-How the new center-left government can successfully operate in that contradictory framework?

It is a difficult context indeed. However, a number of things can successfully be done, by setting priorities and, mostly, asking for citizen support. I think that this can be earned by accompanying each stiff policy with explicit and, possibly, not-too-much-delayed engagements acting as a compensation or as indicators of the change in the direction of priorities.


-Is it credible, and at what conditions, that German politics would change , under the pressure of the French and Italian left-wing governments?

German policies will not change before the election, even under pressure. They might only change in a significant way after the election, depending on a number of circumstances. Merkel might change her position if put under pressure, which I doubt hollande is inclined to put; obviously things could change if there is a change in the party in charge with the government, but I am not an expert in german politics in order to say to what extent this depends on the and whether the social democrats and the green party are a reliable alternative for a change in the direction of European policies and institutional architecture, including the mission attributed to the ECB. There is something more than the political party in charge in dictating germany’s attitude towards European economic policies and institutions (debt is a sin for them; deflation is not a problem, as they have removed that part of their history more directly tied to Nazism).


-Can an Italian center-left government give a new direction to the current technocratic Monti’s politics, or it is going to follow the grim destiny of other leftwing governments, as happened in Greece with the socialist government of Mr. Papandreou and in Spain with Mr. Zapatero?

Monti’s government is not only a govt. formed by technicians, but also a government oriented by a specific (right-wing) political orientation.

Much of the outcome depends on: 1. The kind of majority the left (left or center-left?) will gain, if any. 2. The composition of the alliance and its cohesion. 3. the support of polls will very much depend on the existence of a very clear and convincing program.

-What, in practice, should the new government do as a first step?

Again this depends on a number of circumstances. Let us suppose the best possible scenario: a large majority; cohesion among the political partners, support from hollande. In this situation the gov should adopt immediately tough measures.


Nicola Acocella

Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Rome "La Sapienza".