Friday, November 25, 2005

Supranationalist 8: Italy and its decline

Few months before Italian elections, and few days after the beginning of the political campaign, the Economist publishes a survey on Italy entitled 'Addio, Dolce Vita.'

The British magazine is pitiless with Italy and its leaders. Berlusconi is, rightly, described as a man tarnished by financial scandals and mismanagement of Italy. Prodi does not get much better marks, although he is slightly less troublesome than Berlusconi. But both are described as incapable of pulling Italy out of its crisis. Both are considered to be too old (nearly 70), and too dependent on other parties in their coalition that limit the changes of succesfull reforms.

What to do with such a hars judgement? I, for one, agree that Italy is not doing very well and that, at present, there are no real and credible leaders to make us hope. However, as many times before, I stress the importance of a more general, European, crisis that has to be deal with both at national levels and at the European level.

The economist, in its blind anti-european stance, only sees nations and its individual problems, and believes that the mere strengthening of market economy would do us good. The reality is different, Europe as a whole is in a profound need of social as well as economical reforms. Possibly, it needs a cultural revolution, that could bring people closer to a supranational ideal and away from a narowly national one.

This would involve the readiness on the part of people to move around Europe seeking the best compromise between job opportunities and welfare protection. In this case, the market could really make a difference by allocating prizes to those Europeans willing to sacrifice part of their shaky national status for the sake of an improved European polity.

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