Italy, ultimo attoUniversity of notre dame, 6 may 2011. revised may 16th. Toward the end of the Italian national State (1861-2011)
In limine… Contra factum non valet argumentum (Most recently quoted by Father Jenkins, C.S.C., President of Notre Dame, in his preface to the booklet presenting the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study, 2010)
Dr. Paolo L. Bernardini Professor of Modern European History, University of Insubria (Como) Inaugural Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study, University of Notre Dame, Spring 2011 Fellow, The Mises Institute, Auburn (Alabama) Ph.D., European University Institute, 1994.
The Present State of Italy Since 1991, Italy has sharply declined in all the international rankings, as for parameters including national GDP, freedom from corruption, freedom of the press, education, health, public and private sectors, unemployementrates (40% in some areas of Southern Italy); ISTAT and CENSIS, the two major State statistical bureaus, offer year after year a more and more depressing view of Italy.
INDEX OF ECONOMIC FREEDOM 2011 For this presentation, I will rely on one of the several international rankings, the Index of Economic Freedom (IEF), published yearly thanks to a joint effort of The Wall Street Journal and “The Heritage Foundation”, as well as of several national think tanks, in Italy, the “Istituto Bruno Leoni”: www.brunoleoni.com
http://www.heritage.org/index/Country/Italy How does the IEF work? It uses ten parameters, with values 0-100 (100 being the absolute best), that determine economic freedom. It ranks all the countries in the world (currently, 179 out of 183 -- there are not available data for IRAQ, SUDAN, AFGHANISTAN, LICHTENSTEIN -- the first three being countries in state of war).
The Parameters Ten Economic Freedoms of Italy 77.3 Business FreedomAvg 64.3 75.0 Investment FreedomAvg 50.2 87.6 Trade Freedom Avg. 74.8 60.0 Financial FreedomAvg 48.5 55.4 Fiscal Freedom Avg. 76.3 50.0 Property RightsAvg 43.6 28.6 Government Spending Avg. 63.9 43.0 Fdm. from CorruptionAvg 40.5 82.1 Monetary Freedom Avg. 73.4 44.4 Labor FreedomAvg 61.5
Freedom isand is not Wealth The simplest parameter to judge about the prosperity of a Country, national and relevant per capita GDP, is NOT one of the parameters. However, there is evidence that over the medium short term States with an high score in EF, enhance their GPD.
However… Ireland’s rank in the IEF: 7th Italy’s rank in the IEF: 87th With the following top 11: Hong Kong Singapore Australia New Zealand Switzerland Canada Ireland Denmark United States Bahrain Chile
Italy’s main data Population: 59.8 million GDP (PPP):$29,109 per capita $1.7 trillion -5.0% growth -0.7% 5-year compound annual growth Unemployment: 7.8% Inflation (CPI): 0.8% FDI Inflow: $30.5 billion
By comparison… Nemo miser nisi comparatus… (Seneca)
Let’s take…Ireland! Population: 4.4 million GDP (PPP): $175.1 billion -7.1% growth 0.2% 5-year compound annual growth $39,468 per capita Unemployment: 11.9% Inflation (CPI):-1.7% FDI Inflow: $25.0 billion
International networks x social nets (FB, Twitter..)
What about Lazio? The problems for a separatist movement in Lazio, and part of central Italy, is that Rome is at the same time the Italian capital city and the seat of the Pope. For the time being, it seems not probable that the Pope would/could take back up his temporal power. However, this cannot be absolutely excluded. Lazio and part of central Italy, including Marche and Umbria, part of Abruzzo, might remain what will be left of Italy (Serbia-Yugoslavia model).
Common principles… Refusal of any form of violence to reach independence. Legal path to independence. Montenegro is the model (not Kosovo). For Montenegro however the majority was set by the EU/UN at 55%. Call of local referendum. If the absolute majority is reached, negotiations begin with Italy. In the meantime, independence declared.
4 Strenghts and 4 weaknesses Strong interconnection one with the other (through social networks like Facebook, Twitter). Young and motivated people. Highly educated members. Internationally connected. Too many movements in the various regions. Lack of diffusion in the traditional media. Weak presence so far in the administrative elections (the only ones where obviously these movements/parties run. ) Lack of awareness in the average Italian citizen.
Traditional Italian separatist parties Union Valdotaine SudTirolerVolkspartei LigaVeneta (1970s) MIS (1940s) Sardinian separatists (1700-) French speaking Italy German speaking Italy Deceased Deceased Reconfigured
May 2011 positive events SNP gains the absolute majority at Holyrood on May 5th, paving the way for Scotland’s independence after 4 centuries (1603). May 15th-16th administrative elections in Italy deprives of legitimacy the Italian traditional parties, above all the LN, with its not realized project of Italian federalism.
What about the “Lega Nord”? The Lega Nord is a government party, not in favor of any separation, only in favor of a mild form of “federalism” historically and technically not applicable to a centralized State. Once upon time, when the Lega was created in the 1970s, it was championing the separation of Italy in 3 or more independent states, in an abstract way. Its ideologue was the late Professor Gianfranco Miglio.
European Scenario Recently created States: Kosovo Montenegro Czech Republic Slovakia Greenland Slovenia Croatia States that might be created in the near future: Scotland Wales Catalunia Flanders-French Belgium Basque country
Economic advantages in the small size of States. Reference: A. Alesina, D. Spolaore, The Size of Nations, MIT Press, 2005.
GDP national vs GDP individual The richest countries in the world per GDP per capita are almost all under 10 million inhabitants, most of them under 20 and 30 millions. Some examples.. Luxembourg Qatar Switzerland Norway UAE Ireland
States on the verge of division (non European) Sudan Yemen* Nigeria (auspicable) Camba State (Bolivia) If Yemen splits, the only post WWII state to be a newly unified State is going to remain Germany.
Historical trend in state formation post-1945 A reference work for the historical state formation post-1945 is B. Roehner, with the collaboration of L. J. Rahilly, Separatism and Integration. A Study in Analytical History, Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham etc. ,2002.
How the new States will/could be governed? A small state can be economically efficient and wealthy no matters how it is governed, if we consider that there are 2 broad options: A. Free economy B. Welfare-oriented A1. UAE A2. Hong Kong A3. Singapore B1. Norway B2. Denmark B3. Switzerland
Options for the new states To be or not to be… 1. Members of the EU 1.1. If yes, adopt EURO as a currency. 2. Members of the NATO 3. Members of a possible “Italian federation”. Options… 1. To remain members of the EU but to adopt a local currency, or a double-currency system. 2. To get out of the EU : Norway and Switzerland, not part of EU, are among the best performing European economies.