Italy, a country of poets , saints and sailors. Perhaps even lazy, replete with dreamers and lovers of La Dolce Vita. For generations, these have been the features with which Italians have been identified by other countries. Cliché or truth?
In a blend of irony and bitterness this was the topic of a conversation between two prominent Italian journalists—Beppe Severgnini and Barbara Serra—that was held at the Italian Cultural Institute on March 31st. Both promoting their books, titled, respectively, "Italians of tomorrow" and "Italians are not lazy"
Severgnini, a columnist for Corriere della Sera and several international newspapers, and Barbara Serra, the first Italian journalist to work for the Al-Jazeera TV network, used this occasion to talk about the Italian Diaspora, analysing the reasons for it and, in particular, the difficulties and socio-cultural differences which are faced by young Italians abroad. The discussion focused on the opportunities that the Anglo-Saxon world offers to young and not-so-young people, who often come to the UK with the belief that here everything is much simpler.
On the contrary, once they have arrived, they have to face an entirely different system, based on the concept of competition and where the principle of meritocracy replaces that of nepotism. Serra, who’s been living in London for twenty years, says that Italians are definitely not lazy. She suggests that they should leave Italy with clear ideas and being strict with themselves, determined, and showing themselves as responsible, so as to be able to compete and come out winners. Severgnini stressed the need of reprogramming our country because otherwise from this point on, the migration phenomenon, already very worrying, will vastly increase.
The applications for WeHave The Future! , the first international Law and Economics Summer Camp, are officially open. Applications are open for WeHave The Future! - Law and Economics for Society, the Summer Camp where students and professors from the best Law and Business School in the world will meet the most relevant Italian companies in order to analyze their best practices and focus on the resolution of real strategy cases. Corporate Law and Entrepreneurship Finance, Law for Business Organization and Future’s Challenges are the three modules that, through lectures, workshops and labs, will allow participants to apply and refine their skills according to the current market needs and thus achieving the right integration of law in business management and strategy. This capacity will immediately be tested, not only through the resolution of real strategy cases related to how technology innovations are going to revolutionize the production chain in fashion, manufacturing, food and wine, culture and tourism industry, but also through a special internship program, realized with the companies partner of the program.
Lack of meritocracy or even of rewarding achievement is one of Italy’s worst sins. Which is why we want to celebrate Italian talent (#GIACGOTTALENT). Once a month we will salute an Italian who can make the whole nation proud. Do you know someone who does just that? Then let us know by sending us your #GiacGotTalent nomination to YourVoice@girlfriendinacoma.eu. We’ll select one winner every month.
Article reproduced from L'Espresso
For someone who claims to want to emulate Britain’s Tony Blair, Matteo Renzi has made a strange start in national politics. When I interviewed him on camera for “Girlfriend in a Coma” he cited Blair as wisely saying he loved Labour Party traditions, except their tradition of always losing elections—but now Renzi has split his own PD by his sudden putsch against Enrico Letta. And as I wrote in L’Espresso in December last year, one of Blair’s key tactics was patience: he took three years to get full control of his party before winning the general election of 1997. President Renzi is not a patient man. So what should we think of Italy’s young, ambitious and impatient leader? Most of all, we should judge him by what his government actually achieves, so we will have to wait for that. Dreams and inspiring words about radicalism and revival are good and needed, but they will count for nothing without decisive actions.
As the Renzi government settles in for their first week in office, it is useful to remind ourselves what Matteo Renzi said in his interview with GIAC in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence back in February 2012. The crucial points to bear in mind from the interview as we judge him and his government are these: 1. He said he wants new, younger faces in institutions all over the country. His government, based as it is on the same coalition as that of Enrico Letta, still contains plenty of old faces. You can’t really get new faces without a new parliament and new elections. His next test will be in the hundreds of appointments his government will have to make in coming months to the top jobs in state-owned or state-controlled companies, and in combating what he calls Italy’s “terrible bureaucracy”.
Winston Churchill allegedly said that the terrible thing about committing political suicide is that you are still alive to watch the consequences. As the Partito Democratico attempts political suicide yet again, we observers are forced to conclude that either the PD has learned nothing from past suicides or it doesn’t care.
When Matteo Renzi was elected secretary-general of the party in December, it was 100% clear that the most crucial step for him would be to form an alliance with his party colleague, Enrico Letta, who happened to be occupying Palazzo Chigi. After barely two months, that alliance is now falling apart.
Occasionally, looking at Italian opinion polls, it has seemed surprising that both Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia seem to be retaining their share of the vote. Since every day’s news since the PD election has been dominated by Mayor Renzi, and since he is said to be Italy’s great young hope, this situation is not what one would expect. But it is easily explainable by two other facts: the failure of the Letta government to achieve any significant reforms; and the conflict under way inside the PD.
An obvious solution, one that has frequently been advocated by GIAC, is a new set of general elections. That is the only way to break the political stalemate that resulted from the February 2013 election, and thus to make government, and reforms, possible. But such elections should take place only once Parliament has passed a new electoral law.