Italy is enjoying a hard-won summer of success

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Italian politics update

Italy is enjoying a summer of super achievements. The first is to win the Eurovision Song Contest. Then the Azzurri won the European Football Championship. This month, its sprinters won the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo. In each case, the Italians’ expectations were lower than expected.

However, the greatest success is that the country now has an effective government. In this case, high expectations were met.when Mario Draghi In February, at the invitation of the President of Italy to form a government, he was collectively disheartened. Italy’s bickering parties have expressed their support. Business leaders, foreign investors and EU partners in Rome are all happy.

The former European Central Bank President did not create a miracle to save Italy like he saved the euro. But within six months, he laid the foundation for the recovery and revival of his country. For the first time in decades, Italy is no longer considered synonymous with political failure. Given its debt burden and deep-seated economic problems, it may still pose a systemic threat to the long-term viability of a single currency. But for now, Italy exudes optimism and confidence. As the pandemic subsides, its progress is changing the broader view of the EU’s prospects.

Draghi’s most important achievement is the relaunch of the shaky Covid-19 vaccination campaign. At the beginning of March, Italy only managed 8.6 jabs per 100 people, Lower than the EU average. To make matters worse, it did not prioritize the more vulnerable Italian elderly.Although death rates in other parts of Europe have declined, Italy’s On the rise.

Now, the vaccination in Italy is First The average level of Germany, France, the European Union and the average level of the United Kingdom.Before the start of the August holiday in this country, Italy was prick More than 500,000 weapons per day.governmental Purpose of inoculation By the end of September, 80% of all Italians 12 or older seemed capable. Requires the presentation of a vaccination “green pass” to enter restaurants and entertainment venues, which should stimulate vaccination. Unlike France, the pass did not arouse strong public opposition. With the infection rate under control, Italy was able to open its economy from April, avoiding new restrictions.

Draghi’s second feat is to take strong action against Italy’s recovery plan.In general, Rome is 235 billion euros mobilized The European Union Recovery Fund provided 191.5 billion euros in grants and loans, as well as other EU aid and national resources, to revive the economy in the next five years.Italy is the country with the most spending so far I To rebuild its economy. Draghi is breaking with EU fiscal conservatism. As the economist Jean Pisani-Ferry pointed out, this is the second “whatever it takes” strategy after Draghi promised to do everything possible to save the euro.

Of course, the money Be sure to use it up in time and use it well.Italy has one Poor record this way. But letting the Italian Ministry of Finance-a respected professional institution-take charge of the recovery fund will help, and it will also help to use the funds for fewer projects.

Finally, Draghi Hardwired Economic and administrative reforms are incorporated into the recovery fund plan. This is required by the European Union, but it was difficult for the previous alliance to provide it.Last week, the Draghi government ensured Agree with Reform in the lower house of parliament to simplify the maze Criminal justice systemThis is an important breakthrough because it means reversing some of the reforms implemented by the anti-establishment five-star movement that now supports the Draghi government. This shows that Italian political parties are willing to make political sacrifices to achieve change.

Next is the reform of the competition law. The bigger test will be tax reform. Draghi may restrict changes in administrative simplification, or implement more ambitious reforms to cut labor taxes. He has bold financial space. This year’s economic growth may increase slightly by 5%. This time, Italy is recovering from the recession.

The biggest question remains how long Draghi will serve as prime minister. The next election will expire in June 2023. Even if his alliance has remained consistent until then, Draghi may switch to the presidency at the end of Sergio Mattarella’s term in February. In an ideal world, Mattarella would be persuaded to stay for another year.Draghi needs more time to change Italy and weigh the pros and cons Reset EU fiscal rules, An important issue that should arise in the first half of next year.

With Germany and France entering uncertain elections, Italy looks like a stable pole for the European Union. Given its politically turbulent history, this is extraordinary. This is another reason why Italians cheer.

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