At 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 mention.
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.