The spread won’t stop. On Monday, the Italy to Germany 10-year basis spread reached 200 points, something that had not happened since 2014. Experts blame the concentric Trump-Le Pen attack on Europe. But Angela Merkel has already prepared the prescription. She won’t discuss it with anyone, but everyone likes it.
It seems incredible, but Italian politics, always so anxious to comment on every trifle, remains voiceless before the jarring prospect of a two-speed Europe. Only Romano Prodi’s thunderous voice can be heard, one of the true founding fathers of the “real Europe” — that is, the E.U. reduced to the minimal expression of the single currency — and he does not hide his enthusiasm. This is, finally, “the first answer to Trump and Marine Le Pen,” he said. Here is “a Germany that seems willing to take that leadership role that it had always avoided.”
The professor admits in passing that the project is not exactly what he promoted. “Of course, I wanted a Europe that was able to develop quickly in a linear fashion, a kind of free downhill skiing, and now we have to move forward with a complicated slalom.” It is an admission of failure, but it takes a magnifying glass to see it. And there are hints of some risk: “The two-speed Europe is not and should not become a Europe of a first and second class. Especially not a Europe where the passengers in first class decide who should be in second.”