Bribes and too many laws / The Mose scandal is the mirror of politics


Venice has always suffered high water floods. The maxim dates back to 1966, but certainly there were many others before the surveys took on scientific and periodic character. It is true that man has indulged the causes and aggravated the consequences by digging wells and neglecting the cleaning of the canals; It is also true that our intervention has limited capabilities when faced with imposing tides such as those of these days. Wanting to find those responsible at all costs means showing arrogance before the imperturbable neutrality of Nature. And yet, in the tragedy that has hit Venice these days, even man has his faults. The first is certainly to arouse the illusion that modern technology can avoid the catastrophes of Creation, to the point of incriminating geologists who have not been able to predict earthquakes. But the second is that he did not do what he could and should have done: in the specific case, he had not made the planned, financed and started works.

If, for instance, the Moses had been built on schedule, perhaps the water would have invaded the city anyway: but it would have done so in a less impetuous and extended way, and the damage would have been limited. Mose's paralysis has many fathers. First and foremost, the design, which required constant modifications and updates for an original and unique work in the world.

Added to this are the costs, which have risen due to technical difficulties and sometimes wrong calculations; late payments, which have forced some companies to reduce their activity; and of course the corruption that, once discovered, led to a change in "governance" between public and private administrators.
But the mother is only one: and it is the legislative proliferation with the annexed bureaucratic elephantiasis, which has multiplied the already numerous obstacles in the execution of such a complex enterprise. And this normative confusion has given rise to two consequences, which are worth remembering.

The first is almost paradoxical. Aware that, with this inextricable tangle of indistinct competences and tortuous procedures, such a work could never have been carried out, the legislator created an organization, the Venezia Nuova Consortium, to which it attributed almost absolute powers. In short, after having poisoned the dish with impracticable regulations, he found the antidote deciding to ignore them, with the result that this organism, enjoying an unquestionable arbitrariness, did what it wanted, corrupting left and right and squandering a tide of money public to ingratiate themselves with the various potentates and acquire, as they say, political consensus.

The second was consequential. Once this impressive tide of illegality emerged, politics, frightened by the intervention of the judiciary, ran for cover, and dusted off, aggravating it, the tangle of Byzantine and bureaucratic controls that should have prevented the cheerful finance of the Consortium, and instead has led to paralysis. So that every financing, every liquidation, every test, in short, every phase of the execution was subjected to such a series of prudential controls to provoke an exasperating slowdown of the jobs and a further increase of costs, aggravated by the reduction of the allocations.
Unfortunately the example of the Mose is not isolated. Although for the size of the work (and those, just as gigantic, of bribes and waste) a unicum in our history, it reflects the pseudolegalitarian culture of our policy, which believes that efficiency and honesty are directly proportional to the number of laws that churns out and the authorities that should ensure compliance.

While it is exactly the opposite, because the more the skills are multiplied and the procedures are complicated, the more corruption among the dishonest subjects and the fear of making mistakes (and being indicted) among the good ones, which now implement the so-called defensive administration, is stimulated. and hide behind a precautionary inertia. Thus, together with Venice, our economy also sinks.

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