• Sweden's news in English

Borg: Berlusconi guilty of 'short-term populism'

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 9 Nov 2011, 08:16

Published: 09 Nov 2011 08:16 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"It has been patently obvious that it is a government that has lost the ability to manage the debt crisis," Borg told Sveriges Television (SVT) on Wednesday morning.

"He has not been taken seriously," Borg said.

Speaking on SVT's Rapport news programme, Anders Borg accused Berlusconi of "short-term populism" which undermined the current tough economic climate in the eurozone.

"He has previously announced tax cuts despite the fact that they have both a deficit and enormous debts, he has retreated from savings programmes... and the measures that have been taken have been very cautious in relation to that required," Borg said.

Anders Borg expressed doubt that the long-serving Italian leader has taken the situation, and his responsibility in its creation, seriously enough.

The finance minister underlined that Italian problems are global problems, pointing out that the country is home to the third largest bond market.

Silvio Berlusconi finally bowed to pressure, both internal and from across the EU, and announced his departure on Tuesday evening.

"After the stability law is approved, a package which guarantees the amendments required by the eurozone, I will resign," Berlusconi said in a statement.

Story continues below…

The raft of savings and cuts which has been demanded by the EU are now subject to a vote in both chambers of the Italian parliament and are expected to be passed during November.

Anders Borg also underlined on Wednesday that no new loans will be provided to Italy.

"They should be able to raise their taxes and cut their expenses. They also have significant assets and so should be able to reduce their debts," he said to SVT.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

09:34 November 9, 2011 by eltechno
Could this sloppy use of the word "populism" cease? Please? The historical Populists of the People's Party of 1892 would NEVER have included a rich jerk like Berlusconi. NEVER!

Accusing an obscenely rich media magnate of being a populist makes about as much sense as accusing a black USA President who surrounds himself with Jewish advisors of being a Nazi. (Yes, there are some who do that too-mostly tea party types who drag their knuckles when they walk.)

So Mr. Borg, if you do not stop misusing the term populist, we will have to assume that you are an historic illiterate and discount the rest of what you say because of that.
09:50 November 9, 2011 by StockholmSam

Being a populist and taking advantage of populist sentiment are two distinct things. Borg does not say that Berlusconi was a populist; according to the article, Borg stated that Berlusconi took actions that were populist in nature. I see this as logical since the people were ready to string the Italian leader up by his toenails. He had to appease the angry masses somehow. A populist approach was his only option. That does not make him a populist.
09:51 November 9, 2011 by occassional
Berlusconi is a Machiavellian surrounded by sharks. He is an extrovert, self-made survivor. And if anybody thinks either Silvio or anyone in Italy gives two hoots about what people say about them, think again. Independence matters more than anything else. Even the law. Someone once said "It is not difficult to rule Italy. It is totally unnecessary."
10:06 November 9, 2011 by eppie
Borg, why didn't you say this....let's think..... 2 years ago??

Very brave to make these comments just after it has become clear that Berlusconi will step down.
10:40 November 9, 2011 by eltechno
@ StockholmSam

What exactly do you mean by "populist sentiment?" You should know that expression has an exact historical meaning and I am certain that what Berlusconi accomplished did not emerge from the Populist playbook.

The only reason I care about this is that Populism is easily the most successful Progressive movement in this country. It was partly invented by Swedish immigrants like my grandfathers who argued politics in freezing cabins while the wind howled. Some of the ideas they had were so good, they would go a LONG way towards solving some current economic dilemmas. I am sorry, I will not stand by and see this historically interesting movement slandered by pig-ignorant, arrogant, elitist, neoliberal slime like Anders Borg. I grew up around highly accomplished, highly intelligent Swedes-what the hell happened to him?
Today's headlines
Injured Swedish photographer protected by 'guardian angel'
Swedish photographer Paul Hansen on another occasion. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Photographer Paul Hansen thanked his lucky stars for surviving sniper fire while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

How Sweden is trying to smooth relations with Saudis
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven meeting Saudi Arabia's Trade Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has visited Saudi Arabia a year and a half after relations turned frosty in a major diplomatic row.

My Swedish Career
'Swedish people love it, but they find it quite odd'
Scottish entrepreneur William Macdonald. Photo: Michael Campanella

Meet the web developer and entrepreneur using traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing to break the ice with Swedes.

Swedish photographer shot near Mosul
Hansen was being operated on in the Iraqi city of Erbil on Sunday. Photo: Nora Lorek/ TT

Paul Hansen, a photographer working for Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, has sustained light injuries after being hit by what appears to be a sniper while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Sweden wants emission- free cars in EU by 2030
Photo: Jessica Gow/ TT

Sweden's environment minister on Saturday urged the European Union to ban petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030.

Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

Swedish terror suspect ‘planned airport attack’
Swedish terror suspect Osama Krayem. Photo: Facebook

Swedish national Osama Krayem, linked to the deadly attacks in Paris on November 13 and in Brussels on March 22, is now suspected of having plotted to attack also the Schiphol airport in the Netherlands.

Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
jobs available