The chaos in the Italian economy reminds one of how fragile the Greek economy remains.
The skirmishes between Italy, the third largest economy of the eurozone, and Brussels, are a reminder that in a battle between giants, the first victims are those who are unprotected on the battleground, even if they are not a party to the battle.
As if the Battle of Titans abroad were not enough, along came the domestic Black Wednesday for banks, which reminded one that one ill is succeeded by many, but that the economic ill can occur at any moment and catch everyone unawares.
One would have expected that under such conditions, the prime minister would have taken care to have a good, working relationship with two key people, the country’s finance minister and the central banker.
Instead, something inconceivable is happening: The finance minister is on a road show in Hong Kong to lure investment, and the prime minister brushes off the central banker, and indeed unleashes targeted attacks against him, through the government spokesman and other channels.
This is the worst possible move at the worst possible time.
The government is indifferent to the fact that the chaos in Italy can lead to a new Greek tragedy. It is handling the banks with incredible shoddiness.
It is marshaling real and non-existent enemies to set up its own communications battles – not as a giant, but as a dwarf.