Italy-Spain: two of a political kind?

It is indeed part of a very interesting political analysis to look at the European Union through the lenses of Southern countries. Their reality’s quite similar, particularly on their weakness, which makes them drivers of European skepticism. We are going to focus on Italy and Spain although it’s also Greece´s reality. Strong similarities that make them different from the rest of Europe, particularly Northern countries, and exposure the failure of the EU to tackle diversity. The geopolitical issue demands an especial strategy that is not currently considered, insisting on a model “for all European countries” that is not realistic and is preventing to create cohesion, reinforcing the sense of joint action.

The transversal main drivers of conflict are corruption, migration, political partisan struggle, lack of leadership, public debt, and unemployment. Is it good to highlight that is not about “national struggles”, but negative points that affect the entire region. For instance: migration. The impact on Italy is transferred to the rest of Southern countries, currently with Spain. Paradoxically any policies that prevent the chaotic movements affects negatively the neighbouring country, is it so that only through Brussels ´leadership” we can get results with consistency.

The domino effect is huge if we see that the migration crisis is not isolated from the rest of the crises that hit Europe and make a direct contribution to European skepticism, xenophobia, racism, the rise of nationalist parties, and chaos on safety and sanitary emergencies.

Is it a European issue that makes the Union an agent that must be responsible, and responsive. The difference between Central/Northern countries and Southern countries should not be an excuse not to tackle the crisis that makes a dramatic impact on the latest because migration movements are coming mainly from the Mediterranean Sea and until they get to countries as Germany or Norway they are hosted by Italy, Spain and Greece –not on a balanced number- .

The European Union is funding on an unsustainable pattern that makes Nations be linked with the Union instead of resilient “satellites” healthy connected one. Europe has become not a Union of Nations but a misbalanced agreement in terms of geopolitical power and impact on the population. 

Contributing to the perception that the European Union institutions are the passport to intrusion and economic fall down -including the impact on the Euro-. Which is a strong contradiction as is the spirit of “being European” that should be at stake and not their wrong, bureaucratic strategy as well as monetary policies that are driven Europe into a Zero-sum game in terms of integration and boost of economical prosperity.

We have not yet recovered from Troika devastating impact and the steady and surprising strategy based on austerity that now, within pandemics, are reflecting their collateral effects from wrong policies that impact vulnerable countries –Southern- higher than the rest. There was no vision to build resilience and we are paying the consequences of their weakness unable to tackle European multiple crises. 

The investment was the only solution towards productivity. The twofold policies that remain in Germany make them lead the European Union without being a model of integration. The all-in-one solution of austerity during the financial crisis 2008 still creates its impact within South European countries that do not hold the same “diseases” only because of “wrong management” or “corruption” but also for biased policies from Brussels that are not delivering resilience. Instead of preventing the crisis like 2008, they collapse with the only hope of getting European funds by strict control and on the sense of “humanitarian aid” without the correct focus on empowerment allowing Governments to create policies that build long-term sustainability. Very much aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals that the European Union is supposed to be their main goal.

Facts, not coincidences. South countries are suffering more than European countries without registered much development or/and efficiency from Europe’s funds because their particular needs are not attended. 

Spain and Italy share the same idiosyncrasy on political culture:

*lack of leadership

*powerful private interests

* corruption

*determined partisan interests.

All of the above are not aligned with one goal: “on the interest of the Nation” not on the political partisan ones.

Is precisely a cause of this cultural issue that Spain has been without Government for 314 days during 2019 as well as Italy. Because any of the political parties hold enough votes for a majority, making negotiations a “grey” struggle but also an imperative to form Government. Both Italy and Spain fail steadily on building coalitions adapted to a divided voter, that in the end, is precisely the goal: conciliate the needs from the citizenship.

Is it with great hope that we see that this week PM Mario Draghi has been able to unite different positions and offer an alternative that inspires trust and a sense of State. What is the correct interpretation that we may assess to justify this radical change of Italian political culture? LEADERSHIP.

A technocrat like Mr. Draghi gives us the clue that only when there is a strong leader able to get rid of partisan biased games is when we thrive. Also, Mr. Mario Berlusconi in their times as Prime Minister has shown to be powerful enough –despite the shadow of corruption- to deliver stability and handle partisan interests.

A true political leader is above any partisan interest when there is time to join and design the architecture of a resilient Nation. Ideologies only find the way to tackle crises by being aligned to management goals. Just about political stability. When leader Salvini, anti-European Union has celebrated European funds for Italy during negotiations with Draghi, means that ideologies get reinforce when there is the sense of emergency that demands a humble political leadership instead of a stubborn and irrelevant Zero-sum game.

What may eventually happen if Spain takes Italy´s new model of conciliation?  A technocrat “Spanish Super Mario”, instead of the repetition of an endless and unsustainable model of doing politics with no delivering?

The use of the pandemics as part of a “political partisan debate” is a weak point to address for both Spain and Italy as the only one is on strategy and actions rather than pandemics in itself that exists beyond any good or wrong management.

Strong and self-confident leadership should go with the action, especially during pandemics. Taking the lenses of rational management instead of “good strategies” that are not translated into action and get stuck in an unproductive debate.

Spain and Italy…the road ahead from the same European Union philosophy but a reshaped Brussels policies and structure.

Learning from each other success and failures.




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