“In this delicate moment for the life of Italy, one of the greatest risks is that the real problems are not addressed and that the constant postponement of crucial issues increases the considerable difficulties that the country experiences every day. I am very worried, and I say this with a super partes spirit, also because of the progressive political fragmentation which unfortunately appears unstoppable. We need a wide-ranging vision and concrete planning that lays the foundations for the restart of Italy. And it is not a question of an individual: the issue does not concern only the Prime Minister Conte but a cooperation between the political and social forces. The delays and contradictions on the level of Recovery fund there are and need urgent responses ”.
The vice-president of the Italian Episcopal Conference, bishop of Acireale and member of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Monsignor Antonino Raspanti, addresses the most delicate issues of the current Italian situation. “I see that many politicians seem to be playing tug of war, not understanding that in this historical phase all selfishness is not only wrong but completely out of place.”
What impression did the images of the divisions in Parliament make on you?
“I do not allow myself to enter into the merits of the choices of the parties and the government, it is not my task. Parliament is the place for the expression of the most diverse positions. But I think that politics also has the task of synthesis, it must give concrete answers to citizens. I see too many divisions, continuous fragmentation. In this scenario, the indispensable role of the President of the Republic emerges once again, working with clarity and tenacity to keep Italy together. It perfectly fulfills its super partes role ».
With regard to the measures to combat Covid, many complain of the overlapping of interventions between the national government, regions and municipalities.
«I will not go into the technical level of the question, it is a space that must be left to scientists and politicians. What I can say, however, is that often different messages have reached public opinion, conflicting, not free from contradictions. Citizens have not yet understood why thousands of people can work in some companies and other – smaller – businesses have been totally closed for some time. Furthermore, we have seen conflicts between the national government and the Regions, between Regions and Municipalities. And they certainly did not help the conflicts between scientists. We need more humility on their part too. And greater attention by governments to all workers, especially those with less guarantees. The fight against the Coronavirus is done with rigor and balance and at the same time with real attention also to the social and economic problems that are worsening “.
As vice president of the CEI you also have the delegation to the South: you know the many South of the country. How are things?
«The South, albeit patchy, was badly hit by the economic crisis even before the tragedy of the pandemic. Now, with the necessary exceptions, the situation has worsened. The necessary fight against the Coronavirus with the various and prolonged restrictive measures has had an even more acute impact. More generally, the aid policies towards the many affected productive categories were acceptable, but as is well known, these aids were not always timely, indeed at times they arrived very late and were not enough to cover the huge losses. The slowness and cumbersome complexity of Italian bureaucracies also weighed on the delays. I do not doubt that many have engaged in their work but several things have not worked. A reform of the bureaucracy is needed. Just how demographic decline must be addressed is a big issue. As the Consulta dei Gentili with Giuliano Amato we have coordinated studies on the subject. Politics looks too short on time and risks losing the dimension of the construction of the future ”.
What do you think of the interventions on the economy?
«We need effective development policies. Many months have passed since the first lockdown and with regret I note that the delays in the country’s recovery plan are obvious. I have seen that improvement interventions have been made on the Recovery plan, yet Italy appears to be significantly behind other EU states. An organic rational approach is needed to relaunch tangible and intangible infrastructures. We need to invest more in culture, tourism, education and health. And the youth question must be addressed in a farsighted and concrete way as indicated by Pope Francis “.
Several observers sound the alarm on the possibility that the mafia is taking advantage of the crisis. What is your opinion?
“It is a real and very delicate problem. I think that effective measures are needed on the part of the national government: valued magistrates and police forces cannot be left alone to tackle the problem. We must avoid that entrepreneurs end up in the hands of usurers. The fight against the mafias must be done on several fronts. The economic crisis is very worrying and any delay aggravates the situation ».