Italy not so bella anymore, with a once fast growing country now shrinking amid political turmoil that is set to have a government with an anti-EU party, a pro-Russia party, and a man some blamed for that turmoil as a third party to bring him back to power.
Silvio Berlusconi, the bunga bunga guy, who first led Italy in 1994, is set to be part of a coalition with Matteo Salvini, Putin’s useful fool at beast, and a new comer Giorgia Meloni who doesn’t really like the European Union very much.
She is not against the euro, or in favor of leaving the European Union, but only because both are very unpopular policies in Italy.
She is instead in favor of Orban politics, with her opponent, Enrico Letta of PD, stating:
“Her approach is not a pro-European approach, it is exactly the opposite. We want to stay in the first division — at the heart of Brussels — with Germany, France and Spain. With her we’ll be relegated to the second division, with Hungary and Poland.”
Meloni herself stated last week: “if I win, for Europe, the fun is over.” Well, save for a brief restoration during the premiership of Mario Draghi, Italy has been irrelevant to Europe, and to itself, for so long that the fun party not noticing them would just be back to normal.
Making her opponent more right. That Italy would just become even more irrelevant, rather than Europe in anyway being affected, save for the bickering that she may cause which would probably be very much outside of the cameras that matter, as they are with Hungary.
Because Europe has to get on with some very serious matters, including getting out of stagnation, with no one of worth in Europe having any time for cultural nonsense, soft politics of irrelevance, or romantic nationalist trash.
Italy was growing through the 80s, 90s, but paused in around 2001, with a decline then following.
Silvio Berlusconi came to power in that 2001, and stayed on until 2011, presiding over that steep decline and even causing it.
Over his decade long rule, this billionaire now of 85 partied like no tomorrow without care or consideration for the work of government.
His total grip over Italian politics, in great part through his control of most Italian broadcasting media, led to a decimation of politics as such.
Since then Italy has changed their government what feels like almost daily, with Letta, the chief opponent of Meloni, brought down by this very Berlusconi, after barely a year as Prime Minister in 2014.
That this Berlusconi now returns according to old polls, September 9 2022, is an indictment of the Italian public and their seemingly inability to understand and very clearly that politics matters, their vote matters, and a vote for Berlusconi to have political power once again is masochism.
Some in Italy take the view that the euro is to blame, that Europe is to blame, not their politicians which they change like socks, not Berlusconi who bunga bungad their economy.
Why then did Spain not see a similar slowdown in 2001? And why did GDP per capita there cross all time high in 2019, while in Italy it remains significantly below?
Well, maybe because they didn’t elect unexperienced politicians who’ve never run a village, let alone one of the world’s biggest economy, like Meloni. Nor returned bunga bungas while telling others their fun is over. Nor kept voting for someone like Salvini who couldn’t care one bit about the economy as long as his thug in the Kremlin gets what he wants: chaos.
Meloni is a name that’s been whispered for some time however, among business Italians. She’ll cut taxes, but Italy needs a whole vision, and that requires some significant competence.
Instead of nationalism, Italy needs very much the opposite, to play a role in setting up the new infrastructure in the near neighborhood that has now finally largely fallen to peace.
That’s a very different vision from someone like Steve Bannon, who apparently has the ear of Meloni. He too doesn’t care about the economy, or finer things like Italy playing a role in the space race. He cares about escapism, distraction, and worse: destruction. Like his master, Mr Putin.
It is of course coincidental that after years of Bannon hanging out in the castles of Italy, he still hasn’t gotten his memo that his job is done in ending the wars in the Middle East, at least where our troops are concerned, and instead cooks this coalition of the terribles and in our Italy.
Their play to now hot fire it all in Ukraine, in complete arrogance and delusion, shows just how much they’ve lost complete touch with the changing reality of a new generation taking charge.
And after two decades of war this generation wants no more. No nationalism, no bickering, no ra ra ra. Just get on with your jobs and build the economy of tomorrow.
A job that Italy can’t do on its own. It is too small, even compared to some of its neighbors let alone globally.
It’s a job that only Europe can do, and as one, with a stand for the rule of law and thus commerce, and with the opening of trade lines broken by wars in the near neighborhood.
Much of which Italy borders, and has a role to play, but plenty of other neighbors border it too, so not a vital role necessarily.
It’s also a role that requires some competence, some clear mind, and sharp focus. Because you don’t drive an engine of optimism with romantic nonsense. You don’t captain whole of industry efforts with bickering for breakfast, lunch, and even dinner.
What Italy needs is what all of Europe needs, and at least the Germans and French talk about it. The French are increasing their space budget by 25%. Italy maybe even has such budget, but who on earth there is speaking about space when they can instead talk about what women dress, or family values nonsense.
Which is fine, but not at the front. Because the state at the end of the day has no business in the family, let alone it being its primary business.
When there are real problems to address that do require government action in investing in what even one can call the new industrial revolution, the electro highways, the solar roofs, the space satellites, is it not fair to say we’ve had enough of this negativity, of this pitting people, of this dark politics.
Why shouldn’t this generation, our governments, make us happy instead, lift us up. Or do the Italians too enjoy the scenes in Moscow as that is where this negativity leads.
For all his faults, Boris Johnson had a slogan, which he copied from us: Leveling up. That’s the task of our politicians. While managing the absurdities coming from Russia, and sort of iron walling, localizing them, they need to raise optimism by investing and planning the new 21st century European economy, shinier than China’s, and structurally perhaps even that of US, though US is Europe.
And no focus should be given anymore to those who would rather focus on irrelevant and divisive matters of no care to the unemployed Italians or indeed the aspiring ones.
For though rage is easy as is hate, and passing blame, it’s a lot harder to build an oasis where we can actually be happy. It is a lot harder to build paradise, than create hell.
This election though arguably doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. It matters for Italy, though they’re used to changing their socks, and maybe it would come with a bit more bickering in Europe if Meloni takes charge while her friends Putin dance.
She would though just be firewalled, and any fun would be over for her and her arrogance.
But wouldn’t it be better if they just kept their socks for a week? If Italy was treated like Italy, rather than some lost friend in the wilderness.
Not to say that Letta would necessarily last in this ‘change them by the day’ system, but he presumably would be able to plan a little bit more long term than kick some boats out.
And at the very least he wouldn’t bring Berlusconi again. How that name is not as repelling as Bush, is anyone’s guess.
So keep having your fun Italy. In the next election make sure to vote for the SINK party, while of course blaming everyone else for bringing back the man that ruined Italy.
Don’t try and find your Merkel or Macron, or even Scholz which Letta might be. No, no, make sure to give children power because a lot nicer to talk about boats, than how you modernize your economy to compete in this century.