Veltroni’s Wooly Candidacy

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Veltroni’s Wooly Candidacy

04 Luglio 2007

the Fiat factory in Turin, Rome’s Mayor Walter Veltroni launched his candidacy
for the leadership of the Democratic Party, the new movement meant to bring
some unity to the lefts’ catastrophic internal divisions. However, while
drawing a charming and attractive picture of a “light and ambitious policy
for a Democratic Party meant to include and not to leave out”, Veltroni
gave the clear feeling of someone who, unsure about what to say, tried his best
to say it smoothly.

The four main
points on the new Party’s agenda, according to Veltroni, will be the
environment, a “new pact between generations” – meaning a reform of
the pensions system – education and security. However, Rome’s Mayor has not
given any real answer nor defined any concrete plan to tackle these issues,
confirming everyone’s feeling about him: good speaking ability, average charisma
and no courage at all to take a clear stand on anything.   

The Democratic
Party’s mission, he declared, must be “fighting precariousness, especially
that of italy’s young ones who, in the most important time of their lives, are
told to wait, wait and wait to have a stable job and get a mortgage. But life,
can’t be occasional, it can’t be part time”. The problem is that, in Italy
, a serious job and a mortgage are simply inaccessible without being hired with
a permanent contract, due to the jammed bank system and, above all, the
complete absence of a risk culture – a taboo for Italy’s left –   which, God forbid, Veltroni didn’t dare to

Concerning the
tax system, Veltroni declared that it must be simplified, in complete denial of
the fact that the financial bill approved in December by Prodi’s majority went
in the opposite direction. Veltroni added, in a very general fashion,  that taxes should be lowered, but immediately
specified that he wasn’t thinking about the “flat tax” so dear to the
right. What was he thinking then?

The highest
point of Veltroni’s dialectical skills, however, was reached when he described
the future of Italy’s electoral system, which should “fight fragmentation
and enhance pluralism”. What does that mean?

In short,
whoever hoped, in Turin, for a new leader, credible and free of the permanent
confusion that seems to be such a distinctive trait of the current Government,
should be very disappointed and worried for the future of the left and, as long
as this Cabinet stays in office, of the whole country.