What lies ahead for a Country in which prominent pieces of its own government declare ferocious holy crusades against large national companies? And where can ever lead the path of anti-industrial resentment, even worse if crossed in a time marked by a worrying and persistent economic fragility?
Questions arise almost spontaneously after the attacks on Ilva and Atlantia launched by M5S vice premier Luigi Di Maio in the name of an apparent as well as unspecified iconoclastic fury. Which leaves appalled in the first place because having been freed by that young super-minister to whom, in principle, the fates of Italian economic development and jobs were entrusted. Branding as “bankrupt” a company like Atlantia, which is a global leader in the motorway and airport transport infrastructure sector with 31,000 employees in 23 different countries and billion in yearly revenues, cannot leave anyone indifferent. All the more so if it configures also a real frontal assault on the national financial system and its most elementary rules of transparency.
The group headed by the Benetton family was also in the fragrance of compromise with the Italian government for its participation in the rescue of Alitalia in exchange of the executive’s renounce to the revocation of motorway concessions. An eventuality strongly opposed by the 5Stars and now zeroed by the unwise declaration of Di Maio. And yet reasonable under an industrial perspective. Atlantia is in fact the owner of Aeroporti di Roma (Rome Airport), a probably decisive asset for linking permanently the Americans of Delta Airlines to the few investors willing to intervene in Italy’s former flagship sky company.
Moreover, the story naturally lends itself to different political interpretations. On the one hand, there is the intestine row between vice premier Luigi Di Maio and the other enfant prodige of the Movement, Alessandro Di Battista, which would have forced the former to make his bravest face in order not to lose the sympathies of M5S electors. On the other hand, there is yet another battleground between the League and M5S, which guaranteed vice premier and League leader Matteo Salvini another occasion to play the role of the reassuring statesman in the eyes of investors, savers and workers caught off by the 5Stars fury. The story as a whole worries because it shows how weak the presence of industrial themes in the Italian public debate is. A real paradox for a country that boasts the title of second European manufacture behind the German locomotive, as well as belonging to the exclusive club of the G7.
It is difficult to explain otherwise the lightness with which the League-M5S government arrived on the verge of breaking with ArcelorMittal, with which only eight months ago it concluded an agreement of fundamental importance for the sale of the former Ilva plant. The end of the immunity from prosecution for the managers of the steel center pushed the Franco-Indian steel giant to threaten to leave Taranto if the situation is not remedied. The question then becomes legitimate: who would benefit from the continuous clash with the companies?