The conflict between the concept of ECB’s political independence with regard to the EU member states and the influence they exerted on the Italian political scene in 2011, culminating with prime minister Berlusconi’s resignation, interpreted throughout classics on statecraft by Plato, Machiavelli and Hobbes
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MBA in Business Management
Dublin Business School
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This research focuses on the conflict between the platonic concept or pure ideal of central banks‟ independence from Governments and its practical application in real life. Plato taught us that a pure ideal is perfect because it is abstract, divorced from the external world. A pure ideal cannot be perfectly applied to a complex political scene determinate by social actors. Unlike a pure abstract and perfect ideal, reality is in fact characterized by heterogeneity and influenced by numerous uncontrollable factors. The specific events this paper examines concern the influence the ECB exerted on the Italian Political Scenario between August and November 2011 on two specific occasions, events which culminated in the forced resignation of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. The conflict our research attempts to elucidate pertains to the inconsistency between the ECB's concept of political independence (here intended as the influence used on the EU Member states) with the influence the ECB exerted on the Italian Political scene in 2011. In other words: Is the ECB really politically independent from and to the EU Member States? Can its intervention in the Italian Political scene in 2011 be justified in terms of financial stability? Can we say with Machiavelli, that the ends justify the means and that the final result is taken to be more important than any abstract ideal? Italian professionals living abroad will be interviewed, their responses compared and contrasted. The theories of Hobbes Machiavelli and Plato, ranked as a classic western work on statecraft, will be used to shape the responses obtained which will be reported and exposed in a narrative structure. Author keywords: ECB, Plato's doctrine of ideas, Machiavelli's The prince, Hobbes' Leviathan, , Italian debt crisis, ECB letter to Berlusconi, ECB's outreach monetary transactions (OMT)