Saturday, May 15

“If there is no coordination with the EU, Italy will do it alone”


Correspondent in Rome

Updated:

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The Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, warned the European Union that in case of new problems with vaccines, as has happened this week with AstraZeneca, Italy will act “on its own.” He also opened the possibility of having the Russian Sputnik vaccine and announced that he, when his turn comes, will be vaccinated with AstraZeneca. In his first press conference, after thirty-four days as head of government, Mario Draghi was very sure about what to do, sometimes ironic and knew how to give confidence to the country by conveying the feeling that he is clear about the steps to be taken. give to overcome the economic and health crisis. In his hour-long press conference, there was no show, no concession to populism, in stark contrast to the tedious conferences of his predecessor Conte. Draghi followed the same style of his eight years as president of the European Central Bank, calibrating responses, clear and synthetic, without frills or concessions for the gallery.

The Italian Prime Minister warned Europe: “We must be practical: We seek to be together, but here it is about health. If European coordination works, it must be followed. If it doesn’t work, you have to go on your own, “said Draghi, also advising the European Union that Italy is open to the Russian Sputnik vaccine, regardless of what Brussels decides:” If the EU goes ahead with Sputnik, fine; otherwise, it will proceed differently. With pragmatism it is necessary to look for the European coordination, if it is not possible to maintain it, other ways can be seen ». Mario Draghi recalled his age of 73 years to ensure that he will be vaccinated when it is his turn with the Anglo-Swedish vaccine: «I will get the vaccine, without any doubt. And yes, I will with AstraZeneca. My son already did it in England. Draghi promised that 500,000 vaccines will be injected daily in April. The goal is for 80% of Italians to be vaccinated by September.

Time to give money, not ask

Draghi presented at the press conference the decree approved yesterday in the Council of Ministers with aid worth 32,000 million euros for those most affected for the coronavirus crisis: “We will give them quickly from April 8, we have done the maximum, although it will not be enough and, in fact, we will intervene with another budgetary modification.” Three quarters of the 32 billion approved will go to companies and workers who have lost their jobs. A billion will go to culture.

Draghi made it clear that this This is not the time to think about the Stability Pact, (the European rule that sets 3% as the maximum limit for the public deficit, and 60% of GDP for public debt) or to return to the classic parameters. “The time will come to look at the debt, but this is a year in which money is not asked, money is given.” In any case, in due course “the rules of the Stability Pact will be discussed and it is difficult for them to remain the same.”

Mario Draghi answered everything, without avoiding more or less uncomfortable political questions, such as when he was asked if he wanted to succeed President Sergio Mattarella as head of state or about the duration of his government of national unity. «The horizon is defined by parliament, only parliament ”, he limited himself to saying, in clear demonstration of his style of quick and concise answers. Draghi knows that his arrival at Chigi Palace has created many expectations in the country. His consensus index, according to polls, exceeds 60 percent. “I will not promise anything that later cannot be achievable,” he said recently. Before speaking, he prefers to do things quickly and in the best possible way, but he is aware that these expectations can turn into disappointments. That is why, with a half smile, he commented yesterday: “I hope the disappointments are not equal to the enthusiasm that exists now …”

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