On June 1st, 2018 Italy’s new Government was sworn in by President Mattarella, a 76-year old survivor from the cold-war era, which in Italy lasted until the day before when Luigi Di Maio and Matteo Salvini closed the deal on their “agreement” to give Italians a new Government and, let’s hope, a better deal. Today, June 2nd there were 19 new smiley faces at Italy’s Military Parade in honor of The Italian Republic, which today turned 72. At the helm, was PdC, Mr. Giuseppe Conte, Esq. and “his” 18 cabinet Ministers, 25 Ministers less than Berlusconi’s government of 11 June 2001 to 23 April 2005 the longest lasting Government of the Republic.
A first consideration is to be found in the title of this piece. Teamwork comes hard to Italians. In sports Italians are at their best in one-on-one disciplines like swimming, skiing, boxing, fencing and swordsmanship, tennis, track and field, etc. Team sports, including soccer are often a source of disappointment for fans of “The Blue Teams” as the Italian national teams are called. The teamwork displayed during the long negotiations by Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio were exemplary and come as a welcome change that bodes well for the future.
A second consideration is the friendly relations entertained by the leaders of the two maverick parties (Luigi Di Maio and Matteo Salvini) during three months of hard-nosed negotiations.
Team-work and respect bordering on friendship in the past have never entered into the picture of Italian politicking. This too is a welcome sign and could be an indication that change may truly be in the making.
True, the two parties have little in common other than their “grass roots” constituencies, which Italy’s cold-war leaders prefer to brand as “populist” forgetting that populism lies at the very roots of western democracy. Of course, many Italians are still searching for a third way and are still not convinced “West is best”. Be that as it may, team-work, respect and a bare-bones Cabinet are all novelties compared with past Italian Governments.
The Germans, in one of their EU promo videos broadcast some time ago on Sky Italia, explained how in time there is a good chance the EU will go federal, that is, if it survives Brexit and other centrifugal forces that risk pulling it apart. Oh, and how so? Well, because the leaderships of most Member States are of germanic origins (the Franks in France, the Visigoths in Spain, the Lombards in Italy, etc.). Italy’s (new) Government for change, in fact, marks the return of the Lombards at the helm of North Italy since 1495. This time, however, the Lombards have shown little or no indecisiveness.
Back in the 15th Century North Italy was the economic muscle that powered the Holy Roman(o-Germanic) Empire. Today, Italy is one of the founding Members of the European Union. With a huge manufacturing base, Italy is on a par with France and, since Brexit, second only to Germany itself. It is Germany’s largest trading partner and foremost competitor. Like in the 15th Century it rivals Germany for the manufacturing lead but is hamstrung by its 2.3 Trillion Euro National Debt. Since the 2007 financial crisis, Italy has lost 25% of its GDP thanks also to Mario Monti’s cure by taxation that gouged Italians and brought their economy to a halt. Over the past year or so Italy has begun to grow again against all odds and with no help from their German cousins.
The new Government needs to quickly do what the Establishment has never had the courage to do before, i.e., significantly cut the National Debt by some 100 to 200 Billion Euros as soon as possible. For example, by selling some of Italy’s huge gold reserves and/or State Assets such as Government – owned multinationals, real estate in the public domain, or similar solutions calling for the selling of municipal companies for cash without raising taxes and with attractive tax and other benefits for foreign investors and their families willing to relocate and/or invest a minimum amount of say, at least Two Million Euros in Italy and hire a minimum number of Italians against free health care for the Investor and his family, residency papers, etc.
The possibilities and options are not endless but varied enough to give the new Government a number of options. Italy is a wealthy Country with a strong Army and conventional Navy and it is about time it started behaving like one. Hefty Gold Reserves and Government Assets will do Italians no good if the Country is pushed into default by its enemies, domestic or foreign. The important thing is to move quickly before the Establishment get their allies in the EU bureaucracy to mobilize against the Italian Government. If Di Maio and Salvini move quickly, there is little doubt that the Italian economy could regain the 25% drop in GDP over a relatively short span of time, making Italy once more an important Member of the EU.
To ensure success, Italians need to start looking for allies within and without the EU: the French and Spanish are our hermanos. Remember that we Italians invented the term “Latini” from whence comes the American “Latinos”. Few countries are more alike in custom and language than Italy and France. The two countries even share the same proverbs and sayings. No two European nations have influenced each other more over the centuries than “la Douce France” and “il Bel Paese”. Leonardo Da Vinci put his talents to work for France during the last decades of his life and helped France become a military superpower. The Kings of France owed much to Leonardo Da Vinci and the Medici Family. The Fleur de Lis became a symbol of Florence and later of French Royalty by intermarriage with Medici noblewomen. The first powers to congratulate The M5S and The League were the USA, Russia and China.
Start networking guys and be quick about it. Remember time is of the essence.