“We brought the country’s problems to the table, issues that are dear to the citizens, some of which have disappeared from our narrative for too long: now, however, the challenge that awaits the party is to find the thread that binds them, building an alternative starts from here.” This path, Andrea Orlandothe path of the new Democratic Party is back fill in the squares. The former Dem minister was last Saturday in Malaga as a delegate at the PSE congress, and not in Piazza del Popoloamong the 50,000 who protested against Meloni’s government, but he is restarting the line of the national secretary Elly Schlein.
Before the stages of the closest party path on the national scene, from dialogue with allies through the opposition to the maneuver that “it is not true that she does not have a vision, she has one – warns the Ligurian representative – he is a legal corporatist and libertarian who, among many, proposes 20 billion in privatization and what must be done oppose the second idea of income redistribution.” And in the same way to the territories, his Liguria first. Where “immediately after the European Championship we will have to tighten the structures and names with regard to the Regional Competitions, because Toti is in crisis and we cannot afford to deal with everything we are facing at the last moment like last time”.
The Democratic Party had not organized a major national protest in five years, before the political era. Perhaps there are too many issues at stake, especially the party electorate on the streets, but what did Saturday say about the moment of the Italian left?
“The most important signal had to be and was to confirm to the Democratic Party the role of the headquarters of the alternative, which is capable of fighting Meloni more decisively. Justice was done to certain mannerist literature that wanted the party to be in the pre-liquidation phase, divided, while in the ruling group of the Democratic Party there is a fairly clear awareness that today unity is not auxiliary, but an essential condition for the restoration of the wider coalition and an attempt to influence the economic and social balance countries, those that should concern everyone the most, including those in power.”
In short, the Democratic Party alone is not enough. And will the arrival of the M5 and Rossoverdi in the square be enough to continue the dialogue between the opposition?
“Saturday talked to everyone, encouraging unity in the Democratic Party, but also talking to the rest of the coalition. It was a partisan but united place and I think that the tragic experience of the 2022 elections taught everyone, from the individual voter to the leader of the opposition forces. Giuseppe Conte, as well as Nicola Fratoianni and Angelo Bonelli, were greeted with love. This would also happen to Carlo Calenda, who when he puts down his smartphone, apart from his social media compulsiveness and rejection of the coalition, if he really understood the irreparability of melonism, I think he too will be forced to think about the needs of dialogue».
From the minimum wage to public health, through peace and the environment, what to do now with all the problems that have been brought to the streets? And where to start to really build, concretely, an alternative?
“We need to work on finding a thread that connects them, and I think the real thread must be criticism of the existing development model. Schlein pointed the line, his was not an expensive, but a powerful speech to launch an alternative plan that starts from a critique not so much of government, but of the way in which rents, monopolies and the concentration of wealth are consolidated in the face of the impoverishment of labor”.
“Starting from the central place of economic issues and the related social consequences, we will be able to talk to other voters, including the right-wing electorate, about not voting, deceived by the populism of those who conducted and won the election campaign on the contradiction of the people and the elite, and then cut pensions and health care, make money on diapers, not banks. The fundamental issue to fight for is all here, and Schlein has solved it.”
Has Rome started the pre-election campaign for the European elections? How do we get there in the spring?
“From now until the European elections, I believe that the Democratic Party must come up with a slogan, Italian society for a social Europe. We must think about the maximum engagement of all forces involved in lists and candidacies, consolidate a coalition that will have to be a Pnrr coalition, in terms of public interventions to fight inequality and for ecological transition. The first step to credibility, however, will be opposition to the budget bill we will be putting in place. A maneuver that, it’s not true, has no vision, it has one, a corporatist and liberal law that among many proposes 20 billion in privatization. One of the most serious aspects, about which too little is said.”
“Because many think that it will not be done in the end, but somewhat like the constitutional reform proposal, it should not be underestimated. After the privatizations of the 1990s, for which even the left should apologize a little, today any privatization would burden strategic sectors, from infrastructure to energy. The exact opposite of what is happening in other European countries, a sign of the government’s underestimation of the geopolitical challenges we face.”
According to Schlein, constitutional reform is a “smoke bomb,” a “weapon of mass distraction.” However, could it be the starting point to really start over, all together?
“True, it served to distract the public’s attention in the midst of debates, for example about budget difficulties and public pension cuts, but it should not be underestimated. There is no plan, no vision, but for this very reason it could become a gun on the table, with the risk of being used when difficulties grow, as an exit strategy of the government in even more difficult times. The risk is that not being able to move the steering wheel and steering could end up being blamed on the steering wheel, and that’s a reason that will need to be clearly combated immediately.”
How do you think Deputy Prime Minister Salvini’s attack on the unions regarding the strike should be viewed?
“Minister Salvini’s attack on the right to strike does not concern only transport workers or unions. It concerns all of us. The right to strike was one of the first targets of fascism. Our Constitution wrote it into its text. The strike was a fundamental lever for workers’ conquests and for the social progress of the country. The law mandates that an independent body regulates its work in essential services, and does not turn out to be provocations by the minister. We must react with the greatest clarity and determination to this attack, which is an attack on one of the essential features of our democracy.”
Speaking of attacks, how do you respond to the regional president of Liguria, Giovanni Toti, who accuses the Ligurian and national left of being a “dam of elites”?
“According to Toti, there is a common thread that connects ours is not at the Vado and Savona regasification terminal, demonstrations in Piazza del Popolo and even criticism of the questionable, expensive promotional initiatives plague in London, and thus he would show the contempt of the leftist elites “who have read millions of books” towards the people of which he would obviously be the standard-bearer. It is a pity that the theory is based on obviously wrong assumptions. The governor pretends not to know that in reality the elites of our country, (of which he is a full part), were chosen more by birth than by the books they read. Nor does he imagine that people might also want a more fulfilling life, based not only on an approach to consumption but also on a different balance between man and nature and between work and finance. But Toti’s real problem is something else.”
What would that be?
“In Liguria, Toti allowed the continuation of a model based on deindustrialization, growth of income from real estate and low-quality tourism, which for several years also worked, in a way, but at the same time built the premises of its own crisis. Emphasizing the Ligurian demographic curve, marginalizing the region in the main strategic sectors, endangering the preservation of a very delicate ecological heritage. That is why, in addition to diverting attention from the disastrous regional health figures, he must ideologize the answer: it cannot be corrected, the contrast between the people and the elite of the left is invented. As if environmental protection, quality employment, the fight against gentrification and the increase of rents, among the many effects of predatory tourism, do not concern people.”
However, according to Toti himself, there would be room for everything to stay together: services, tourism, industry. Is not that so?
“But this is said by those who position themselves as defenders of the industry by proposing a regasification terminal for the territory, in fact the real trigger of its contradictions: a plant that has not decided to deal with the increase in bills, but to do favors to Melona and the mayor of Piombino. Which will bring nothing to the Ligurian industry, one of the many disputes that the Region has forgotten, from the former Ilva onwards.”
He seems to be talking like a future regional presidential candidate, you know that, right? Can the construction of a path that will lead the left center to the next Regionals start from this topic, regardless of the names that will lead it?
“I speak as a Ligurian representative. The path that awaits the Ligurian left has been well outlined by the regional secretary of the Democratic Party, Davide Natale, and I fully agree with him: it will include a discussion of the programs and challenges we have at the territorial level, such as the municipal elections in Sanremo. However, we will definitely have to start tightening the structures and names in view of the Regional immediately after the European Championship, we cannot afford to solve everything at the last minute like in 2020.”
The Giallorossi’s investment began in Liguria in 2020, the first organic alliance with the M5s. What do you think of Beppe Grillo’s words on TV as Fabio Fazio’s guest?
“I didn’t see him, I read that he claimed that he ruined this country. But I would tend to think that Grillo is more of an effect than a cause.”