Here we are, a year later, and the country’s path forward is anything but clear.
And the light (resolution) still seems far off in how Italy is going to coordinate itself and make real progress against Covid 19. The featured photo in this post pretty much sums up my feelings about this interminable wait. We (Italy) are in the boat, creeping along in the dark, flashing a red light. A white light beckons but still seems far away.
In case you haven’t heard, Italy just formed a new government.
The shenanigans of more political parties than I can keep up with and the mercurial affections of many Italians make frequent changes of leadership all too familiar. Then, along comes Covid, and Italy’s already weak connective tissues (economy and ways of doing business) start coming off the rails. Yes, we have a crisis of grand proportions with an interminable wait for a real, tangible resolution.
Actually, our former PM, Conte, had pretty high favorability ratings. He was the steady captain that we all looked to guide us through this storm. Then, another former PM, Renzi, who has a party within the Left Party, pulled out two of his representatives, throwing the balance of power into question. Would there be enough votes to sustain the current cobbled-together coalition? Yes, thankfully. But, the damage was done, and Conte submitted his resignation to Sergio Mattarella, President of Italy. Some people saw this as a political maneuver with Conte betting that Mattarella would not accept his resignation and would charge him instead to form a new government/coalition.
That didn’t happen.
Mario Draghi, who is widely considered the savior of the Euro, was recently appointed as PM.
And, he was asked to form a technical government. Markets responded positively. This is a man considered by many the world over an economic genius. I’d encourage you to read more about Draghi and his new government in this Reuter’s article.
“President Sergio Mattarella asked Draghi to be prime minister after party wrangling brought down the previous administration, and set him the task of tackling the coronavirus health crisis and economic meltdown pummeling the country.”
Already Draghi is appointing ministers, taken from a cross-section of political affiliations, who are similarly known for having brilliant minds. And, these ministers are not given budgets of their own to spend. They’re charged with submitting recommendations to Draghi to implement. Unlike a typical technical government (often employing austerity measures) this government is charged with coming up with the best solutions that will holistically take Italy forward.
Will Draghi turn our interminable wait into a focus on a clear and emerging light that will bring us out of this current darkness? Will, perhaps, this be an opportunity for Italy to clean up fundamental economic issues without plunging the country into austerity? Let’s hope.
And, let’s hope we have some clarity on the Covid vaccination rollout.
Maybe, if I was a young whippersnapper I wouldn’t be as anxious about knowing the when and how. Back in December, we were hearing that people over sixty would start being vaccinated in March. That doesn’t look like it’s going to happen—at least with any consistency across Italy’s many regions. I’ve heard from my pals in Umbria that they’re able to book appointments for vaccination. Not so here in Liguria where we recently moved.
The restrictions continue.
More interminable waiting. We just heard that non-essential travel between regions will be extended until late March. Here in Liguria, we remain under “orange” restrictions, which means we can’t venture more than 30 km from our comune of Imperia. To learn more, I’d encourage you to read this ANSA article to get more of the flavor of what our different restrictions entail.
All eyes are on Draghi for a cohesive, well-communicated vaccine rollout.
This is a man known for getting things done with well-considered and crafted plans of action. I just hope that at this moment he’s not sitting around a conference table in Rome throwing his hands into the air. Hopefully, he already has something to work with.
Patience, once again, is my message in my life.
I know I’m far from alone. The world over is craving some sense of normalcy, some sense that Covid is at least under control or manageable. But, I know I must settle in for an interminable wait for resolution, for life to begin closing this chapter and writing a new one. Hopefully, the next chapter will see us being more patient, kinder to all textures of humanity, and ready to be constructive in building a world that will last.