twelve o’clock, March 30 2021 – 08:10

of Ernesto Mazzetti

Dopo. There is always the after, which inevitably follows the before. Like dawn happens at night. The astronomical rules are precise. Those of other passages between a before and an after are not. For a year and a half, the whole world has suffered from the vagueness of the mechanisms that should mark the turning point to the rampant pandemic. Biological perversity and human behavior conspire to make the date uncertain. Scientists confront each other in indicating how to stop the prolongation of this first. Still caution, even if they demean economies, mobility, human resistance. And still hopes: therapies and vaccines. End? It flaunts certainty. But the intertwining of adverbs is disturbing: how? when? And it should be added: where? Because if its spread was global, the eradication of Covid 19 will not be contemporary in every area of ​​the world.

Uhe geography of uneven recovery already suggests the gap between developed countries – Europe, North America, China, Japan – and countries condemned to longer exposure to contagion. Fortunately for us, Italy is part of the developed world. He must concentrate on the aftermath, while complaining about progressive human losses and economic damage. The deeper the crisis, the more intense the actions to remedy it must be. The policies of subsidies for individuals and categories that see their income reduced; but woe to limit yourself to them. Even if it is increased by European resources, it will not be able to hold up the budget if the whole country is not restarted, activating the economic mechanisms linked to public works, to streamline the functioning of state bodies, justice and local authorities, Regions and municipalities. It applies to all of Italy; even more for the South, which is the weakest part. It is appreciable that the first initiative of the new Minister for Cohesion, Mara Carfagna from Campania, was to involve the government and experts in a debate to evaluate what should be done immediately for the South. Agree the diagnoses: the South suffers from inadequate railway, road and port infrastructures. Inefficiencies of public services and functions condemn the inhabitants to a citizenship gap. The consequential to be done: modernization and, bad word, efficiency of the public apparatus. And immediately construction sites for major works, facilitations to industries. Prime Minister Draghi repeated that Italy’s recovery passes through the South. Right. Half a century ago the great economist Pasquale Saraceno claimed this. Now a mantra; who knows that with the Recovery Fund it will become more concrete. Another thing Draghi said, on which the southern ruling classes will have to reflect well: so far, only 6.7 percent of the funding for the EU Cohesion Fund has been spent in the South. Whose fault? Regions, of course. And bureaucracy, municipalities, centers of interest, cumbersome and insidious laws.

The post-Covid too important for the country; it becomes even more so for the South. Italy has experienced other dramatic moments: war and epidemic in the first decades of the 20th century; still war since 1940. After the deaths and destruction he succeeded in being followed by a strong recovery, with population growth and intense economic development. Between 1951 and 2020 in Italy about 13 million more inhabitants; in Campania more than 1.3 million despite emigration; approximately pi 1 in the metropolitan area of ​​Naples. But even before Covid, the economy was stagnating and flexing the demographic curve. The scenario of the former suggests how difficult the prospects for the later are. I delude myself into thinking that anyone who has offices in central and local elected bodies, roles in public offices, universities, representatives of social bodies knows and wants to make even the slightest individual contribution to the country’s resuscitation process. I am not happy with examples of discord, even minimal ones: the brawls between Campania and Puglia over the DOP tomato, or between Naples and the North over the Unesco recognition of espresso coffee. I am alarmed that in large cities such as Naples, Rome, Turin, parties are struggling to identify valid candidates for mayor. Especially in Naples, where the devastating decade of the de Magistris union sets in the farce of the whirlwind of 37 council renewals. Diligent reporters noted that during the last telematic meeting of the city council the gurgling noise of the toilet flushing of an inattentive councilor was perceived. I would say it is a symbolic sound commentary on the epilogue of a bad municipal experience.

March 30, 2021 | 08:10

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