An undiscovered future for Draghi’s government

He has assumed the task of governing Italy in the name of Europe. And that the changes of course that he will achieve, if he succeeds, are agreed with Brussels. If not imposed.

Mario Draghi has fulfilled, undoubtedly in a very brilliant way, the task (the “complicated puzzle”) with which President Mattarella had entrusted him. He has succeeded in getting almost all the parties represented in Parliament to support "a government not referable to any political formula": that is, to renounce their fundamental mission in the name of a national emergency. The numbers - a majority of over 90% - leave no room for doubt.

But what will happen now? How will he go on? Here the judgment must be much more cautious and even appears controversial. His programmatic speech to the Chambers was clever, as a consummate politician rather than as a technician (in fact, the one who presides over ECB has responsibilities that fall fully into a political sphere and are to be considered among the most delicate and demanding). But it is difficult to argue that he marked a clear stance in favor of a radical change of paradigm. Rather, it would be said that he came to reset the autopilot.

The course must be changed, because the political leaders of the European Union have landed on this belief: but the helm cannot be allowed to be in the hands of the local political leadership. The one that ruled Italy after the crisis of 2008 until Mario Monti's arrival was unreliable; the one who came after Monti wasted time and, above all, lost touch with reality, paving the way for the “sovereignists”-populists; the last government, an emergency solution, seemed more reliable and better addressed but was weak and "slapped" by the old policy. Therefore, corrections had to be imposed by an act of force avoiding any possible radical subversion of the constituted order. That is to say, the order that reigns in Brussels. Where, picking in their hands the situation after the 2019 elections, they decided to adjust the course, so as not to lose control of the situation.

The question to ask, as I argued earlier, was whether Draghi will have the ability to make a choice. Not to be ecumenical but to take sides. Time will give the answer, but his investiture speech allows for a prediction. It doesn’t look at all like he’s going to behave this way.

The ECB President of 'whatever it takes' showed great determination at that juncture and has earned considerable prestige for this. But it is evident that the two situations are different from each other. In that case he was called upon to defend the interest of Europe (certainly not only of Italy) put under attack by external powers (big finance and sovereign states). From this point of view, his speech to the Chambers is clear and compelling: he is there to take care of the good of Italy. Although, "without Europe there is less Italy", a sentence which confirms the fact that he has assumed the task of governing Italy in the name of Europe. And that the changes of course that he will achieve, if he succeeds, are agreed with Brussels. If not imposed.

The formation, but also the way of thinking, of a character like Mario Draghi, despite the responsibilities of great political importance that he has assumed, does not seem to leave much space for what should be the peculiar characteristic of political activity. Which is based on the dialectic of different positions (based on premises of value and partisan interests) and in conflict with each other. Rather, it is that of those who are called upon to defend a community from the dangers coming from outside. However, the problem that Italy as a whole is called upon to face is not this one but another, quite different one. It’s necessary to modify the power relationships within it because those that have prevailed so far, since the post-war reconstruction period (which Draghi is wrong, by an historical point of view, to recall as a model of national brotherhood, giving a reading that overlooks the burden of the constraints of the Jalta agreements), have depressed the potential of a people rich in genius whose freedom, of action and of expression of thought, they have limited.

Until 1989 democracy in Italy was restricted, blocked by a framework of international balances that dominated it. Since then, the attempt to liberate democracy in the country, and to let the latent energies be fully unleashed, has been stifled and is still waiting to be completed. Now, as never before, the courage to change the current power structures is required, to the detriment of those same environments that have resorted to Draghi as extrema ratio, counting on his prestige. With the aim, if not to return to prominence, at least to stop a drift that risked subverting the historically consolidated balance.

The unknown therefore remains. If Draghi will have the lucidity - and the courage - to choose which Italy he will devote himself to, he will have a place not only in the history of Europe (a place he has already earned) but also in the history of the European region that gave him the birthplace and of which he aspires to stand as a defender. To the encrustations of power that have heavily affected the civil development of his country he should make it clear that he is willing to subvert the consolidated balances "whatever it takes". Adding, perhaps, that "and, believe me, it will be enough".

However, I fear that it will first be necessary for someone (to be understood as a set of collective subjects) to have the strength and clarity of ideas to convince him to take a step of this magnitude.

Giovanni Principe
Insight - Free thinking for global social progress

Free thinking for global social progress