Marco Follini’s point of view for Adnkronos
“The scandal that winds its way along the tortuous route between Doha and Strasbourg in recent days overturns two stereotypes at once. One is that of the left understood as a moral record holder. The other is that of an austere and rigorous Europe. Both threaten to have long-term consequences.
The first aspect has been talked about far and wide. Now, we are dealing with personal, strictly personal responsibilities, and therefore placing the group of European Socialists and Democrats in charge of this matter is politically (as well as criminally) improper. And yet there is a certain stridor between the behavior of some, just revealed, and all the sermons that in recent years have descended from the pulpits of the left addressed to their political opponents. (Many of which, by the way, deserved it all.)
But that’s exactly how nemesis works. And for all the times that the left has shot the arrows of his indignation trying to hit the not always adamantine behavior of its opponents, just as many times those same arrows have come back like a boomerang. So today the right doesn’t even have to go to the trouble of expressing just as much indignation in turn. Indeed, it almost seems to skate on the bad stories of these days with a sort of benevolent and perhaps almost amused elegance.
Now, it is evident that the left pays for some justicialist excesses of its past. Indeed, that claim to stand as champions of cleanliness in the presence of morally less worthy opponents seems to lend itself magnificently to its own overthrow. And as soon as some (only a few, mind you) of its exponents end up in the dock, it becomes almost inevitable to accuse them of the excessive preaching and flogging zeal of their ancestors of just a few seasons ago.
Thus, today, perhaps the leaders of the left, in addition to dutifully beating their breasts for the rotten apples found in their baskets, should also review the rhetoric of the past few years. And maybe, without absolving any of the culprits of that season, wondering if all the reading that was given in the past of Tangentopoli deserves a revision that makes it less one-sided than it has been up to now. A task that betrays a minimum of embarrassment, but which at this point should be carried out with intellectual honesty at least equal to the material honesty of which it prides itself.
But there is another aspect, darker and more profound, that these events are bringing to the surface. And it is the striking contrast between the financial Europe that preaches austerity, sifts through the accounts of the member states, imposes accounting rules that are far too strict for their balance sheets, proposes itself as guardian of our collective economic decorum in the name of the generations to come, and the its Parliament which thus becomes permeable to the corrupting influences we have just seen at work.
Again, it will not be a question of turning moral values upside down, far from it. The construction of Europe is based on a certain accounting rigor which is the other side of the coin of the mistrust that runs between its countries and the discrepancy of some of its interests. Therefore, that rigor resembles a constitutional precept, whether we like it or not. But it is equally evident that that precept will be more difficult to celebrate in the presence of those bribes that have made the permeability of institutions tragically evident to the most unbecoming influences of the states furthest from our standards of public ethics.
They are uphill roads, both of them. The one that is called to take the left, rethinking itself. And the one that will have to travel through a Europe that is too strict with others to be lenient with itself. Tiring journeys, both of them”.
(by Marco Follini)