Times seem hard in Italy.
Recent statistics show that those unable to purchase basic essentials, reached 4.7 million last year, or 7.9% of the Italian population and up from almost 1.7 million in 2006.
Two banks have been bailed out but by the Italian taxpayer rather than by the European Central bank, which has proved once again that the ECB has no intention of being a lender of last resort. And means that Italy’s government is operating without a sovereign currency. The reason for the Italian government taking the pain seems to be that the bank bondholders comprised mostly small individual savers who were perhaps too numerous to lose all their savings.
With all this troubling news it is less of a surprise to read that Italians have been creating their own money. Yes, they have been creating ‘scriptural’ Euros in such quantities that the Banca d’Italia has had to ask them to desist!
The Bank says that writing Scriptural Euros or “scriptwriting, is an activity allowed by law only to authorised persons, such as banks, electronic money institutions and other payment institutions. “
It seems that the Euro writers rely on the fact that there is a copyright symbol “©” on every Euro note which is a private, not a government symbol in Italian law. (They also appear on UK notes in case anyone was wondering. But that too is odd – people are unable to copy notes because they are copyright seems an odd control for counterfeiting money – but perhaps they think people would like to steal the pictures?)
So in effect scriptural Euro issuers were trying to include citizens as ‘authorised persons’.
Allegedly only one payment has been made: 25 Euros to Facebook for advertising – I’m unclear how it was accepted, but it was on the basis of ‘just this one occasion’….
Curiouser and curiouser.
And ironically, if the Banca d’Italia really had the right to create money it wouldn’t have to rely on Italy’s taxpayers.
Let’s hope that at least the admonishment to the citizenry helps more people to realise where money really comes from.