SENT TO RIMINI. We have been selfish and forgotten by the young. At some point the subsidies will run out and they will pay the price of the new debt. Don’t add uncertainty to uncertainty and make credible choices. Were it not for the references to multilateralism, China, pandemic uncertainty, Mario Draghi’s first speech in Italy after his exit from the European Central Bank could be summarized as a critical message to the Conte government.
Palazzo dei Congressi in Rimini, this morning. The last time – indeed, the only one – in which Draghi took the stage of the Communion and Liberation Meeting was in 2009. The then governor of the Bank of Italy began his long run to lead Europe. Then as today he was chased by the voices of those who saw him at Palazzo Chigi, who at the Quirinale. Eleven years have passed, and then as today the economist embodies the saving myth of an ever immature nation. After all, he always says the same things, even if today, as an ex, he can afford to do it with more freedom. He quotes Keynes, De Gasperi, invites politics to believe in Europe, to distinguish good debt from bad debt. “After the catastrophe of the pandemic, we must face the difficult and pitfalls phase of reconstruction, which must be based on flexibility and pragmatism. Young people must be placed at the center of every reflection ”.
The subsidies are used – admits Draghi – but “to survive, to start over”, they cannot be the center of political choices. Because at a certain point they will “run out” and the youngest will pay the price, “their freedom of choice, their future income”. It is “essential” to invest in them and their education, a theme on which “the long-term vision must be combined with immediate action”. Who knows if among these Dragons you can imagine the new desks for schools.
The suit is the gray of the order, the red tie with white dots, the voice slower than usual, the strongest concepts: “Collective selfishness has led governments to distract human capabilities and other resources in favor of immediate political return: it is no longer acceptable. Depriving a young person of the future is one of the most serious forms of inequality ”. The consequences of the pandemic are more serious than they tell you, says the former head of the ECB, and the emergency has allowed governments “more discretion” than usual. And then “greater than usual must be the transparency of their actions, the explanation of their consistency with the mandate they received and with the principles that inspired it”.
Before the pandemic Europe was re-emerging from the abyss of “the greatest economic destruction ever seen in a period of peace”, now we are in an even deeper hole that “threatens not only the economy, but also the fabric of our society, it spreads uncertainty, penalizes employment, paralyzes consumption and investments ”. Draghi reiterates what he had written in the Financial Times in the months of the lockdown: reconstruction “will inevitably be accompanied by new debt”. But this debt will be sustainable if used “for productive purposes”, and then it will be “good debt”. Otherwise it will be “bad”. Draghi is convinced that above all the latter has accumulated so far.