National reconstruction on the post-war model

twelve o’clock, February 8, 2021 – 09:49 am

The phase that is opening is an opportunity for political forces to find the way to rebuild a culture of the common good, thanks to Draghi interaction.

of Claudio De Vincenti

During the consultations of the prime minister in charge, the adhesion of a wide range of political forces to the appeal addressed to them last Tuesday by the President of the Republic to give confidence to a high-profile government, which should not identify with any political formula, seems to take shape . An appeal that gave voice to the concerns of many Italians in the face of the gravity of the moment that the country is going through, close – as the President pointed out – between health emergency, social and economic emergency, financial emergency.

A large parliamentary majority could thus be envisaged in which parties of very different and in some cases opposing orientations converge. Within each of them a difficult phase of decantation has opened, with respect to a priori positions far from the problems that weigh on the present and future of Italy and the Italians and which, for this very reason, have so far made the comparison sterile politic. The point of reference for this internal maturation of the political forces lies in the priorities indicated by President Mattarella. Priorities that correspond to a vital interest of the national community, which as such is above the legitimate priorities of individual social or political parties.

Facing the spread of Covid-19 and ensuring the fastest and most generalized mass vaccination campaign is an indispensable condition for limiting the terrible costs of the pandemic in terms of human lives lost and allowing the country to restart from a situation in which social cohesion does not result broken and the production base cut down. And in turn, the country’s vital interest is the definition of a Recovery Plan that is effective in supporting the recovery of the economy and is therefore credible in the eyes of the European Commission: it is necessary to undo the knots that block development in order to reconstruct the structural conditions, starting the strengthening of the productive base and the share capital of the South.

The opportunity provided by European support cannot therefore be lost. It is a question of resuming the elaboration of the Plan, purifying it of particularities and concentrating resources on public and private investments that have the maximum positive impact on the prospective capacity for growth: infrastructures, digitization and innovation, environmental quality, education and training. These priorities concern the whole country but especially the South, and require a unitary and national vision of the Recovery Plan, without fragmentation that would empty it. For this reason, it is essential that the Plan include the definition of a strong operational governance structure and the definition of those reforms of rules and procedures that ensure its effective implementation.

Finally, recovering full control over the evolution of public finance is essential to secure our debt. It is not a question of doing austerity but of guaranteeing rigorous management of the budget, remembering that it is fed by the resources that come from the Italian citizens of today and tomorrow. To take up the expression used a few months ago by President Draghi himself, the debt that makes sense to do the good one, that finances expenses that prepare the conditions for development, while one must beware of bad debt, that which wastes resources in particular. In the face of the emergency we are experiencing, it is clear that targeted and effective interventions are needed to avoid the collapse of productive activities and limit social suffering, but we must avoid accompanying them with measures that are extraneous to both the urgency of the moment and the relaunch of investments.

The task of the government, which I hope the president in charge will be able to constitute, therefore, that of a real national reconstruction, a task that in itself requires maximum sharing between the political forces and in the country. There are important precedents in the history of Italy, first of all the constituent phase of the Second World War which laid the foundations for the economic miracle and, as its essential component, for the development of the South.

The main difference compared to then – in addition to not having fortunately today to deal with the rubble of a war – lies in the fact that the political forces of the time were carriers of cultures that allowed them to carry out the general function of direction and impulse, while enhancing the contribution of the technical skills available to the country. Today the situation appears reversed. My hope that the phase that is opening is the opportunity for political forces to find the way to rebuild a culture of the common good, thanks to the interaction with a personality like that of Mario Draghi.

February 8, 2021 | 09:49

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