Quite amusing, given the context:
Italy’s labor minister called for a referendum to see if Italians want to temporarily bring back the lira after widespread popular discontent over high prices that many blame on the introduction of the euro.
A leader of the euroskeptic Northern League party, Maroni appeared to realize his proposal, made in an interview with Rome daily La Repubblica, would be attacked.
Industry Undersecretary Roberto Cota, also from the Northern League — one of Berlusconi’s main coalition partners — insisted on Sky TV24 news that going back to the lira was technically possible.
When the euro came into circulation, many merchants steeply raised prices on goods and services from fruit and vegetables to plumbing repairs and dining out.
What makes this so amusing is that
a) The Northern League is a coalition of cranks and oddballs whose ultimate goal is the secession of Northern Italy from Southern Italy (how’s that for a meme?)
b) Italians and the Italian government are blaming the Euro because Italian merchants used its introduction as an occasion to raise their prices. They’ll use just about anything as an occasion to raise their prices, and it would have been up to Italy to prevent it by proper supervison. It’s too late now anyway, for the merchants wouldn’t take the increase in prices back, even if the Euro would be exchanged for the Lira again. And last but not least: Why is this anybody’s goddamn business except the Italians’, huh?
As it happens, none of the arguments now suddenly brought forth against the Euro are any more convincing than Maroni’s, as I’ll demonstrate in the posts I’m going to put up over the next days.