Italy: where did the 37 billion euros go?

Submitted by martin on 30 March, 2020 - 6:09 Author: Hugh Edwards
covid-19 virus

As the coronavirus tightens its deadly grip across the country, Italy's media has documented on a daily basis the wretched state of the country's public health system - the shortage of beds, of medical and paramedical personnel, of ventilators, of laboratories, of tampons - of everything!

The high rate of death before arriving in intensive care is a reflection of this state of affairs - like the chance discovery in Bergamo of 1800 seriously ill people at home utterly beyond the radius of any personal or institutional detection.

All this is the product of what has been inflicted upon the Italian public health system in the last 20 years, a social massacre painfully and cruelly spotlighted at the price of thousands dead.

But the same media - for the most part the liberal conscience of the country - have failed to underline the reasons behind the state of affairs highlighted. What, for example, happened to the 37 billion euros cut from the public health service? Who or what benefitted from those cuts?

To answer the questions it is sufficient to read the motivations that have accompanied every budget, going back in fact before the financial crisis of 2008, but all the more salient since then.

It was deemed necessary to cut expenditure in order to contain and limit the public debt. Italy has one of the highest debts of all the worlds capitalist countries. Or more specifically to pay the interest on that public debt - 60 or 70 billion euros every year. The accumulation of that interest has the inevitable effect of expanding the public debt that the Italian people are told has to be reduced.

To whom, then, went this gigantic sum of money, subtracted from the social services, including health and welfare?

To those who had bought the public bonds, for the most part the Italian banks. Not to the German or French or any other foreign outfits that the lying propaganda of Matteo Salvini and his racist followers daily seek to shift the blame to.

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