Il gatto e' fuori dal sacco
Not exactly how Romano Prodi would admit that the cat was out of the bag in his native tongue, but, thanks to him, one particular issue is now well and truly out in the open. His statements on Italian inflation and the euro have, at last, drawn attention to problems highlighted by Euromoney in our cover story in April 1998.
Prodi said that if Italian inflation rose much more, the strains on the economy caused by membership of the euro would be too much to bear and that Italy might, in those circumstances, have to pull out of the eurozone. This is the most sacrilegious thing a eurozone politician can say. After all, there is no mechanism in place to allow countries to leave the euro once they have joined. Apostasy is so unthinkable it is legally impossible.
His remarks may have been caused by his upbringing. Prodi, one of seven siblings, is described as religious and sensitive to the needs of the less-well-off members of society. He is from the Emilia Romagna region whose inhabitants are considered by other Italians to be generous to a fault and always ready to fight any form of injustice and inequality.