EU, appeal by 101 economists to the Italian government: “Don’t sign that agreement”

Various Authors 16/04/2020
EU, a deal at year zero

The deal reached by the Eurogroup on April 9th on the instruments to adopt to face the pandemics and its severe economic consequences is not sufficient, it adopts instruments which are not up to the challenge, and marks a worrying continuity with the political line which turned the Eurozone into the area with the lowest economic growth rate.
It does not acknowledge the exceptionality of the current situation, with no equivalent in the last century, nor the fact that this upsets the paradigms which guided economic policy in the last decades.
Finance ministers seem to believe that what is happening will be limited to a short horizon, after which we can go back to “normality” without problems. This is not the case, as Mario Draghi, former ECB president and a man with a sound international reputation, has pointed out.
The current exceptional state of events requires exceptional instruments, which should have at least two essential features:
– They should be activated in the shortest possible time span;
– They should limit as far as possible further increases in public debts, which will grow anyway for the additional expenditure governments are undertaking to contain the damages from the epidemic.
The only option fulfilling both requisites is monetary financing from the European Central Bank of a relevant part of additional government expenditures. It is an option explicitly forbidden by the European Treaties. But treaties, in time of necessity, can be suspended in compliance with the international law, and this moreover has already happened.
Monetizing public expenditures that cannot be postponed is not an unusual procedure. It has just been formalized in the United Kingdom, while the most important Central Banks – the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan – are adopting it in practice. In Italy it is now suggested by economists with different views: it does not happen often that a policy proposal is shared by different schools of thought.
In the next council of Heads of States and Governments, which should ratify the agreement reached by the Eurogroup, Italy should reject it, and propose that the major part of public expenditure to face the economic crisis, which we expect will continue over the next year and double in size, be financed through an intervention from the ECB.
Should the other partners refuse, the least harmful road would be to follow what the Italian Prime Minister announced recently: in this emergency, “We will manage by ourselves”.
Nicola Acocella (univ. Roma La Sapienza)
Giorgio Alleva (univ. Roma La Sapienza)
Davide Antonioli (univ. Ferrara) 
Amedeo Argentiero (univ. Perugia) 
Pier Giorgio Ardeni (univ. Bologna) 
Alberto Avio (univ. Ferrara) 
Lucio Baccaro (Managing Director, Max Planck Institute, Colonia)
Alberto Baccini (Univ. Siena) 
Roberto Balduini (economista, Roma) 
Federico Bassi (univ. Paris Nord)
Annaflavia Bianchi (economista, Bologna)
Maria Luisa Bianco (univ. Piemonte Orientale)
Francesco Bogliacino (Univesidad Nacional de Colombia)
Paolo Borioni (univ. Roma La Sapienza) 
Luigi Bosco (univ. Siena) 
Alberto Botta (univ. of Greenwich)
Carmelo Buscema (univ. della Calabria) 
Sergio Bruno (univ. Roma La Sapienza) 
Eugenio Caverzasi (univ. dell’Insubria)
Elena Cefis (univ. Bergamo)
Sergio Cesaratto (univ. Siena) 
Federico Chicchi (univ. Bologna)
Roberto Ciccone (univ. Roma Tre)
Giulio Cifarelli (univ. Firenze)
Valeria Cirillo (univ Bari) 
Carlo Clericetti (giornalista)
Caterina Colombo (univ. Ferrara)
Andrea Coveri (univ. Urbino)
Antonio Cuneo (univ. Ferrara) 
Salvatore D’Acunto (univ. della Campania) 
Massimo D’Antoni (univ. Siena) 
Antonio Di Majo (univ. Roma Tre)
Giovanni Dosi (Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna)
Luigi Doria (univ. Ca’ Foscari) 
Lucrezia Fanti (ricercatrice, Roma) 
Caterina Ferrario (univ. Ferrara)
Jean-Paul Fitoussi (Sciences Po, Parigi)
Thomas Ferguson (univ. of Massachusetts, Boston)
Guglielmo Forges Davanzati (univ. del Salento) 
Maurizio Franzini (univ. Roma La Sapienza) 
Andrea Fumagalli (univ. Pavia) 
James K. Galbraith (univ. of Texas at Austin) 
Mauro Gallegati (univ. Politecnica delle Marche)
Claudio Gnesutta (univ. Roma La Sapienza) 
Antoine Godin (univ. Sorbonne Paris Nord)
Dario Guarascio (univ. Roma La Sapienza) 
Andrea Guazzarotti (univ. Ferrara) 
Alan Kirman (univ. Aix-Marseille)
Heinz D. Kurz (univ. Graz)
Valentino Larcinese (London School of Economics)
Andres Lazzarini (univ. of London e Roma Tre)
Riccardo Leoncini (univ. Bologna) 
Emanuele Leonardi (univ. Parma)
Riccardo Leoni (univ. Bergamo) 
Enrico Sergio Levrero (univ. Roma Tre)
Gianna Lotito (univ. Torino) 
Stefano Lucarelli (univ. Bergamo) 
Ugo Marani (univ. Napoli l’Orientale) 
Maria Cristina Marcuzzo (univ. Roma La Sapienza e Acc. Lincei)
Massimiliano Mazzanti (univ. Ferrara) 
Marco Missaglia (univ. Pavia) 
Antonio Musolesi (univ. Ferrara)
Nicola Negri (univ. Torino) 
Guido Ortona (univ. Piemonte orientale)
Ugo Pagano (univ. Siena) 
Ruggero Paladini (univ. Roma La Sapienza)
Thomas Palley (Independent economist, Washington D.C.)
Dimitri B. Papadimitriou (Levy Economics Institute)
Valentino Parisi (univ. Cassino)
Gabriele Pastrello (univ. Trieste)
Paolo Piacentini (univ. Roma La Sapienza) 
Paolo Pini (univ. Ferrara)
Paolo Polinori (univ. Perugia) 
Cesare Pozzi (Luiss Guido Carli e univ. di Foggia)
Felice Roberto Pizzuti (univ. Roma La Sapienza)
Lionello Franco Punzo (univ. Siena)
Michele Raitano (univ. Roma La Sapienza)
Simonetta Renga (univ. Ferrara)
Riccardo Realfonzo (univ. del Sannio)
Louis-Philippe Rochon (Laurentian University, Canada)
Umberto Romagnoli (univ. Bologna) 
Roberto Romano (economista) 
Sergio Rossi (univ. di Friburgo)
Vincenzo Russo (univ. Roma La Sapienza)
Roberto Schiattarella (univ. Camerino) 
Mario Seccareccia (univ. Ottawa)
Alessandro Somma (univ. Roma La Sapienza)
Antonella Stirati (univ. Roma Tre) 
Giuseppe Tattara (univ. Venezia) 
Pietro Terna (univ. Torino) 
Mario Tiberi (univ. Roma La Sapienza)
Stefano Tomelleri (univ. Bergamo)
Leonello Tronti (univ. Roma Tre)
Gianni Vaggi (univ. Pavia)
Marco Valente (univ. dell’Aquila) 
Vittorio Valli (univ. Torino) 
AnnaMaria Variato (univ. Bergamo) 
Carlo Vercellone (univ. Paris 8) 
Matias Vernengo (Bucknell University, Usa)
Marco Veronese Passarella (Leeds University Business School)
Giulia Zacchia (univ. Roma La Sapienza) 
Maurizio Zenezini (univ. Trieste)
Gennaro Zezza (univ. Cassino)
New signatures
Enzo Valentini (univ. Macerata)
Antimo Verde (univ. Tuscia)
Neri Salvadori (univ. Pisa)
Alberto Lanzavecchia (univ. Padova)
Salvatore Madonna (univ. Ferrara)
Jean Marie Monnier (univ. Paris 1 La Sorbonne)
Gianfranco Viesti (univ. Bari)
Carlo Giannone (univ. del Sannio)
Arsenio Stabile (univ. Siena)
Pasquale De Sena (univ. Cattolica Milano)
Francesca Coin (Lancaster University)
Davide Romaniello (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)
Matteo Deleidi (Università Roma Tre)
Lorenzo Di Domenico (Università Roma Tre)
Michele Bavaro (Università Roma Tre)
Lorenzo Germani (Università La Sapienza)
Stefano Di Bucchinico (Università di Siena)
Gianluigi Nico (Food and Agriculture Organization)
Giacomo Cucignatto (Università di Roma Tre)
Sergio Bianchi (univ. Roma La Sapienza)
Luciano Vasapollo (univ. Roma La Sapienza)
Riccardo Pariboni (univ. Siena)
Walter Paternesi Meloni (univ. Roma Tre)
Fabrizio Antenucci (univ. Roma Tre)
Marc Lavoie (univ. of Ottawa)