Italy's is on a collision course with the EU in two different ways. The first regards Italy's budget.
Outgoing European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warns Italy faces an "Excessive Deficit Procedure" and may be fined billions of euros. No country has ever been fined. This is the first time a country has faced such a ruling.
France regularly breaks the deficit rules but "France is France" as Juncker once stated.
What has the EU hopping mad is Italy's massive debt-to-GDP ratio, which it wants Italy to shrink. But Italy is already in recession, shrinking the debt would be political suicide.
Italy's Government Will Collapse
At some point, Italy's government will collapse.
Its technocrat Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, wants to honor the rules, but he is not really running the government.
Conte was anointed PM as a compromise choice in the coalition government of Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini (League) and Deputy Prime Minister Luigi di Maio (5 Star Movement).
Salvini did very well in the European parliament elections and many speculate he will trigger elections soon to get rid of di Maio and Cointe.
For now, we have the strange case of deputies Salvini and di Maio at odds with Conte and the Economy Minister, Giovanni Tria.
Conte threatened last week to resign last week and he could do so at any time. "I want a clear, unequivocal and speedy response," Conte said, calling for "loyal collaboration" from all ministers.
This government won't last long.
MiniBot Parallel Currency
The Italian government insists that it can meet its 2.04% deficit target, but...