5 questions (unanswered) on the future of the Italian economy

5 questions (unanswered) on the future of the Italian economy

The economic crisis triggered by Covid-19 will have significant dimensions and will unfold its effects for an indefinite time. The speech by Paolo Longobardi, honorary president of Unimpresa

How deep will this recession be? How many VAT numbers will be forced to close? How many companies will go bankrupt? And how many SMEs, however, will survive? How many jobs will we lose in Italy?

These are the five crucial questions we are trying to answer, without having anything concrete in hand to make accurate reasoning and analysis. We rely on hopes and concerns, on hoped for events and feared prospects. Unfortunately, it is not possible to outline reliable estimates. Just as we do not have, to help us, economic history books to browse, nor do econometric models meet us on which to sketch out some accurate predictions. The future is dramatically uncertain and this applies both to our country and to a large part of the world.

The economic crisis triggered by the health emergency caused by Covid-19 will probably have enormous dimensions and will unfold its effects for an indefinite, certainly not short, time. Household consumption, business investment, the trend in tax revenues: the damage is incalculable and will concern all areas of the economy, from private sectors to public finance. And the risk is to look helplessly at the start of a negative spiral from which only organized crime will benefit.

It is the time – or better, it would be the time – when the state should show all its compactness and when the government should (of) show that it has vision as well as leadership. And instead, after a series of decrees – which have not translated into concrete support for businesses, workers and families – full of quibbles that have curbed liquidity and various aid, within 24 hours we have witnessed the improbable : first the announcement of the States General of the economy, then the presentation of the document prepared by the commission of experts chaired by Vittorio Colao . In the first case, if the news reports are correct, it is the attempt by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to launch his political movement, an alternative both to the current opposition and to the political forces of the government majority; in the second case, the copious paper delivered by the former CEO of Vodafone appears to be an ex officio defense against any criticism of a working group that has failed to achieve what it hoped for in the settlement. We asked to participate in the discussion of that document of proposals, but we are sure that those measures – which, however, from a first evaluation, lack an overview – will remain closed in the prime minister's drawer.

Once again, power games and palace intrigues, individual interests and squalid personalisms will be the protagonists of the indecorous Italian scene: irresponsible behaviors and attitudes not free from blame, will scoff at all the dramatic problems of our economy. The summer that is painstakingly starting will not be rich in business, but it could play an anesthetizing role. Only in autumn will the picture be clearer: on the post-Coronavirus battlefield there will be "dead" and "injured", the count will be easier and maybe we will be able to find some dramatic answers to the five crucial questions.

If we remain still and passive today, we will simply do the damage count. Speed ​​and preparation will make the difference. Determination and seriousness are essential ingredients.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/economia/5-domande-senza-risposta-sul-futuro-economia-italiana/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=5-domande-senza-risposta-sul-futuro-economia-italiana on Wed, 10 Jun 2020 05:31:07 +0000.