We had the pleasure of interviewing Pino Cabras, an exponent of the Five Star Movement with very interesting positions from an economic point of view. We propose it for a careful analysis.

Enjoy the reading.

  1. Mr Cabras, we have read with interest your document, which was also signed by many colleagues. Among your requests is that of the election of a political leader in place of the self-extended Vito Crimi. Even if your tones are not final, what are you going to do if nothing changes in the coming months?

In reality, the final tones are not given by us, but by the statute, which requires that the political leadership is not occupied by an 'acting party' beyond the prescribed dates. Who directs must be representative not only of himself and his trusted and must take into account the change requested by thousands of members. I would add that there is a much more important ultimatum to read in the things of the world, not in the internal debate: dramatic economic and social data, knots that come to a head in the business and labor crisis, in an international framework of systemic crisis that makes poor entire sectors and entire generations. The scale of the problems is so great as to expect that the political projects born from a great popular drive are not reduced to bureaucratic routines, shortcomings and narrow views, nor managed by very weak executives and turned on the Palace, whatever their stereotyped rhetoric about the "good of the country ".

  1. Your proposal to use only the "non-repayable" part of the RRF is interesting, but it runs counter to the figures so far proclaimed by both Minister Gualtieri and the Prime Minister Conte. Do you intend to include this point in the program of a possible new government, also in view of the draft regulation, which is extremely restrictive and full of references to the European semester?

We must first of all greet the positive elements of the so-called Recovery Fund: the return of a concept that has been lost for decades, namely the desire to carry out a vast economic planning that coordinates and plans the priority choices for the future and puts hundreds of billions of euros into play. We come from an interminable era in which economic maneuvers were a skimpy management of the existing which at every budget was discounted by "reforms" that gradually cut hospitals, schools, services, environmental protection, pensions, investments. When used well, the plan is a breakthrough precisely because it is a plan. Special needs have been identified, and that's fine. It doesn't matter the color of the cat, as long as it catches mice, the Chinese say. But it is not secondary to discuss the resources with which to cover the needs. In this case, in fact, the color of the cat can make the difference. The European Blue cat, for example, to catch them asks you to strengthen your "external bond" ready to trigger the dictatorship of the spread again. The tricolor cat instead solicits you only a 'normal' issue of government bonds that do not fall under the Brussels leghold traps. Efforts must be prevented from being thwarted by the same old austerity. On this we need an open and courageous hegemonic battle, to be explained well to everyone, in Italy and in Europe, where the "everyone" includes the people, who can know the facts and interests at stake and thus give support to our battle.

  1. Various exponents of Italia Viva, including Renzi and Marattin, have repeatedly pointed out that, from their point of view, it would be necessary to use the so-called “health MES”, even if up to now the problem is not financial, but of design. Do you intend to place the non-use of the European Mechanism as a fixed point of the government program?

Yes, because the recourse to the MES proposed by its fierce salesmen is above all an element of instability to be removed once and for all. We were told that with the MES we were saving on interest and we discovered that instead we are quietly issuing Bots with zero or subzero interest rates. Even Cottarelli is forced to admit it.

We had been told over and over that there were no conditionalities, and then we found them in the indelible lines of the treaties, ready to brand our backs with the stigma of bad payers.

We were promised rivers of money, a long Nile, an Amazon River, a MESsissippi of euros, and then we discovered that the springs were as dry as those stony Tyrrhenian streams where the lizards sunbathe. Except they were crocodile patients here.

And from the beginning they wanted to give us a drink that in Madrid, Paris they wanted the MES and we certainly shouldn't have done them the rudeness to deny them, and then we discovered that nobody wanted it. And then it was not clear why on earth we had to negotiate it until late at night for entire sessions of the European summits. All those dark circles for something he didn't want and nobody wants? Understand that doesn't add up.

The Renzians want the "external constraint" that serves a protected sector of the ruling classes to still get by while the people sink. The sooner the ESM is removed from the table, the more stable the government will be and the sooner we can deal with serious matters.

  1. Commissioner Dombrovskis wanted to reintroduce budget constraints, from the "European Semester", to the Maastricht constraints, to the famous "Two pack" and "Six pack" as of 2021. Fortunately, the complex situation convinced him that it was not the case for continue on this road. What should be the Government's attitude in the event of the imposition of additional external fiscal constraints?

Simple: having a vision centered on the interests of our Republic. We need a central bank that acts as a central bank. We need to mobilize savings, we need a fiscal and monetary lever disconnected from the wheels of austerity. And a public bank that helps our institutions to make a real economic policy without asking permission from a Latvian Eurocrat.

The Nordic countries insist on binding us to the "blame" of public debt and in clipping the wings of the most effective instrument that would make the recovery fly, the ECB, while allowing the latter every stunt to directly finance their large companies or cover the chasms with dollars of their banks, true champions of private debt and fiscal dumping (as in Holland). As long as these claims do not change, the risk of stalling is serious.

Just as it will be useful to imagine a post-pandemic scenario in which to re-establish not only the full constitutional hierarchy of freedoms, but a completely new hierarchy of economic needs.

  1. Pending a reform of the ECB, among the measures you propose is the strengthening of the tax credit system to be activated as the equivalent of an electronic money. The aim is to circulate new liquidity in the system for one hundred billion euros a year with a sort of complementary currency. How would it work?

When we register the first notable successes of the Superbonus at 110%, we think about how innovative and decisive it would be to extend the concept and simplify the circulation of tax compensation in a single and integrated system. We have been proposing for some time the use of a sort of fiscal currency, an instrument which, as its name suggests, has a "monetary" nature (because it would generate new purchasing power that would allow new public spending without creating new debt), as " fiscal "(because its use would respond to allocative and distributive criteria that it would be up to the government to establish). A strong injection of fiscal money in favor of the economic sectors that have priority needs would restore breath to demand, help families and businesses in this dramatic phase, relaunch production and employ jobs that are unemployed today. All this, making our Republic less subject to European financial markets and decision-making centers. If we adopt the fiscal currency, we can avoid activating new debt instruments, which inevitably end up making Italy even more dependent on external creditors and on the political interests of other countries. External constraints will be inevitable if we continue to grow the debt. We must avoid it in all ways, but we must, on the other hand, support the economy of a country in extreme difficulty. This otherwise impossible equation can only be solved by resorting to fiscal money. If Italy had been equipped with this tool for some time, we would have faced the Covid crisis with very different forces and we would not be at the economic drama we are experiencing today. Today we are talking about the deaths of Covid, but the calculation on health is broader. There is a structural effect due to a “retroaction” of the economic crisis also on the health crisis: the economic collapse brings down life expectancy, guaranteed up to now, in the last sixty years, by the well-being that supported the system. Entering liquidity into the system is the most complete way to save well-being and health.

  1. What do you think of the negotiations between the Prime Minister Conte and the group of senators organized by Clemente Mastella?

Conte has chosen to "parliamentarise" the government crisis. He finds himself doing this in a very fragmented parliament, also due to the electoral law in force, the Rosatellum, which makes it possible to form a majority only by joining very different forces. At the beginning of the legislature, the M5S could certainly freeze its 33 percent (which made it strong enough to be indispensable, but weak enough that it could not go it alone) but it would most likely have ushered in a cycle of repeated and inconclusive elections without a majority. self-sufficient. The 5 Star Movement chose instead to measure itself against the challenge of the government by allying itself with forces that are inevitably very distant and different, with Parliament which was as it was and not as it would have wished. We have approved good laws that are not appreciated by the parties with which we have joined forces: with the League, with the PD, with Italia Viva, under the impatient eyes of their parliamentarians. Mastella's eyes would be no different, in this context and with a new government contract in which to mark many of our warhorses. The point is not Mastella, who is an old stainless Christian Democrat with his little eternal cloud of 'clientes' (and who, moreover, claims to withdraw from the new government). The point is not to accept blackmail and always be willing to face the consequences of firmness. If you are big and purposeful, the others come to terms.

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This is a machine translation of a post published on Scenari Economici at the URL on Sun, 17 Jan 2021 11:30:52 +0000.