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The Strategic Stakes in Mattei's Flight
- Italy, we know, has been tied since 1949 to the United States in the Atlantic Alliance; and since 1949, there has been some strong resistance inside the Christian Democracy toward such a decisive, entangling, and suffocating involvement of our country with the United States. The most significant resistance to the Atlantic Alliance was perhaps not that of the great parliamentary protest mounted by the Communist and Socialist parties, but the subtler, more decisive, more pregnant, and more enduring resistance of certain sectors of the Christian Democracy who did not want to hitch Italy to the chariot of an unequal alliance, in which the scepter of command remained in the hands of the United States, but rather thought about the possibility of a neutralist policy for Italy (p. 23).
- Mattei pushed hard for a line of detachment, of critical participation in NATO and even of getting out of NATO and into a neutralist position. Mattei therefore not only annoyed the United States with his oil deals in the Middle East, which broke up the balance of the international oil cartel, and broke up the price equilibrium, but it was Mattei who pushed even harder for Italy's entire policy to take its distance from the United States and to open up toward the Third World countries, which were traveling in a certain way along a road similar to the painful and laborious road which Italy had had to travel. Mattei was very sensitive to these problems, because he had been a witness to this difficult road of Italy's and had had great difficulties at the beginning of his career. So he knew what it meant for a country to free itself from the colonial yoke and find its own way, its own balance, and a way of arranging its own economy which would not be an economy of pure exploitation by the great powers (p. 23).
- Mattei was convinced that Italy, a poor and defeated country, nonetheless possessed notable energy deposits of petroleum in its subsoil, and he was also aware that the oil business, even if there were not really resources inside the country, was an important business which one could not stay out of and in which one could not be at the mercy of the big guys. So Mattei's program was to try to use all available means to exploit the country's energy resources, and if this were not possible, to seek international accords with coun¬tries which had these energy resources, so that they could be used by Italy in order to become a partner of the major pow¬ers, and not be at their mercy (p. 23).
- The balance had been upset and the reactions from the American press and intelligence services were enraged. In a secret American report recently found in the archives, we read that Mattei's power must be contained at all costs and his possibilities for influencing the government must be reduced. Mattei is not only a force in industry, oil, and politics by now, but he also has a hold on information, because in 1957, through ENI, he took control of II Giorno, a Milanese daily, which at that time was much more important than it is today. It provided very lively coverage, had the best and brightest writers, it was present in every country in the world, and most of all, it had a policy of true support for the countries which were trying to free themselves from the colonial yoke, a policy of open support toward Algeria, for example, which was at the time a French colony. France was losing this colony, but there was a war, a savage repression from the French to hold onto their colony. Mattei sent Italo Pietra to Algeria, who later became the editor-in-chief of Il Giorno. He was the first, unofficial representative of Mattei who negotiated not with the French, but with the Algerians, the National Liberation Front (p. 25).
- It is in 1958 that the discussion becomes, I believe, more complex and starts to get really dangerous. This is the time when Mattei begins, in addition to the attack on U.S. oil interests, an attack on traditional Italian foreign policy. He opens up a foreign policy of greater detachment from NATO, greater opening toward the Third World, and potential neu¬tralism. This was the framework of the neo-Atlanticism in which Mattei, Fanfani, and Gronchi were involved, and oddly, also Christian Democratic right-wingers, for their own reasons, namely Guido Gonella and Giuseppe Pella (p. 25).
European and American patterns in a conflictive development
- Going through the history of economic, cultural and human exchanges in the most cultivated, tumultuous, lively, and cosmopolitan part of the world-Western Europe being its centre-we discover a wide unted universe (p. 19).
- The area spreading out from Scandinavia and England towards Maghreb and the Nile, from Ireland and Portugal towards Estonia and Iraq, makes up - even with certain internal peculiarities and divisione - the most unitarian system. I mean from the point of view of its breadth, its rich exchanhes, its sophisticated cultures and religions, its advanced social systems, its cohabitation of so many races and cistoms (p.19).
Fjernt fra Maastricht
- The prevailing trend – from the Atlantic sea to the Ural mountains – seems to move towards a paramount blow up of nationalities. Such a trend – alive in the souls also under the centralized structures of strong multinational states – has been to weaken the Eastern socialistic countries. It appeared in the former Soviet Union, in the Yugoslav republics, and in Czechoslovakia after the fall of the Eastern regimes (p. 11).
- After two years of exploratory discussions, and a conference (1st - 22nd July), the Bretton Woods agreements were initially signed by 44 states; the others followed in the course of time. A co-author of the project was the United Kingdom, under the leadership of Winston Churchill. Since the Atlantic Charter, issued by Roosevelt and Churchill (August 14, 1941), UK shared the US commitment for the postwar dominance, a multilateral payment system, and an international cooperation. The US was then the world biggest creditor country (p. 129).
- The inspiring theory for Bretton Woods was suggested by a well known economist, beyond any suspect, John M. Keynes. Lord Keynes - as in the meanwhile he has been appointed by the English Crown - appeared worried about possible troubles in the international system of payments, like those occurred after World War One, which contributed to the new conflict. He has published an article on this subject in 1946. Consequently he gave the blessing of his authority to the agreements. Lord Keynes, as chief of the British delegation, was appointed chairman of the Commission II, charged for the institution of an International Bank for Reconstruction and Development - IBRD (World Bank). The Bretton Woods agreements represented a sort of solemn will for Lord Keynes, since he died out two years later the signature (p. 129).
- The intention of the US found its feature through a clear formulation in the Agreement for the IBRD. The “purposes of the Bank” were defined as follows: “To promote private foreign investment by means of guarantees or participations in loans and other investments made by private investors; and when private capital is not available on reasonable terms, to supplement private investments by providing, on suitable conditions, finance for productive purposes out of its own capital, funds raised by it and its other resources” (p. 130).
- Keynes’s design was in favour of the liberalization of the economy and the capital’s transfers, for the main purpose of monetary stability. To avoid devaluation of currencies - a practice followed by governments in order to sustain their export - Lord Keynes planned to introduce “Bancor”, a money of account to be accepted by all countries in international exchanges. The international body to be organized would get interests both from debtor and creditor countries, in order to finance the balance of payments system (p. 130).
- Only the American controlled sovereignty of IMF and World Bank are allowed, along with the strong national sovereignty of the US. Little and medium countries have been encouraged to divide themselves - occurred in former Yugoslavia, in Czechoslovakia, and was attempted in Northern Italy - or to dismiss their personality in favour of supranational organizations - in fact directed by the US (p. 141).
- Nico Perrone, The Strategic Stakes in Mattei's Flight, in EIR, Vol. 20, No. 23, Washington, DC, June 11, 1993 ISSN 0273-6314
- Nico Perrone, European and American Patterns in a Conflictive Development, Roskilde, RUC, 1992, 1993, 1994 ISBN 87-7349-217-5
- Nico Perrone, Jjernt fra Maastricht, Roskilde, RUC, 1992, 1993 ISBN 87-7349-218-3
- Nico Perrone, in Globalisation and Welfare, edited by Bent Greve and Jesper Jespersen, Roskilde, Roskolde University Press, 2004 ISBN 87-7867-272-4