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(en) Italy: Alternativa Libertaria Nov. 04 - Butter or big guns? (it)

From Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici <internazionale@fdca.it>
Date Tue, 23 Nov 2004 10:58:52 +0100 (CET)


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On 22nd June 2004, the Italian government passed a decree extending Italy's
international peace missions until 31st December 2004. The measure conatins two
principal elements: the first is dedicated to the humanitarian missions of
stabilization and reconstruction under the aegis of the Department of Foreign
Affairs, while the second regulates the extension of these missions which are
staffed by members of the Armed Forces and police. What emerges clearly is that
the area of greatest interest for this country's missions is Iraq, with the
allocation of €21m through a special reserve fund, directed at both the
humanitarian work and the reconstruction of that Middle-Eastern country, under
the direction of the Italian diplomatic representatives in Baghdad.

Under the decree, extensions are ordered for the missions in Iraq, Afghanistan,
Bosnia, Kosovo and Albania, Hebron, Ethiopia and Eritrea. It should be
remembered that in 2002, defence accounted for €13,665m of public spending, an
increase of 8.2% on the previous year. Now, however, defence spending (which
includes what is now Italy's fourth armed force, the Carabinieri) has reached
€19,025m. Most of the increase is due to expenses for personnel (up by €682m,
or 11.6% more than in 2001) and to investment costs, mostly on arms systems
(increased by €241m, or 7.7% more than the previous year). The investment costs
include the Joint Strike Fighter, 150 of which will be bought by Italy at a
cost of between 20 and 30 million euro, and the new "Andrea Doria" unit which
will cost around €2bn, despite being considered unnecessary the Defence
Minister, Martino. To this will be added another Bill providing incentives for
army enrolment, given that obligatory military service will end in December
2004.

We are in a war economy. This is a de-industrialized country with one of the
most flexible and insecure workforces, where there is no investment in research
or education, where public-sector employment is stagnant. The country's slim
resources are ploughed into national security (by a government which says it
"intends to promote the defence of the nation"), and the very concept of
security is extended to include the safeguarding and "protection of national
interests", as mentioned in the preparatory documents of this summer's Budget.
Evidently, the Government intends, within 2006, to bring defence to 1.5% of
GDP, in other words €6bn. Not bad for a country which no longer invests in
anything.

Dada Knorr

Data from www.sbilanciamoci.org ; decreto legge 10/07/2003;

-------------------

Alternativa Libertaria - November 2004
online news-sheet of the FdCA

Download it in PDF format from:
htp://www.fdca.it/fdcaen


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