries. The union lingered until World War I, when some members issued large amounts of paper money to finance their war efforts. But this wasn't accepted as legal tender by other Latin union members, and the union fell apart.
Some academics, as well as proponents of European monetary union, argue that past failures such as these don't pertain this time. A critical point, they note, is that a new European Central Bank will set monetary policy, preventing individual countries from pursuing conflicting monetary policies.
"A century ago, monetary authorities in Italy could do things at cross-purpose with the others," explains Paul De Grauwe, an economics professor at Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. "There won't be much scope for that with EMU. This doesn't mean that EMU will be a success, but it will have fewer risks."
For a better analogy, Prof. Holtfrerich in Berlin points to the process of German monetary union that began in the 1830s and was fully consummated in the 1870s: It was preceded by a customs union (as with the EU); it was anchored by a dominant currency (the Prussian thaler then, the deutsche mark today); and the adoption of a common currency preceded -- albeit not by long -- political union.
And because Europe's economies now are much more intertwined than before, there is little danger of countries' trying to withdraw after joining, he says. "Once a country is a member, it would have a hard time to calculate that it's in its national interest to cut off the links," Prof. Holtfrerich adds.
Critics concede the new central bank may provide a stable monetary policy but counter that fiscal policy will be left to individual countries; while members can be penalized for running up excessive budget deficits, they add, this mightn't be a sufficient deterrent, and thus could cause serious strains.
Morris Perlman, an EMU skeptic who teaches at the London School of Economics, contends, "The prospects for [the EMU's] lasting a long time I don't think are that great." German monetary unification was indeed a success, he acknowledges. But Germany had one thing that helped cement its union that Europe doesn't have. "In Germany you had Bismarck. There is no Bismarck now," he says. "And who wants one?"

Allegato J.
La Repubblica
14 Gennaio 1998
LA PIETRA MILIARE DELLA CASA EUROPEA
di HELMUT KOHL
L'INTRODUZIONE dell'euro si sta facendo ormai una realtà sempre più vicina. A maggio sarà deciso quali paesi vi parteciperanno dall'inizio, e tra un anno, il primo gennaio 1999, l'unione monetaria europea comincerà puntualmente. Dal primo gennaio 2002, infine, la moneta unica esisterà come realtà quotidiana in monete e banconote.
L'euro è un bene per la Germania. Dico ciò per molti motivi.
IN PRIMO luogo, perché proprio noi tedeschi, come forte paese esportatore, ci avvantaggeremo particolarmente dall'eliminazione dei rischi di oscillazioni dei cambi. In secondo luogo perché la moneta comune europea darà anche un nuovo impulso alla crescita economica e quindi renderà possibile la creazione di nuovi posti di lavoro. E infine, ma non ultimo, la moneta unica rafforzerà l'"azienda Europa" nella competizione globale sempre più aspra tra le maggiori realtà economiche del mondo in cui viviamo.
L'euro sarà allo stesso modo un bene per la nostra vita quotidiana. Quando la valuta unica diverrà per tutti noi moneta corrente, milioni di tedeschi, che d'abitudine trascorrono le loro ferie negli altri paesi dell'Unione europea, non saranno più costretti a cambiare i loro soldi nella moneta di questo o quel paese. Il risultato, alla fine, sarà che, liberi dalle oscillazioni dei cambi e dai costi delle operazioni bancarie, si troveranno qualcosa in più da spendere per le vacanze. E quando andranno a fare acquisti, ovunque in Europa, non dovranno più affrontare un continuo conto dei cambi: ognuno di noi potrà facilmente e rapidamente raffrontare i livelli dei prezzi tra un paese e l'altro.
L'euro sarà parimenti una valuta stabile. Lavoratori, pensionati, risparmiatori, investitori: tutti possono star certi che anche in futuro il loro denaro conserverà il suo valore attuale. A loro difesa, hanno e avranno due fortissime garanzie: i severi criteri di stabilità posti dai parametri di Maastricht come condizione irrinunciabile dell'unione monetaria, e la futura Banca centrale europea, che sarà un'istituzione forte e indipendente.
Già oggi del resto, con il progredire del processo d'integrazione, l'Europa è diventata una comunità della stabilità economica. Basti ricordare che nel 1991, quando firmammo i Trattati di Maastricht sull'unione economica, politica e monetaria, il tasso medio d'inflazione nei paesi dell'Unione europea era ancora attestato sul 5,5 per cento: oggi, grazie al cammino verso l'unione monetaria, è già sceso sotto il 2 per cento. Mai come oggi le chances di riuscire a varare con successo una stabile moneta unica europea sono state così forti.
E infine, ma non ultimo, l'euro è una pietra miliare della casa europea. Proprio noi tedeschi dobbiamo ricordarci che è grazie al processo di unificazione europea, varato dopo la seconda guerra mondiale, che abbiamo avuto il più lungo periodo di pace della storia moderna. I giovani che vivono e crescono oggi in tutti i paesi dell'Unione europea hanno davanti a sé fondate prospettive di vivere una vita nella pace e nella libertà. E' per questo obiettivo che siamo decisi a continuare a lavorare.
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