Anyone who listened to Draghi’s speech at the presentation of the Italian government’s program cannot help but feel a sense of deep relief mixed with some envy. Italy now has a giant at its helm, a technocrat who, at heart, was the greatest European politician in the past 50 years. Without Draghi we wouldn’t have a euro today; It was not his intervention that guided Europe’s blind political leaders during the financial crisis, and there would be little left of Europe. And with Draghi, Italy is now entering a new phase, without demagogic shots or promises of hot wind.
During his speech, Draghi described the Way of the Stones, a trail of intellectual demand and generosity, likely the result of his Jesuit training. The program that Draghi listens to Italians with all of Europe is a manifesto of modernity by someone who sees the past as a shared cultural heritage and the future as an absolute urgency, an urgency in which every step must be inscribed in the decades to come. Draghi’s speech encompasses everything: reforms and their raison d’etre, the challenges of the climate and what is expected of us all, the need for training in technology, the vital importance of Europe and also the moral value of solidarity. The end of the speech makes the difference, because instead of Viva Italia or Italy we first heard: Por Amor da Itália. The strength of nationalism here is an act of giving for the service and benefit of all.
What Draghi is doing now is once again a miracle that joins those he has already received at the head of the European Central Bank for Europe. In order to save Italy, he united left, right, in the middle and in the extremes to form a unity of forces for the common good that can ultimately be jointly pursued by parties that individually claim the monopoly of truth. It is true that the two hundred and one billion euros that Europe has allocated to Italy is a powerful argument, a seductive force that does not distinguish ideologies. But the solution could have been completely different and the result completely different.
In Portugal the question arises: if it was possible in Italy, why is it not also possible here? Why do we in Portugal still believe that a center-focused alliance is dangerous because they say it would pave the way to extremes? Why is it assumed in Portugal that the solution of the German coalition would not work? Is it because some of the extremes are now part of the government solution? Is it because the other extreme, which they say is right, hasn’t made living with government ineptitude easy enough? Do we have a solution? It is not true that our only problem is that we have a PS government, just as it is not true that the previous PSD and CDS governments were examples of competence and public service. Our evil is deeper and more general because the decision makers lack quality and competence. Where are the politicians who are thinking about the essential questions for our future? Where are those who know what urgent reforms mean? When it is possible to do good, and one example that is an exception, occurred when António Costa sought the Academy’s ability to manage the state budget with competence and efficiency. The results are factual and sufficient to overcome ideological prejudices.
Italy’s example cannot be indifferent to us. Portugal does not have a Draghi, but we are well accompanied because this is also the case in other European countries. As in Italy, however, we are a community willing to survive. The same will that led Salvini, 5 Sterne, Berlusconi, the center and the diverse democratic left to sit at the table and think together about how they can contribute to the good of all. What is preventing us in Portugal from looking for an integrative solution? Like Italy, don’t we have the prospect of the abyss? In the absence of Draghi, will there not be competent people in parties, in companies, in the academy, in society in general? What are we missing?
We deserve better.