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Berlusconi: markets, not governments, have power

Berlusconi: markets, not governments, have power

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Thursday that governments are powerless to oppose the will of financial markets, and he cited an unlikely source to support that view: Benito Mussolini, Italy's former fascist dictator.
Asked during a news conference Thursday in Paris how it felt to be in power at a time when it seems the markets are calling the shots, forcing governments to slash spending or raise taxes to bring down debts and deficits, Berlusconi said: "Let me quote Benito Mussolini, whose journals I have recently been reading."
"He said, 'All I can do is tell my horse to go left or go right. That's my power,'" Berlusconi said to laughter among the other heads of state gathered in Paris to welcome several new members into the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Berlusconi, who entered politics as a wealthy businessman, said that since becoming prime minister, "I've never felt like I had power. When I was a businessman with thousands of employees, then I felt like I had power."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose country just entered the OECD, agreed.
"Governments are basically powerless in the face of markets. The force of the tide is stronger than any individual government," he said. All government can do, Netanyahu said, is try to adopt policies that allow them to compete in world markets.


Updated : 2021-08-01 02:11 GMT+08:00