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2013年5月 5日 (日)

イタリア新政権 危機克服へなお険しい道のり

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 5, 2013
Even with Italy's new government, eurozone crisis remains daunting
イタリア新政権 危機克服へなお険しい道のり(5月4日付・読売社説)

With the launch of a new administration, the political vacuum that has existed in Italy since the general election in February finally came to an end. One major step toward ending the political turmoil has been taken, but the prospects for the future still warrant no optimism.
 イタリアで新政権が発足し、2月の総選挙以降続いていた政治空白に、ようやく終止符が打たれた。混乱収拾へ一歩前進だが、前途はいまだ楽観を許さない。

New Prime Minister Enrico Letta is deputy leader of the Democratic Party, which belongs to the center-left, the largest force in parliament, and will lead a grand coalition government.
 新首相として大連立政権を率いるのは、議会最大勢力・中道左派に属する民主党のエンリコ・レッタ副党首(46)だ。

Letta, 46, a former Italian European affairs minister, is well versed in European policies. Expectations are high that he will promote rehabilitation of the country's economy by closely cooperating with the European Union.
 レッタ首相は、元欧州担当相で欧州政策に通じており、欧州連合(EU)と緊密に連携して経済再建を進めることが期待される。

The birth of the Letta administration was the result of compromise after difficult negotiations.
 レッタ政権の誕生は綱渡りの末の妥協の産物だった。

The new administration consists of the center-left, the center-right led by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, which opposes fiscal austerity, and a political force headed by former Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, which supports austerity.
 新政権は、中道左派と、緊縮財政に反対するベルルスコーニ元首相率いる中道右派、緊縮路線のモンティ前首相の陣営からなる。

Coalition a motley crew

There are large gaps between the groups' positions. The new coalition government was formed simply to achieve the necessary numbers and is a motley collection of parties with different opinions.
各派の立場の隔たりは大きく、数合わせで連立した寄り合い所帯の色彩が濃い。

Although the center-left pledged to take over the former Monti administration's austerity policy, Letta said in his policy speech in parliament that Italy "will die of fiscal consolidation alone." This appears to indicate that his administration will place importance on pursuing economic growth and increasing employment.
 中道左派はモンティ前政権の緊縮路線の継承を公約していたはずが、レッタ首相は、議会での所信表明演説で、「財政再建だけではイタリアが死んでしまう」と述べた。経済成長や雇用増大に軸足を置く方針を示したと言える。

It is cause for concern that Letta promptly announced the government will freeze the property tax, which was introduced under the previous administration. His administration also postponed an increase in the value-added tax rate, which was originally scheduled for July.
 懸念すべきは、首相が、前政権下で導入された財産税の凍結を早々と表明したことだ。7月に予定されていた付加価値税の引き上げも先送りした。

These policy shifts are a compromise with Berlusconi and run counter to the fiscal reconstruction drive.
 いずれもベルルスコーニ氏の要求に歩み寄ったもので、財政再建には逆行する。

European and other financial markets are stable likely because market players think well of the launch of Italy's new administration, at least for the time being.
 欧州などの金融市場が落ち着いているのは、新政権発足をひとまず好感しているためだろう。

However, if the new administration recklessly implements handout policies that pander to the public under the banner of "placing importance on growth," prospects for the country's fiscal reconstruction will become uncertain. Such policies will incur mistrust in markets.
 だが、「成長重視」の名の下に大衆迎合的なばらまき政策を乱発すれば、財政再建の先行きは不透明になり、市場の不信を買う。

It is only natural that German Chancellor Angela Merkel reminded Letta when they met to promote fiscal reconstruction. Letta needs to swiftly work on tough reform that balances fiscal reconstruction and economic growth.
 首相と会談したメルケル独首相が、財政再建を進めるようクギを刺したのは、もっともだ。レッタ氏は、財政再建と経済成長のバランスを取る難しい改革に、迅速に取り組むことが求められる。

The fiscal and financial crisis in Europe is currently in a lull, but the cause of the turmoil still remains.
 欧州の財政・金融危機は小康状態にあるが、火種はくすぶる。

European unity threatened

The EU has just decided to offer support to Cyprus, which is mired in a financial crisis triggered by the deterioration of its banking industry. It is also a matter of concern that a major U.S. ratings company lowered to junk the credit rating of government bonds of Slovenia, which has a shaky banking sector.
 銀行経営の悪化から金融危機に陥ったキプロスに、EUは支援を決めたばかりだ。銀行不安を抱えるスロベニアの国債格付けを米大手格付け会社が投資不適格級に引き下げたのも、不安材料だ。

Europe's unity could be disturbed if confrontation intensifies between Germany, which is calling on other European countries to maintain fiscal discipline, and southern European countries that want austerity measures to be eased.
 欧州各国に財政規律を求めるドイツと、緊縮策緩和を主張する南欧諸国の対立が強まれば、欧州の結束が乱れかねない。

The European Central Bank cut its key interest rate Thursday to prop up the European economy. Countries around the world need to maintain their watch on the European economy.
 景気を下支えするため、欧州中央銀行(ECB)は追加利下げした。世界各国は今後も、欧州経済の行方を警戒する必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 4, 2013)
(2013年5月4日02時05分  読売新聞)

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