Maneuver 2024, from Calenda to Conte the rejection of the opposition

Main criticisms on “crumbs” for healthcare and “nothing on high cost of living”

On the manoeuvre, presented today by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, the opposition’s rejection is unequivocal and without appeal. For Elly Schlein “she is not up to par and is without a vision”, while Giuseppe Conte defines her as “insignificant and harmful”. Carlo Calenda then branded her as “populist and dangerous”. On healthcare, first and foremost, and school, the criticism is unanimous. And then the lack of industrial policies and the risk of failure on the Pnrr, on which Calenda highlights the “merciless” comparison with Spain. And still nothing against high living costs, high mortgages, high fuel prices: “I understand that Meloni left the press conference without answering the questions…”, Conte’s thrust. Nor will there be the possibility of any intervention by the opposition in the examination in Parliament. The maneuver should be unamendable, at least in the projects of Giorgia Meloni and Matteo Salvini. “We’ll see if it’s true”, observes with skepticism the leader of the PD group in the Senate, Francesco Boccia, but if the prime minister’s diktat is respected, for the Dem representative “zero amendments is a very dangerous blow for parliamentary democracy”.

The criticism of the Democratic Party is not only on merit, but also on the ‘breath’ of the Meloni government’s maneuver: ‘It is a budget law that is absolutely not up to the difficult situation that the country is experiencing. A maneuver – underlines Schlein – without a strategic vision, without measures capable of restoring impetus to the economy and investments, designed to provide some sops but which, in the end, will not improve the lives of Italians”. The sore points: “‘On the healthcare, an issue on which we had asked for particular attention Giorgia Meloni does not even provide the 7 billion that were needed to avoid reducing spending levels this year, this means cuts to services. And don’t think of reducing waiting lists just by burdening healthcare staff who are already at their limit with additional work, without unblocking hiring.” And then the secretary of the Democratic Party points out “sufficient resources are not foreseen for essential services such as school and public transport”.

Calenda makes no concessions: “The maneuver presented by the Government is populist and dangerous. Fourteen billion in temporary tax cuts made in deficit, that is, putting citizens into debt”, underlines the leader of Action. “Little and nothing on healthcare and education, the fundamental rights of citizens that are compromised today. From the Pnrr (where the comparison with Spain is merciless) to industrial policy, this government is not managing to make anything happen”. Calenda observes: “We have always recognized the difficulties of the context and the mistakes of past governments (the hole in the superbonus), but this response worsens the country’s condition of financial insecurity in an unstable and uncertain international context. They will take responsibility for it, we will pay the bill. Unfortunately.”

For Conte it is an “insignificant and harmful maneuver which in a moment of great economic difficulty for citizens sends a clear message: make do”. And so he lists the ‘deficiencies’, as well as nothing on the cost of living, “he doesn’t even put an extra euro in the workers’ paychecks, because he limits himself to doing the job of confirming a cut in the tax wedge that already exists”.

The M5S leader insists: “They attacked Fornero, but in light of the facts, Minister Giorgetti today declares that ‘the use of early retirement will be much more restrictive’. No trace of the minimum pensions of 1000 euros, however, the women’s option has been definitively cancelled. Nothing for schools and healthcare, which returns to investment levels compared to GDP lower than pre-pandemic”.

For the green Angelo Bonelli of Avs it is a “short-sighted” budget law with “cuts on all public services, diverting resources towards private healthcare” to give priority “to projects such as the bridge over the Strait of Messina, fulfilling the requests of Salvini. How can we think of using 12 billion euros, as confirmed by Minister Giorgetti, for a project of this kind in the face of a country on its knees from the point of view of local public transport and essential public services?”.

Nicola Fratoianni of the Italian Left adds: “The Prime Minister Meloni is an illusionist: there can be no other definition, given the chatter of the press conference. There is no such thing as 100 euros in the pay slip, with the tax wedge, they are much less, as we have unfortunately seen in recent months” and “on healthcare – he points out – the sleight of hand is even worse because there is no additional resource. But on the other hand, from those who promised the cut in excise duties on petrol and then he did the opposite, nothing else could be expected.”

For Riccardo Magi of Più Europa that of the government “is a sort of depressive and depressing welfare tetris, financed largely with the deficit” made up of “new bonuses to be distributed and old bonuses to be unpacked. No structural measures for growth, competition and young people I understand that they cannot implement their proposals, I understand that the international economic situation is complicated, I understand the burden of the superbonus, but so we are well below any expectations.”