“What if I were in Draghi’s place?” We must increase productivity as we have not done in recent years and accelerate on vaccines ». Romano Prodi interviewed by Milena Gabanelli and Danilo Taino during the live broadcast of Dataroom he declares that he has faith in the work of the former ECB president and hopes that he will be able to bring Italy out of the crisis. The episode focused on the differences between the Marshall Plan and the Recovery Plan is also an opportunity to talk about topical issues. Here is an excerpt from the interview.
The Marshall Plan is often inappropriately compared to the Recovery Plan. However, there are some points of contact, don’t you think?
“I find enough, they are both linked to a political framework adjustment. Obviously decades have passed and today everything is different, but even this Recovery Plan, like the Marshall Plan, has changed the face of Europe ».
So you don’t need a gun to your head. It is possible to make reforms even when there is so much money at stake, with low interest rates and with the ECB buying government bonds while keeping the spread under control.
“Reforms does not mean changing all criminal or civil justice, for example, reforms simply means accelerating and removing some impediments. Brussels asks us to make those reforms that make it possible to use the money from the Recovery ”.
Draghi can count on both a huge fiscal stimulus and a big monetary stimulus. Will it be able to carry out the reforms under these conditions?
“Knowing the Brussels bureaucracy, I know that without reforms the money will be blocked. To be clear, the first installment of Recovery arrives, but if it is not used in the right way, the second one no longer arrives. Draghi is in a position to make an investment plan and must use the threat of the second installment that does not arrive to keep the appetites of the parties at bay ».
If Mattarella had called you instead of Draghi on what points would he have been adamant?
«Investments and vaccinations. The pace of the latter is vital. I do not understand why there has not been a great action by the UN to make vaccines manufacturable by all those who know how to make them. Other than the Marshall Plan from a cost-benefit point of view. Without 10 billion vaccines, the pandemic in the world does not stop ».
How do you revive an economy that has delegated China to become the factory of the world?
«China took it, the delegation. The Chinese today are capable of turning out 8 million engineers a year. Attention, China has shown an impressive ability to operate. At the same time, I am convinced that we have had strong weaknesses. The problem is that with China we have to put the rules like on patents and to enforce them the United States and Europe must move together, united, unlike what happened with Trump. Only in this way can we enforce China’s rules on state aid, patents, intellectual property, etc. ”.
Returning to Italy and mass vaccination, in your opinion is the choice of creating primroses right? Wouldn’t it have been better to use public buildings or Civil Defense tents? Is it a useless expense?
“I wouldn’t have done it. Point”.
Everyone says that Draghi’s is the last chance for Italy. If we’re wrong this is over. Agree?
“Yes I agree. It is the last chance. If Draghi fails, the spread goes up again. We don’t die, but we take a blow from holy oil, as they used to say ».
Do you think Draghi will be able to hold all these parties together?
“I hope he succeeds. Because it is really necessary for him to succeed and it would be very serious if he did not succeed. Of course I don’t know if he will make it. Who expected Salvini to become a pro-European after asking for a long time to leave the euro? In the world, they really happen to all of them ».
Do you trust this sudden turnaround by Salvini?
“Yes, it’s a turnaround, but also an observation of how things are going. After the 2019 European elections I became convinced that anti-European populism was beginning to decline. Because when it comes to yes or no, people choose Europe. Then when the Recovery Fund arrived, I said to myself: “Here is the proof of the 9”. Salvini also understood. He has an electorate from the North who knows very well that we must export to Europe and that we have too strong a bond with the other countries of the continent. Politics plays on their own for a while, but then they understand where the sheep go … and the shepherd goes where the sheep love to eat ».
February 9, 2021 (change February 9, 2021 | 16:01)
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