ROME. “The relationships have been and are good, I think I can say that there is mutual respect. Then Confindustria has the possibility and the duty to make constructive criticisms and to make proposals that we have always made. “The president of Confindustria, Carlo Bonomi, interviewed by Tg5, begins like this. For days his reprimands against the government have followed one another without interruption. The accusation: doing too little for the economy brought to its knees by a three-month stop, doing too little for the engine of the economy, or businesses.
And to say that the resources would be there, continues Bonomi. “We have a historic opportunity, with all the interventions that Europe is making available to our country including the recovery fund, if it is to the expected extent, we are talking about something like 25% of the Italian GDP, 450 billion. We can truly revive the country in a dramatic moment, we can reform and change the country. We have to do it all together, each taking responsibility for the case. Obviously it’s up to politics to decide: but we have to change the infrastructure of the state because it doesn’t work, it can’t go on “. And the typical thrust of companies against the public: “Any financial availability we have, if the state’s ability to unload the interventions does not change, we will not go anywhere”.
The tones were lit throughout the day. Despite the peace offerings that came from Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to the industrialists, Confindustria has not lowered its tone. At the table of the General States he lined up errors, dysfunctions and inefficiencies of a State which in fact slows down and makes it difficult to adequately develop the economy, all the more necessary now in light of the heavy post-Covid crisis 19. A duel announced, the one between Conte and a Bonomi already skeptical about the outcome of the comparison and on a relaunch plan more similar to a scheme than to a real business plan.
For days Bonomi has been beating up against a policy made up of many announcements and few facts. According to Viale Astronomy, the government is above all responsible for an anti-industrial wind that has returned to blow significantly in the country. Shortly after taking a seat at the table of the Casino del Bel Respiro in Villa Pamphili, Bonomi immediately turned a chilling request: “I ask for immediate respect for the sentence of the judiciary which requires the return of € 3.4 billion of energy excise , improperly paid by the companies and withheld by the State despite the ruling of the Court of Cassation which requires their return “. Second point: “The commitment to a new painful recession can only be successful if we do not hide the faults and mistakes made by everyone in the past 25 years. Now honor the contracts and the debts towards the companies “. Then the layoffs and all the confusion and uncertainty that accompanied it: “It was – said Bonomi – anticipated to a large extent by the companies and so it will be for a further 4 weeks. Serious delays also for the procedures announced to support liquidity. Italian economic measures have proved more problematic than European ones “, in short.
To then clarify the reference economic model: “Confindustria does not believe in a bad state as opposed to a good private one. What we are asking for is a modern democracy with efficient and functioning institutions, that is, with a good public administration, as already indicated and requested by the Governor of Bankitalia “. But the government avoids direct confrontation. He assures that a solution will be found on excise duties, but, in the meantime, he reaffirms the goal: to fly high to revive the country.
Conte recites a sort of mea culpa for the toughest rocks for the implementation of the recovery plan and uses irony to play down the climate. “There is no prejudice on the part of the government, we can have diversity of opinions and evaluations, it is there, but here – he highlights – there is no ideological prejudice. Preserving the company and putting it in a position to be able to deal vigorously and resiliently with a shock like this is a priority for our country, otherwise we won’t go anywhere, “he explains immediately. The prime minister is, yes, ready to make amends “for any shortcomings that are proving” together with the humility “to admit delays and errors” but does not accept to pay for all previous governments. “We cannot be called to answer for structural deficiencies that the Italian system has been carrying for about 20 years”.
And he reminds all companies: “If our country in terms of gross domestic product or productivity is below the European average, it is because obviously there are structural problems that are dragging on and that we have not yet managed to solve”. Going back to the plan, Conte jokes: “In this project that you have in front of you you will also find a measure that Dr. Bonomi wanted to steal from us”, he says indicating the 4.0 and 4.0 plus transition plan. The goal remains to extend a hand to Confindustria, to the business world in general, inaugurating a season of new “broad and constructive” collaboration because the government wants an “economic response that is up to the challenge, and that can foil any threat of self-sufficient retreat ”.
There is a new economic and social reality, continues the Prime Minister, which imposes second thoughts, a stroke of kidneys that brings the level of ambition of our action even higher. We want to have a broad and constructive comparison, we ask for suggestions, evaluations and criticisms. If they are constructive criticisms they will help us to improve these projects, if instead they are negative, more radical criticisms, they will allow us to stop for a moment to think and evaluate, it will be a stress test to evaluate if we really believe that project we will continue to carry it forward. But surely they will come in handy, “he says, reiterating that” it is not the time to cry on us but to revive the country “.
Moral: Conte above all needs someone to recognize a concrete weight to his States General of the Economy. Oppositions desert Villa Pamphili, the feat comes to attack but at least she sat at that table. Appointment for everyone next week, with the final version of the recovery plan. Because it is clear that the country needs a plan instead.