Alberto Bagnai: “At the end of the emergency, Europe will present the bill to us”


Alberto Bagnai, the new economic manager of the League, Eurosceptic by definition, looks like this: “Our position on the Mes (European Stability Mechanism) has already been argued for a long time on the basis of factual data”.

So, Senator, we deprive ourselves of 36 billion without conditionalities useful for health care costs?

If there was a genuine desire not to apply the famous conditionalities due to the emergency, Article 136 paragraph 6 of the Tfue and Article 7 of the so-called 472/2013, the so-called “two pack”, would have had to be changed.

A note: this is money that would immediately arrive in our state coffers.
It is not certain that they will give them to us immediately.

Why do you say so? Do you have any elements or do you speak by party?

Meanwhile, I would like to understand the liquidity available to the Mes in cash. Then I tell you something.

You are welcome.

As others have mentioned, the Italian administrative structure is unable to quickly spend such a large amount in the health sector.

Why shouldn’t we trust the European Commission?

Because Italy’s economic conditions will worsen significantly due to the recession and government maneuvers. The debt / GDP ratio will increase, and also the deficit, when the guarantees on the loans of the Liquidity decree are enforced. When the end of the emergency is declared, we will still be in these conditions, and Europe will come to ask us for the bill.

Do you say no to Mes, and to the Recovery Fund? In this case too, this is a significant figure, partly as a non-repayable loan and partly as a loan. It is an extraordinary and revolutionary plan and is a clear signal from Brussels and Strasbourg. What are the contraindications?

To have a real lost fund it would have had to be organized as it was written in the Spanish proposal.


Issuance of perpetual securities, the same that the president of Consob, Paolo Savona asks today, and distribution of the proceeds from this collection entirely in non-returnable funds. Instead the lost fund of the Next Generation it is different: the collection takes place with issues of securities that must be repaid, and the repayment is guaranteed by the European budget, to which are added new European taxes. With two problems.


First: it is not a real lost fund, citizens still pay, not in interest, but in taxes paid to the issuing body which is Europe.


There is a problem with taxation without rappresentation. How to say this modus operandi it is legitimate only in that we feel represented by these European institutions.

Make me understand, are you saying that you don’t feel represented by the European institutions?

I believe it has been seen that the European institutions have two weights and two measures: they damage the right-wing governments and are accommodating with the left-wing executives. It seems normal to me that a conservative voter should not feel represented.

Is the Bagnai dell’Italexit back?

We are not at Italiaexit, we are at a reflection. Let’s stop, let’s think. If the forecasts are correct, in 2021 the income of Italians will be on average 8 percent lower than that of 2007. Do we realize?

By the way, your sovereign ally Viktor Orban is spiteful: he said yes to the Recovery Fund.

I find it normal. Since Hungary is a net beneficiary of the European budget, from its point of view it is rational to access resources guaranteed by net taxpayers (Italy, France, Germany).

Did you say no to Mes, no to the Recovery Fund, will there be something you will like about Europe? After all, an effort has been made. Does not find?

The criticisms I have made are not only ours. Those who attend the international press find in the Financial Times columnists such as Wolfgang Munchau who criticize Europe for the limited resources on the field, or Martin Sandbu who wonders if a decentralized response would not be more efficient than the phantom European response. European centralism is a factor of inefficiency, the rhetoric ofunited we win He has failed. You think that with a single auction, the BTP Italia has collected two thirds of the amount of the Mes. And that money can be sent by the government where it wishes, without external influences and European bureaucratic delays.

Then there is a third leg of the package, the Sure Fund, which would be used for social safety nets. Do you also say no to this measure?

As is known, that fund is not yet operational. Guarantees must be paid for it to be. Italy has decided to do it with the revival decree, but other countries must also move. So the process is long. Another knot: the amount of the fund is 100 billion. Obviously not all of them are destined for us, and they are not open-ended: they are a loan. We could probably see a few billion next year.

The League’s workhorse remains the flat tax or are there new economic proposals?

The League has a multifaceted economic proposal, which starts from the relaunch of investments in tangible and intangible infrastructures, with a particular eye to the territories, passes through administrative simplification, with the necessary reform of the procurement code, and naturally comes to tax reform, where in addition to the flat tax, I remember the reform of the tax process, which we are already working on in the Commission. The first phase of the flat tax was undoubtedly a success: people thank us not only for the lightening of the tax burden, but above all because the obligations have been simplified. Knowing how much to pay is already an achievement. The work must be carried out along the lines described by Senator Siri.

Will you rate it the next deviation?

The theme is to understand what you want to do. Does the government want to show us a clear path, does it want to involve us?

But the Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, had invited you to the States General for the economy and you replied spades.

They had invited us to notify us of a document from a task force on which we had not been questioned or involved. A film already seen during Cura Italia. We are parliamentarians, however much of opposition, not press agencies (which do a valuable job but different from ours). It is not acceptable that we convene downstream of decisions to make us a mere information on things done.

Before he did not respond, will you vote or will you not vote for the budget variance?

Let’s see.

Your ally Silvio Berlusconi is a Europeanist, he says yes to Mes, to the Receipt Fund, to Sure. Is the center-right coalition likely to jump?

The coalition exists precisely because there is a diversity of views: otherwise we would have a single party. I have daily interesting debates with the other center-right colleagues. I am aware of the current position of President Berlusconi on this issue. In short, the debate continues. If it comes to the vote in the courtroom, I hope there is a compactness.

What if the center-right breaks on the Mes?

We need to make a speech of honesty: are we shown that our perplexities are unfounded? We are not ideological. But I think it is difficult to prove that the Treaties change with a handshake.

So what will happen?

In the face of a majority that does not make us part of the choices, we cannot take on responsibilities that are not ours. In the end we will vote, at the latest in 2023. By that date it will have been understood whether the Mes was a trap or not. President Conte says there will be no assets. We’ll see.

She is the new economic manager of the League and was nominated on live TV by Bruno Vespa. Why was there all this gestation for the indication of the head of the economic department? The background tells of a clash between the Salvinian and Georgian wings. Between a more Eurosceptic line and another more pro-European.

Well, really all these fights I read them in the newspapers.

Are you or are you not the new economic manager?

Of course, but this has been known for months, it has already been announced in a group meeting in the Senate and in various press conferences. Covid events only delayed the formal transition to the Federal Council, but the decision has long been taken.

With her at the helm of the department, the party will be more outside than inside Europe.

I think the role of the department manager is not clear, which is not to impose a line, but to put himself at the service of colleagues to coordinate parliamentary work and to put the various ideas on the table. In the end it is the secretary who makes the summary.

Giancarlo Giorgetti represents the ruling league, the pragmatic league, which often criticizes Salvini’s approach. Are there two leagues?

I can say a thing?


It makes me a little smile that while speaking of Europe as a dream, whoever is pro-European is defined as pragmatic. When I talk to my colleagues, when I read their classroom interventions over the past decade, I don’t find dreams, but great realism. It is not from my entrance that the League has been wondering about Europe. Unfortunately, Europe is not responding to the challenge. I think there is still a right of criticism and that if on the other side there is good faith, the criticisms can be collected and considered as a stimulus.

Meanwhile, the League continues to lose consensus. About ten points in a year. What happens?

Well, the loss of consensus I see more in the polls than in the territories. It is completely normal that in a phase in which the country is hit by an emergency, citizenship is gathered around those who exercise power at that time. The peak of Hollande’s consensus occurred after the Bataclan massacre. It lasted very little.

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