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Evidence can wait. Can’t it?


I woke up this morning thinking about the political situation in Italy. Yesterday, President Napolitano, began meetings with the various parties represented in the parliament to understand if and to whom give the task of trying to establish a government which will also need to be voted by the majority of parliamentarians in the two chambers of the Italian parliament. It will be difficult. The current election law does allow for a ‘nobody-had-won’ result. Moreover in Italy, it seem unlikely that political parties that are constantly battling again each other will be able to build something like the Große Koalition established in Germany between CDU and SPD some years ago. In the meantime Italy needs structural reforms very urgently. Structural reforms that are possible only with a government that will last a whole legislature and with the necessary majority to pass laws and legislation aimed at bringing Italy back on the track of economic growth. Yesterday, while listening a radio podcast I heard that the unemployment of the young people between 15-24 years of age in Italy is 34%, compared to 7% in Germany. So many young people who are unemployed means that they will not earn money, they will not consume they will not invest, they will delay having a family this contributing to the ageing of Italian population and reducing even further the working active population that can pay for the costs of providing a good standard of life and services to elderly people. Moreover they may also easily find employment with organized crime organizations. I think that data such as the one about youth unemployment is the sort of evidence that should put aside political differences and personality contests in Italy, but it does not. Political leaders talk of a short legislature where policy reform aimed at reducing the number of parliamentarians and the amount of the reimbursement that the state pays to political parties could be achieved. The newly elected head of senate and congress have just announced that they have reduced by 30% their salaries. Positive signs. Important symbolic gestures, but they also risk hiding the serious social and economic problems that Italy is facing and has been facing for years. The evidence is there. The (mostly negative) data flow from all directions: OECD, IMF, Italian Central Bank, think tanks, EU, etc. etc. It is time for politics to face reality and time is running out.

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