Conte, helmet and armor at his battle of Ivry

Italian Recovery Fund, photocollage of prime minister Conte onto a painting by Rubens

We won. Will we win? We “won” what we owed, as we Italians have been heavily hit by the virus. Now the time for hoping is arrived. You must always hope in the good God. Anyway, in this case, you mustn’t hope in the chance, as  mother Europe’s dialogues has taken balanced care of her children: this to you, dear “frugal” people, and this to us and to others. Now we can hope only in ourselves. How much politicians have chatted about conditionalities.

Normally, it has been just a strategy to postpone the problems. Do you want to activate the Italian Recovery Fund? Do you want a lot of money in a non-repayable way? What will you do with it? You need it to recover and also in order to be a good presence among the other member countries. Can you allow us to ask you how you “hospitalize”? Or may be you have understood it in the Italian sense of hospitalization. So maybe, despite the money you’ll have, you could risk to switch from the internal medicine department to intensive care. So that EU would be seriously worried, far beyond some possible selfish and sadistic satisfactions for somebody, as happened for Greece. This money – which will be available in the next future – is a hot potato in hand: you would like to hold it and at the same to let it fall. Our rulers are bound to be in such condition.

And they constantly talk about the future: we will have, we will do, we will think of it. Never about the present, that is to say: we have eventually decided to recover Italy by doing this and this and with this timetable. How do we want to invest the Italian Recovery Fund? Not even the shadow of a planning. And non for lack of ability. Instead, because of  no said reasons. That’s why the dynamic and smart p.m. is forced to imitate Fabio Massimo becoming Conte the delayer. The 3rd century B.C. Romam politician-warrior aimed at exhausting Hannibal, in Puglia, avoiding for a long time to attack him and  to be attacked by him and thus surnamed “cunctator” (the delayer). But, professor Conte with whom and because of whom or what behaviors as a delayer? Are you waiting for? Quickfooted Achilles in settling dissensions and making claudicant teams stand up, at the moment when he should be ready to write down a plan, he has become bradycardic. Perhaps they all are right in speaking of the conditionalities which, however, are nothing more than an appropriate ethical commitment of good governance. And they have always been present, not only on the occasion of this Italian Recovery Fund. For instance, let’s think of the funds for natural disasters. Was all the money spent in those cases? Not at all. And what about funds for development or culture? How much money has returned to the sender! Whose official fault is it? Of bureaucracy. But it is worth to say that in the cases mentioned, it was just smoke and mirrors. And wonder: why such indifference to the money available? Simple: for interest in the available money, available but undermined by rigorous conditions and serious reporting’s rules.

Anyway, bureaucracy is a problem. But not as a body that, aiming at avoiding involuntary sins, establishes to stop any initiatives.  At this very moment it is instead to be considered as a body which often tends to hide sins protecting or hiding bribery’s professionals. Last but not least, the icing on the cake, the mafia and similar. This subject is daily treated with reference to collapsing people who see mafia’s proposals as the unique solution to survive. They are serious and delicate facts. Bu we must add that these facts, thanks to emotional field in which they happen, accidentally keep citizens far from the so called “trattativa stato and cosa nostra” (or mafia). And it goes without saying that, even in this case, the wait and the excitement for EU money are very high. The endless work by the courageous Tv-men Massimo Giletti and Andrea Purgatori has rekindled the attention to it, between history, present and future. Of course, it takes time to face, or evade these swords of Damocles, shadows threatening even the activation of the Italian Recovery Fund.

Anyway, Brussels is worth a MES (the Italian version for European Stability Mechanism), even if someone could rely this paraphrase around Henry IV’s proverbial sentence (Paris is worth a mass) to ingenious Beppe Grillo’s “ vaffa” (fuck off) rhetoric. As if to say: give me any conditions you want, condition me as you like, but I’ll tease you somehow, eventually.

What to do? To leave the potato fall? Impossible. In hyper-democratic Italy, which moreover is complicated by the above quoted endemic troubles problems and where rarely you’ll find a culprit for the crimes in the public administration, any problem is difficult to solve. Let alone the exceptional situation we are living that requires at the same time a short, near and far look. An overall view in order to take advantage of the Italian Recovery Fund. The risk of an unproductive mess that will lead us to a worse socioeconomic condition is strong. Actions far beyond the stage the Roman Villa Pamphili are required! We almost need a genetic mutation. The sense of responsibility we have practiced during the lockdown cannot bear new fruits.

Actually the lockdown depends on the people, while the management of public affairs depends on the rulers.

In fact, that sense of responsibility depended on the people and the fear that gripped them, but the management of public affairs depends on the rulers. Either signs arrive capable of producing a radical change in managing the situation, and so – to quote Giuseppe Garibaldi – the homeland is made, or time will arrive for bankruptcy. And Conte could try his best, he must, because – due to lack of time and to tangled situations – there is no alternative. Rubens immortalized with his painting Henry IV’s victory over the League (the Catholic one of 1590 – and not that of Salvini) which did not recognize him as the king of France, at the so called the battle of Ivry. Conte must try to be victorious from his battle of Ivry and maybe he will later have his own Rubens who will illustrate this Herculean enterprise.

For your interest, for the interest of the people, all that we can do is to hope. Or to pray.