Renato d’Andria comments on New York Times article: ‘From Ceremonial Figure to Italy’s Quiet Power Broker’.
Giorgio Napolitano, the Italian President, has successfully taken control of Italy during one of the most crucial times in the country’s recent history. It is due to such merits that the New York Times has dedicated its Saturday Profile on 3 December to “King Giorgio”.
It is a long, heartfelt portrayal of the former communist. Napolitano ensured a rapid transition from Berlusconi’s government to the technocratic leadership of Mario Monti; which took the former professor away from his duties at Bocconi University and granted him the post of Senator for life. According to the article, the transition was the result of careful political planning and intense scrutiny by the president during months of talks with national and European leaders. Discussions were also held with American officials and the Bank of Italy in order to ‘shepherd the creation of a viable alternative government’ for the “post-Berlusconi” moment.
The article uncovers important scenarios in Italy. In the months prior to Berlusconi’s resignation on 8 November, the press failed to provide coverage of the diplomatic talks held by the President for the formation of the new executive. The piece goes further. According to constitutional law professor Andrea Simoncini at the University of Florence, not only did Napolitano say “You have to do it soon”; he “basically chose Monti” and created the conditions that prompted people to agree to him becoming prime minister.
The President’s choices were dictated by the need to act quickly in the country’s interest. His actions ensured stability for economic measures to be taken to extract Italy from the structural crisis of the Euro, and distance the nation from the domestic power struggles between De Benedetti and Berlusconi. Such actions have been consistent with Italy’s Atlanticist approach; welcomed by European partners and, as the article shows, by the American public.
For quite some time I have pointed out that Italy is being targeted by foreign pressure groups and often steered by Italian lobbyists who aim to undermine the country’s stability. As I have previously noted, the data show that the economic situation in Italy is not as dire as described, and in fact is more solid that those economies based on the busted bubble of a failing housing market.
The NYT’s endorsement of Giorgio Napolitano suggests an approval of Monti’s austerity policies to come. We must closely follow these current developments; I am sure that Napolitano will be the first one to do so. The urgent need to balance the country’s books can never translate in loss of sovereignty and independence of choice for popular democracy.
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