Elections, Santi (Eurasia Group): “Margins for painless management of Pnrr changes”

‘US worried about ambiguity about Russia but far-sighted Meloni’

Between the EU and the future Italian government, which should be led by Giorgia Meloni, “there are margins to manage painlessly the changes to the PNRR” invoked several times in recent weeks. With the election campaign closed, “my impression is that requests for changes will be very limited and punctual”. This is the opinion expressed by Federico Santi, an analyst of Eurasia Group, an expert on Southern Europe, economic governance and energy issues, in the aftermath of the victory of the center-right coalition led by Fdi.

“In general with regard to the NRP and economic policy – reasons Santi – Meloni has moved to very moderate positions, of substantial continuity with the previous government, as regards debt reduction, post covid, the maintenance of the commitments of the Recovery fund. They didn’t say what they want to change, but my impression is that the requests for changes will be very limited and timely, some of them are even reasonably well founded. “

The Eurasia Group analyst is convinced that on the part of the European Commission there is “interest in managing the issue in a constructive way, without creating friction. I think there is scope for managing it fairly painlessly”. Among other things, Santi recalls that the issue of the revision of the Recovery is linked to the issue of the energy crisis, “crucial to the extent that the European Commission has proposed to use the portion of unused loans, of which Italy would be a beneficiary and that it would represent an opportunity for the new government “.

The analyst then talks about the “partly justified” concerns of the United States about Italian policy towards Russia, but Meloni “was far-sighted and pragmatic” when she sided with Kiev, claiming a strongly Atlanticist position.

“It is no secret that among the major European countries Italy is the one with a position closest to Russia, for a series of complex reasons, and it is the country in which the political debate has recently been very ambivalent”, emphasizes Santi . In recent months, Italy was seen as “one of the countries most likely to have accommodative positions, for now it has not been the case – observes the expert – and I do not think it will change in the future”

Of course, the concerns of the United States “are partly justified by the relations that some political parties have had with Russia and by the ambiguous positions repeated in the electoral campaign, in particular by Lega and Fi”.

“My impression – says the analyst – is that Meloni saw which way the wind was blowing and was far-sighted in taking a very clear position in this regard. She justified it on a national security level, not on a relative moral basis. to issues of human rights, of international law. It is more pragmatic but no less aligned “.

Santi believes that a Meloni-led government will have “a similar position to the previous one, a government strongly aligned with the European and NATO position, supported by a parliamentary majority with a significantly more ambivalent component, as it was with Draghi”.