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Questo articolo è stato pubblicato il 11 novembre 2011 alle ore 11:36.


I stole the headline that we chose for front page of il Sole 24 Ore today from Roberto Ciuni and a glorious newspaper, il Mattino of Naples.

HURRY to save those who are still alive, to help who no longer has anything" was the red-letter headline, three days after the earthquake that on November 23, 1980 struck Irpinia, where thousands of people died and the land was torn apart.

Today's wreckage is savings and the work of Italians and Italy's securities that many, too many consider waste-paper: a global financial "earthquake" shakes the foundations of the Country, it significantly undermines the economic and civil survival; the lost credibility makes us sink into an abyss where the BTp-Bund spread exceeds 550 basis points and the two year public bonds yields 7.25%.

The words the Head of State, Giorgio Napolitano, used yesterday were clear: "we need decisions soon and in the next few years to give a renewed sense of responsibility and cohesion of the nation". Because of their emotional intensity and their firmness they remind me of the passionate words of Sandro Pertini on his way back from Irpinia in the days of the earthquake: "A desperate girl came up to me, she threw her arms around me and she told me crying that she had lost her mother, her father and her siblings". Then, pronouncing each word clearly he added: "Trust me, the best way to remember the dead is to think of those alive".

It has always been men who knew how to intertwine technical intelligence with political vision and capability to guarantee for the good name of Italy; just to name a few examples, Pertini, Napolitano as well as Luigi Einaudi and Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.

Also today, we can (and have to) draw from this stock of human capital to make sure that Italy recovers quickly the confidence from the world As we just wrote just a couple of days ago, there are no do-it-yourself short-cuts to do this; what we need is to choose a government for a national emergency where the more responsible political forces (starting from Berlusconi's PDL) decide to invest in people who, because of their experience and their behavior, have proven to know the language of markets and of States and therefore have what it takes to negotiate on a peer-to-peer basis around the world and to convince investors of the solidity and the reliability of Italian sovereign bonds.

This is the main road and at this point it is the only way possible for the Country to get out of the shoals of a dramatic emergency and to give it back the credit and the honor it deserves. The maxi-amendment is positive as is the mobility in the public sector, the increase in the retirement age to 67 and the first signs of liberalizations and privatizations, but it has to be clear that this is not enough: obviously it has to be approved as quickly as possible with a sense of responsibility, but do not give up (for any reason in the world) playing the (real) match of the future.

Let's remember that in the short term also that little growth that was forecast for Italy is no longer there, just like it is clear that the new, additional spread worsens public accounts by a further 3-4 billion. There is a real risk that Europe and the International Monetary Fund attack us with demands of further depressive measures also because it will turn out to be a problem to honor, in these conditions, the commitment of a balanced budget in 2013.

This is why, all the more so, dear senators and the members of the House it is your political responsibility (and I repeat political) to guarantee that Italy has an emergency government headed by credible people who know how to give Italy and Italians the necessary cure but that also know how to make the world respect and have confidence in Italy. Your political support and your ideological push is necessary in order to adopt those complex measures that give the Country back a growth outlook in the next three to five years and that convince who buys BoTs (around the world and in Italy) that they can easily keep them in their portfolio because they will be paid back with the interest that is owed at the right maturities.

The Country is at a standstill; it pays a very expensive bill for a political and civil attrition that has lasted too long and went beyond any degree of reasonableness. Financial crisis in general, and in particular this specific one that regards Italy, need a strong sign of discontinuity that allow really starting up again. In 1993 the problem was inflation and the Ciampi government faced it, as it was right to do, keeping in mind internal needs. Today the problem is growth and the outside world needs to be kept in mind. It depends on us, only on us. Let's remember that we are on the knife's edge. It can end up really badly, but also really well: hurry.

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