- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 17, 2013

This is what it’s come to. President Obama received congratulations for averting debt default Thursday from the prime minister of debt-ridden Italy.

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta met with Mr. Obama in the Oval Office and was effusive in his praise that Washington had ended its fiscal crisis on Wednesday night. He congratulated Mr. Obama on “yesterday’s success.”

“Because yesterday’s decision was very important was very important for the stability of the markets and the world, in Europe … We need stability because we have such a big debt, so we need to have low interest rates,” Mr. Letta said, “austerity without growth is a big problem for us.”

Italy’s debt and austerity problems are so serious that it has been deemed by some as “ungovernable,” and a comedian received high vote totals earlier this year running in national elections on an anti-austerity platform. The country’s unemployment rate has been in double digits, and its debt load exceeds the limit set by the European Union.