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Italy

Monti’s ‘liberalisation’ measures won’t boost growth or make us freer

FROM THE RADICAL PRESS/ IL MANIFESTO 

Will Mario Monti’s liberalisation measures contribute to economic growth? Will they make us more free? No:  these deregulatory measures will bring some savings to families but they will worsen the lives of thousands (perhaps millions) of people destroying social relations and reinforcing the precarity of workers.

In Italy corporations are a (ugly) reality that has support in parliament, above all lawyers and journalists, who manage to repel all efforts at reducing their power. This doesn’t include salaried workers, who are not represented in parliament…

…these liberalizzazione measures will not allow the country to avoid the recession predicted by the IMF, which expects a 2.2% fall in GDP in 2012.

Among the many measures decided by the Government yesterday [Friday 20 January] not everything should be binned.

But citizens would have wanted more backbone with the poteri forti, represented by the financial system (banks and insurance companies) and against the giants that control once public, now private monopolies, like motorways and energy. They would have liked to have seen a rethinking of natural monopolies that we prefer to be public rather than private.

Instead…like in many backward countries Monti’s blanket measures were aimed not at a rationalising of the country by a normative code eliminating corporations altogether, but rather to boost jobs in the services sector. More supermarket check-out staff (working ‘liberalised’ hours), more chemists and more lawyers, more taxi drivers (without thinking whether anybody has any money to pay for a taxi), more petrol stations which will compete with newspaper vendors and music stores. And more lawyers, to the great joy of the insurance companies which, without minimum tariffs, will be able to pay just a few euros for legal advice.

A positive note – at least for now – is that the attack on water – as a common good – doesn’t appear to have succeeded. This means that not even a powerful ‘technical’ government… succeeded in violating the will of the 28 million Italians that said No to the privatisation of water [in a referendum in June 2011]

Il Manifesto

The article has been translated and edited by Revolting Europe

Euronews on protests against austerity measures and ‘liberalisation’

About revoltingeurope

Writer on Europe's Left, trade union and social movements @tomgilltweets or @revoltingeurope

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