On June 4, yet another book by Matteo Renzi comes out: it is called “The horse’s move. How to start again, together “, published by Marsilio (cost 16 euros) and, as in the past, should anticipate the new season of a character who is now many times” ex “. No other Italian politician has changed his skin like him. Former mayor of Florence, former “scraper”, former prime minister, former architect of a historic electoral exploit (41 percent at the 2014 Democratic Party), former architect (in 2018) of the most powerful flop in Italian electoral history, promoter of the yellow-red government and then an immediate split of the Democratic Party. And now? Engaged for months in a guerrilla war, in a hit and run alongside the Conte government, Renzi writes a book full of stop and go, which shows that he has yet to decide what to do when he grows up.
Count, lights and many shadows
His well-known annoyance for the prime minister’s role (potential competitor on the “electoral market” of the moderates) and at the same time his recent gratitude for Conte’s various acknowledgments for the political role of Italia Viva translate into a chiaroscuro judgment . Very clear in the appreciation of the style: “Conte has been highly appreciated by the population, a style that I find has helped to contain the tones. This type of consensus – very high during the toughest phase of the crisis, in Italy as in other countries – was a value in the overall economy of the political phase that we experienced. Imagine what could have happened if a growing distrust of the prime minister’s actions had added to the difficulties of the quarantine or if he had expressed himself in the denial terms used for example by the Brazilian president Bolsonaro ».
A demagogic communication
But Renzi becomes a tranchant on the institutional management of the emergency: “The reality has dramatically put us in front of the evidence that, in the face of an emergency, some decree of the President of the Council of Ministers may be enough to suspend the constitutional freedoms of sixty million of Italians ». And again: «In the fiery days of the debates, I was particularly inflamed by the issue of constitutional freedoms, with respect to which a« we allow », typical of the Constitutions octroyées, is never admissible», «a Prime Minister cannot have eyes only for the popularity ratings, he must look at the number of jobs, GDP, international forecasts. A system that aims to maintain consensus with a direct Facebook per week, which dribbles parliamentary procedures by taking refuge in a vision of the paternalistic state and disrespectful of freedoms, is not admissible, nor can we accept the ethical state approach, which wants to measure the affects in centimeters. Citizens must be given resources, not limits, the freedom that adult people recognize, not populist paternalism. The evident surrender towards demagogic and qualunquiste forms is justified with the exceptional nature of the drama experienced and with an institutional communication more similar to that of an episode drama – with weekly press conferences aimed at gaining consensus rather than giving information – rather than the traditional one of an emergency government ».
For Conte many lights and shadows, but the same is also true for a possible entry into the politics of technicians. Well the return of competence., Writes Renzi, but woe to give up the power to the technicians. Whether they are economists or magistrates. A stop also to Mario Draghi? In a book that contains few references to political figures, Draghi remains suspended.
The past that comes back
And finally the passage on the new Tangentopoli. Renzi writes: «I am afraid that, in the absence of a strong reactive capacity of politics, Italy will also have to face the popular response triggered by a series of investigations that the media could present as« the new Tangentopoli ». Mine is an impression born from reading the reports of what happened and remembering the teaching of some wise colleague of the past: when politics is weak, one looks at the judiciary almost to give it an uncritical supply power ».
And he points out the potential fields of investigation: «The individual protection tools, that is to say the masks, have come through, to say the least, daring paths. And again: «Are we sure that, in the face of what has happened and the over thirty thousand dead, some prosecutors will not want to investigate the responsibilities of the political class in the conduct of the emergency? The definition of the red areas, the timing of the closings, the preparation period between the first news of contagions in Wuhan and the patient one of Codogno, the management of the Civil Protection, the relationship between regions and the central State, but also between regions and municipalities ». Renzi writes that an overflow of the judiciary could be expressed and concludes: «For this reason too, I asked for the establishment of a parliamentary committee of inquiry to clarify. Certainly not for the desire to replace the judiciary – which will have to carry out its own findings – but to recover what happened, the positive and negative elements, in a political framework, as a lesson for the future ».