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Moavero «Souverainism is a divisive recipe» (Avvenire)

«We have shown that Italy’s public finances are in order. » The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Enzo Moavero Milanesi, «after having heard too many harsh words», happily surrenders to the «embrace of the Meeting». He gives thumbs down to anti-Europeanism and does not disavow the work done thus far. For the future, he thinks positive: Italy is sound and will go forward, regardless of who is at the helm. »  

But were you expecting such a quick, and rough, ending?

Political experiences have an expiry date, which can be sooner or later. But when there are disagreements and there is no will to settle them, the breakup is inevitable. After all, in Italy’s Republican and, before that, Unified history, we have had so many changes of government that it certainly does not surprise us.

Soon there will be the G7 meeting in Biarritz. What image will our Country convey with the current crisis?

It is essential to maintain a “Country direction”. Italy is a vital and strong Country, with great prospects. Naturally, if it is well-led it can maximise them but, at the end of the day, it is capable of proceeding on its way regardless of who is at the helm.

But isn’t a sovereigntist policy anti-historical in a Europe that, even if fully united, risks remaining on the margins of global equilibria?

The response to globalisation cannot but be a more efficient European Union: the risk of souverainisms (once called ‘nationalisms’) is divisive. In 2040, no European Country, on its own, will probably belong to the world’s 7 leading economies which, 20 years ago, included up to 4 European Countries. “Europe” also means co-managing migration flows: the present rules under the Dublin Treaty instead cause divisions and the prevalence of egoisms.

If we look at the results obtained, your role in dodging procedures has been inversely proportional to your statements on the matter…

The workload, in these last few months, has been intense. Admittedly, it was also made up of moments of silence. Because “diplomacy” means having relations, relationships, building our credibility, activities that cannot be accompanied by continuous statements. In politics, silence is not often understood but the little advantage that I had in being a so-called “technocrat” independent minister was that of not having to pursue an immediate electoral consensus.  

Talking about the future, there is the task of appointing a European Commissioner. And the 26th of August is drawing closer.

President Von Der Leyen indicated this date but it is not a peremptory deadline: we will have to wait and see how the Government crisis develops, hoping it will be short.

Mention is made of a Government in an “Ursula” format. After the failure of the agreement between only two political forces, can’t the solution be a more restricted agenda with the support of a larger parliamentary majority?

It could be. I have witnessed experiences with Governments that had very broad parliamentary support, a Grand Coalition, as it is called. But, first of all, a government needs to agree on the agenda.

However, you have not excluded returning to the previous alliance.

In theory, in a phase such as this, nothing can be excluded. Of course, after the tones heard in these past few days, it seems difficult. Then, if it proves impossible to marshal a majority, the Constitution provides for a new round of elections.

But deadlines urge us to act quickly.

Of course, we owe it to the citizens. And then there is the scheduling of the discussion on the budget bill, that all EU Member Countries are obliged to approve before the end of the year. However, these deadlines cannot entirely condition a Country’s democratic dynamics. It has happened to other European Countries to hold elections in the autumn.

But we have the incumbent risk of a rise of VAT. In your opinion, have you sufficiently paved the ground to also avoid the safeguard clause?

A few months ago, we ran the risk of being submitted to an Excessive Deficit Procedure, which we avoided on the basis of actual economic figures. And this is a very important point of departure.

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