GDP + 5% / 1. The last delusion that Italy and the European Union have to fight

From the European Commission, by the summer macroeconomic outlook, a new positive sign of Italy’s recovery has emerged. In fact, GDP this year is expected to grow by 5% (versus estimates of 4.2% in the spring), thanks above all to a larger-than-expected response from the economy to remove restrictions on movement and activities. Paolo Gentiloni highlighted that “all EU economies will reach or exceed pre-pandemic levels by the third quarter of 2022 at the latest”, but these levels remain lower than those projected before the pandemic. For the European Commissioner for Economic Affairs, it is now important to “maintain the vaccine momentum”.

In fact, it seems clear that a new wave of Covid will slow recovery, but, he explains كما Mario DiglioAnd the Professor Emeritus of International Economics at the University of TurinToday, the fifteenth report on the world economy and Italy will be presented Promoted by the Luigi Einaudi Research and Documentation Center and by Intesa Sanpaolo, this is not the only risk we face on an economic level.

Professor, besides covid, what can take us away from such an important recovery e higher than expected?

In fact, the real danger is that we stop at +5%. In other words, it represents a cultural risk rather than an economic one. In fact, the notion that the economy will “recover” if it returns to pre-Covid levels is widespread. There seems to be no prospect of moving forward, no perceptible danger of going back down.

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Is it a real danger?

For the whole of Europe, not just for us, projections for the next 20-30 years speak of a growing chasm with respect to Asia, not just China and, to a lesser extent, the United States, which is struggling with that strong growth of inequality. Thus, continuous recovery is a necessary, but not sufficient condition to avoid losing ground in perspective. First of all, we need to change our mentality, first of all to let go of the complexity of simple things that have always distinguished us.

The failure to simplify is a purely Italian problem, but if the risk of underdevelopment also affects the rest of Europe, what does it depend primarily on?

In my opinion, primarily by demographics. We are much bigger than the rest of the world. On the other hand, this is certainly a positive fact, because it means that in Europe we live more than anywhere else, but if fewer children continue to be had, with the doors closed to immigrants, there is not much point of view to address that – it’s called “demographic winter” .

Higher than expected growth can be achieved To curb expansionary policies Thus slowing growth?

The danger exists and not only in Italy. Unfortunately, it is easier to brake than to accelerate and the entire continent can be affected.

Although recovery fund?

Unfortunately. Europe will have to control how all countries, not just Italy, use resources. However, there is a problem: if the recovery fund is used only to cure things that are not done, such as infrastructure maintenance, there will be little progress. There must be projects that look to the future. We should start asking ourselves what problem we want for Italy in 20 years.

There is a problem in thinking and planning for the future, but perhaps additional resources will also be needed at the European level.

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Yes I think so. The Six Years Recovery Fund can mark a start, a phase in which we struggle vigorously against setbacks, but then we need to broaden horizons. Without reference also as an approach to fiscal policy at the European level.

(Lorenzo Torrisi)

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