The Prime Minister at the Festival of the Regions: “It will be a year of reforms, stopping reversals and palace games”
Resources in public health, after the approval of Nadef 2023, among the topics addressed today by the Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, in Turin for the Festival of the Regions. “The government is working to guarantee the right to health for all citizens: on this we are open and ready for any discussion to study what the ways to achieve this objective are, in the conditions in which we are called to operate. I believe that the main objective is the sustainability of the National Health Serviceaware that we are moving in a very complex context which is characterized by elements that make the matter increasingly difficult to deal with”, says the Prime Minister.
Healthcare “is a complex situation that must be managed with attention and the ability to cohesion. I start from the assumption that efficient and effective healthcare is everyone’s objective” but “it would be short-sighted to pursue this objective and focus the entire discussion on whether or not to increase resources. We must have a different, deeper approach, try to focus all of us, with courage, loyalty and truth – invites the Prime Minister – on how resources are spent. Because it is not necessarily enough to spend more if those resources are then used inefficiently. So I believe that the challenge, to be faced together, is this. I am ready to do this work together and I am sure that we will have autonomous regions and provinces at our side.”
“We have just approved the Nadef and we are writing the budget law” e the “room for maneuver is limited” also due to the “witness, the legacy” collected by a “policy that had too short a horizon”, making the “easier choices,” Meloni says. The efforts that the government will implement will be aimed “at confirming the measures for cutting the tax wedge and if possible taking some steps forward”. Other “signals” will arrive on pensions, healthcare and the birth rate which is an “economic, non-ideological” issue, warns the Prime Minister: “our welfare system cannot sustain if the population continues to age and there are fewer people who work to maintain it.”
“We have finalized the Nadef and we are about to face a difficult budget law also because we have received legacies from governments that had a short horizon and made choices that we are paying for today. The advantage we have is a legislative horizon – says Meloni – we don’t have to do everything immediately, but step by step, we can schedule the interventions which are many, while the resources are few. We concentrated the few resources we had on increasing the purchasing power of families. And we want to make the cut in the tax wedge structural.”
Speaking of the executive, Meloni underlines that “what is coming will be the year of reforms with which we intend to change the institutional architecture of the Nation, to give Italians the possibility of choosing who to govern themselves by, of avoid reversals and palace games and guarantee the stability of governments”. “Because – he continues – when the horizon is a year and a half it is normal that it is not possible to follow a strategy. In the first 20 years of the millennium in Italy there were 11 prime ministers, in France four presidents, in Germany three chancellors, and France and Germany were growing.” “When you don’t have stability you can’t work on what doesn’t immediately come back in terms of consensus”. “Therefore the hope for a comparison based on merit and not on prejudices or ideological preconceptions”.
“In Palazzo Chigi there is a room where the portraits of all the prime ministers are displayed. The first is that of Cavour, then there is the last… When I pass by that overview of history, I feel the weight of the responsibility that one carries on his shoulders in leading a nation like Italy, in leading a nation like ours. We must remember that we are heirs to an extraordinary history, living up to it is very difficult, it does not allow lightness, superficiality or personalism”, says the Prime Minister, speaking at the Festival of the Regions.
“We are no longer in the Risorgimento, but I think that the spirit and courage of those young rebels who made Italy can be the best performing fuel we can put in our machine. And that those feelings, despite our limits, can be what moves us and that we all remember that we are part of a large community and that we all win and lose together”, states Meloni, inviting the Regions to face “the challenges we face together”.
Speaking of the Pnrr, the prime minister says that “we must be able to make the best use of all the resources” made available by Europe, “because we don’t have many and there are many things to do and it is important that, for this objective, we all work together”, “it is important not to waste these resources” aimed at “making Italy more competitive”. On the Pnrr “we must run, run, run. Run all together and understand that everyone’s ability to do their part” can make the difference “for what the Pnrr will really be able to produce in terms of modernizing our nation”.
Mattei Plan for Africa
“Crises are also an opportunity to question ourselves, review strategies and open our eyes. Which is why the government works hard not only on supply chains and energy supply but also to restore its centrality to the Mediterranean” and to be “a bridge to network energy supplies. It’s a strategic choice: if the future is the issue of raw materials I must remember that Africa is not a poor continent”, says the Prime Minister. For the prime minister “strategic choices are needed, something that this nation and Europe have often lacked. The Mattei Plan for Africa responds to this objective”. In particular, “Italy can become Europe’s first energy supply hub and the front line of dialogue with the African continent. These are the strategic choices we are trying to make.”
“Globalisation and free trade seemed to be able to solve all problems” but “the pandemic has made us realize the critical issues”. “Wealth has not been distributed but has become verticalised, in some countries with less democratic systems than ours they have become involved in terms of rights and have gained ground in the world thanks to free trade. We democratic systems have lost ground because we found ourselves no longer control anything of our fundamental supply chains. Today the issue must be posed with force and intelligence”, says Meloni.
“I am also thinking of the issue of energy or raw materials, the critical issues of recent years make us understand that we no longer control them. For this reason – he continues – we work on supply chains and on wanting to give back to the Mediterranean its centrality and ability to be a bridge between two continents, especially central to the issue of energy supply. It is a strategic choice. Africa is not a poor continent, it is potentially a huge energy producer. So strategic investments, connection networks and infrastructure are needed. The strategic choices which have been lacking in Italy and Europe in the past”.
As for the reform of differentiated regional autonomy “it will continue without stopping: the government has done much more than what had been done” previously, claims the Prime Minister. “I think that autonomy, unlike what is said, is an opportunity to build a more united, cohesive, strong Italy, capable of traveling at the same speed and guaranteeing the same level of services. We want to implement the principle of subsidiarity established in the Constitution guaranteeing the cohesion” of the country, he assures.
“I think – he adds – that loyal collaboration between the different public levels is an indispensable prerequisite for giving concrete answers to citizens” and that “collaboration between government and Regions cannot be limited only to the uncritical allocation of resources. We must all work in the same direction “.
At the Festival delle Regioni Meloni then highlights that “our bureaucratic machine is still too slow, it impacts everyone: today for an electrical infrastructure it takes 4-17 months for the authorization of works that perhaps last 10 months. It is necessary to make an effort moreover, the government is fully available to streamline the procedures.” Also on “territorial defense, prevention of instability, extreme climatic events, I very willingly accept the appeal of the Conference of Regions” for a “new season of simplification”.
“Our goal is to make this nation stronger: making it stronger means making every institutional level strong. I am always ready to discuss and I am sure that we will find ourselves side by side despite any diversity that may exist, of ideas or views, to pursue together the goal that we all have and give ourselves: love this nation and make it strong“, says the Prime Minister, closing her speech.