Technocrats in the room: Against Draghi’s government
“When the snow melts, the dung starts to show up.”
That’s an old classic proverb from Salento, Italy.
Though popular wisdom can be often questioned, in the case of Mario Draghi’s new government the proverb fits perfectly. Since its very beginning, the arrival of the former President of the ECB in the Italian political scene has been welcomed by mainstream media with a total consensus. In Italy we hear daily news about his educational background, and what newspapers he buys. Even his butcher has been interviewed.
Pieces have been written about Draghi being a disciple of Federico Caffè, an eminent Keynesian economist from University La Sapienza in Rome and supervisor of his degree thesis. High expectations have been raised about perspectives of expansive policies and international credibility in a process of historical denial: let’s not forget how Draghi blocked the Emergency liquidity assistance to Greek banks and, immediately after, commissioned the closure of all branches in 2015 (follow DIEM25’s campaign to Release #TheGreekFiles).
As for his international credibility, it is worth mentioning that for quite different reasons than those of Greece, Draghi is not really appreciated in Germany where he is considered “the gravedigger” of German savers because of his QE policy in the ECB.
Draghi is neither a Keynesian nor a saviour of the Fatherland. As the snow of his media success is melting, the dung is coming out embellished with terms such as “competence” and “seriousness”. It is the case of Francesco Giavazzi, economist from Bocconi University and theorist of expansive austerity: a demented argument about the economic success of austerity measures. Paul Krugman, Nobel economist in 2008, accused him and his fellow colleagues of having conducted the destruction of the European economy with their ideas. Giavazzi has been nominated by Draghi economic consultant of the PM. He is pretty serious about austerity, but does he represent the kind of competence we need in a period of potential economic stagnation?
At least he is a literate man. A previous response from DiEM25 Italy on the political crisis highlighted the need to focus on the education system in the country. The new secretary to the Education Ministry is Rossano Sasso (Lega party), a man that in 2018 during a flash mob on a beach, referred to a detained Moroccan as “irregular bastard”. Furthermore, Lucia Borgonzoni (Lega party) is undersecretary of Cultural Heritage and Activities. In 2018 during coalition government with the Lega party and Five Star Movement party, she declared that she had not read a book for years. Funny that she should say that, since the last book she read was “The Castle” by Franz Kafka, in which there is a very representative quote for the new Italian government:
“Deceptions are more frequent than changes”.
Draghi’s government is colloquially referred to as “the government of the ‘best’”. Let’s remember that the current majority in the parliament has the support of Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and that on 22 January 2021 the so called “Escort-hearing” where Berlusconi is involved was suspended because of his medical conditions and few days after he met Draghi to give him his support. It is worth noting that Francesco Paolo Sisto, defending Berlusconi in the process, is now secretary to the Ministry of Justice. Rather than the government of the ‘best’, it looks like a privileged aristocracy that will most certainly not tackle the biggest issues of our society: an increasing inequality, access to education and employment.
Now the dung is visible. Let’s be ready to wipe it out.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect DiEM25’s official policies or positions.
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons.
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