Italy, a nation that exhibits the great Roman beauty of Villa Pamphili, created by the sculptor and architect Algardi, is at the same time suffering from a terrible ugliness. It is a country sick, most importantly, with the disease of inequality: between north and south, between men and women, between the young and the old, and, of course, between the rich and the poor.
As Pierluigi Ciocca wrote in this newspaper, 4.4 million companies have a total net worth of about €10 trillion: four times as high as Italy’s public debt. However, Confindustria stands out among the forces that are most openly fighting against the government, asking for more public money instead of investing its immense wealth to create new work.
On the day when the entrepreneurs and trade unions begin discussions at the Villa Pamphili, the government will have to clarify how the promise of social inclusion can stand together with the Confindustria being “made whole.”
Now, less than a year from when they took up the reins of government, the “four lefts”—as Berlusconi calls the forces of the majority—will have to find within themselves the loyalty and strength of a team: even more, one that has to play on a minefield because of the worst crisis of modern times.
Until now, the government has not shown such strength and loyalty, because the parties that make it up, divided amongst themselves on various points—some respectable, some less so—have given rise to much justified skepticism about whether they are up to such a heavy task.
However, it is not difficult to predict that the marathon talks at the Villa Pamphili will probably be neither an act of pointless posturing nor something that leads to a full-fledged “five-year plan”—but will rather be limited to an attempt to line up priorities and a general direction to pursue in order to ward off the abyss we are facing.
In this regard, the three topics indicated Monday by Prime Minister Conte (digitization, the environment and social inclusion) point to the main structural reforms within which the concrete projects must be developed, a necessary condition to get Europe—which sent its highest dignitaries on Monday—to fund them.
In this unprecedented “post-war” 2020, the general public consultation on the economy organized by the government, after being ridiculed, mocked and finally outright opposed, is offering the ambitious goal of rebirth, but must above all guard against the risk of failure, which would be tragic—not so much for the fate of those in government, but for that of the country.
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