Reconstruction: a historic opportunity for Italy?
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has presented his reconstruction plan for Italy. The money provided by the EU's recovery fund is to be used to revive the economy, modernise the country and eliminate structural problems. An initiative launched by the prime minister called "Stati generali dell'economia" is to gather ideas from social and economic interest groups. Commentators take a sceptical view of the plans.
Now the government must deliver
Ferdinando Giuliano, columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, voices scepticism in La Repubblica:
“Over the past ten years Italian politics has been hiding behind a big alibi: the idea that Europe has not done enough to help Italy. Now that this excuse has suddenly disappeared, it is up to the government to show that it has a development strategy that goes beyond continuously demanding subsidies. ... But unfortunately the first steps do not bode well. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has set up a nebulous economic committee, but this just appears to be another attempt to give a colourless and chameleon-like government a new coat of paint.”
Steer clear of state capitalism
We must not learn the wrong lessons from the pandemic, columnist Angelo Panebianco warns in Corriere della Sera:
“The right lesson would be: We do not want to look like China. Not only - obviously - do we not want to import authoritarianism. We also don't want to imitate its state capitalism. ... Unfortunately, however, state capitalism seems to have many admirers in this country once again. For the enduring enemies of the free market economy the pandemic offers an excellent opportunity to re-emerge from the shadows. ... As the smart ones in their midst know: the more the state's presence in the economy grows, the more authoritarianism grows in all other areas of social life.”