Italy and the Euro: Expectations versus results

Giurlando Philip*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Philip Giurlando, assistant professor of international relations at Trent University, reconstructs some of the elite-created narratives of the euro in Italy in the late 1990s. The essay shows that the narratives came in two forms, economic and cultural. The former was based on the idea that the euro would be a panacea for Italy's economic problems, while cultural narratives presumed that the euro would cure Italians' propensity to behave irresponsibly. When it became official that Italy would be admitted into the EMU, Minister of the Treasury, Budget, and Economic Programming Carlo Azeglio Ciampi suggested on an RAI program that the European Central Bank (ECB) would promote growth and development, even though the ECB, being modeled on the Bundesbank, had a mandate to focus only on price stability. One reason is that the European Commission produced reports that wildly exaggerated the effects of the euro, and it appears that many Italian elites, like elites in other countries that adopted the currency, uncritically accepted the predictions of the commission. Another reason, however, is the intellectual climate in Italy in which the currency was debated; many in Italy perceived that there was no real debate about the merits of entering the EMU. A survey revealed that non-elites perceived a direct link between the country's problems and the euro as the solution, while a majority of elites perceived a direct link between the two.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-48
Number of pages20
JournalMediterranean Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes


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