Borg: Berlusconi guilty of ‘short-term populism’

Sweden's finance minister Anders Borg on Wednesday gave his assessment of the Italian government's role in the EU sovereign debt crisis, accusing outgoing PM Silvio Belusconi of not having taken the situation seriously.

Borg: Berlusconi guilty of 'short-term populism'

“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.

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.

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