An Introduction to the Law of Economic and Monetary Union
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An Introduction to the Law of Economic and Monetary Union

Alberto Saravalle

This incisive book is an accessible guide to the laws and policies relating to economic and monetary union (EMU). Providing a rich, multidisciplinary analysis, it combines historical, legal and economic perspectives to offer a detailed understanding of how EMU has developed since its inception and how it works in practice today. This book will be a valuable reference for those teaching and studying advanced courses on EU law, as well as courses that cover the economic history of EU integration.
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Chapter 7: The Italian predicament

Alberto Saravalle


Chapter 7 shifts the focus to Italy, often referred to as “the sick man in Europe” because of its huge debt (and because it has repeatedly faced or been threatened with an excessive deficit procedure). Indeed, Italy was the first country to be threatened also with a debt-based excessive deficit procedure. The Italian predicament has been scarcely examined in previous literature because the country has never gone so far as to request financial assistance; however, as this chapter reveals, it raises important issues that are certain to be of interest to a broader readership.

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