Draghi's programme: dawn of a new era?
Italy's new prime minister Mario Draghi presented his government programme on Wednesday. Draghi announced that he would fight the crisis "with all the means at his disposal". In his first major speech to Parliament, he also focused on long-term reform plans for the economy and administration. Most commentators respond positively to the new PM's address.
Populism has had its day
We are witnessing a farewell to an ill-starred era, comments a jubilant Luciano Fontana, editor-in-chief of Corriere della Sera:
“Only three years have passed since the 2018 election, but the policies and slogans of that time seem to belong to a distant past. Those were the days of anti-euro protests, of flirting with the idea of Italy leaving the EU, of little wars with France and Germany, of dreams of happy degrowth and denial of global warming. Of simple and illusory answers to complex problems that could not be solved with Italian-style sovereignist formulas. ... The words pronounced by Prime Minister Mario Draghi in the Senate certify the farewell to an era that the pandemic, with its dramatic emergency, has already shown to be inadequate.”
Finally a vision worthy of the name
For Avvenire it's entirely fitting that the leader of a government born out of necessity talked above all about the future:
“What Mario Draghi did not talk about yesterday was billions of euros. Because today's debts are not monetary in nature, but will be passed on to the next generations. ... They constitute a loan that is social, ecological and human as well. It may seem paradoxical that a caretaker government should address the future rather than the urgent issues at hand. But if you read between the lines, the real urgency is to combine immediate action with long-term reforms and formulate plans now for the decades to come.”
The rehabilitation of pluralism
The former ECB chief could help democracy as well as the economy out of its present crisis, L'Opinion believes:
“What's new in all of this isn't the populists' inability to govern the country. ... It's rather the widespread acceptance of the idea that a brilliant representative of globalised power can govern together with them. ... Draghi is more political than one might think, and with the help of the 200 billion euros from the EU he could map out a solution to the country's democratic crisis by rehabilitating pluralism. Against technocracy, to which all too often there is no alternative. And against the populist parties, which are all too quick to describe their opponents as enemies of the people, resulting in dangerous polarisation. All of Europe has an interest in Draghi's successful transformation from traitor to saviour.”
Small minded and lacking ambition
For The Guardian, however, the fact that such high hopes are being set on Draghi is by no means a positive sign:
“For an economic and social laggard such as Italy, joining the European mainstream pack might seem better than nothing. This lowering of political ambition, too, is explicit in Italy but implicit across the continent. Indeed, the poverty and narrow scope of Italian politics brings home to us the decay of all national politics in Europe. On their own, none of Europe's diminished nation states have the ability to implement transformative policies: to rein in multinationals, decarbonise the economy, or tap the exorbitant wealth of the few, made even more scandalous by a pandemic billionaire boom.”