Yesterday the Financial Times published an article on the Draghi Government with focus on relations between Italy, the EU, China and the USA. I am quoted in several paragraphs and, although the quotation marks are correct, I take advantage of the greater space here to better articulate my thinking.
1) I do not believe that the current government (Draghi) has carried out a geopolitical breakthrough pro USA or pro Atlantista with respect to the position of the Conte I government, of which I was a part. Even then, as we have repeated almost daily, Italy was firmly established within the Atlantic Alliance, within the EU and there was no intention of a change in the geopolitical position of our country. It was a story built by some media, sometimes instrumentally. If I tell you, you have to believe it’s the end of the line, here!
2) But I understand and agree with the President-in-Office of the Council, Mr Draghi, that, precisely because of this distorted narrative which he inherited, it is necessary to make a further media effort to clarify and emphasize once again, as we did, our geopolitical position.
3) These manifestations of friendship with the USA can be manifested in various ways. In the article, I refer to the use of Golden Power to block the acquisition of LPE, a semiconductor company, by a Chinese company. But, why do I say that these are just signals but not more? because blocking the sale of LPE in no way protects our country from the risk of predatory acquisitions in a strategic sector by foreign companies (in this case Chinese). The battle for the supremacy of semiconductors, a highly strategic sector, is played on 7, 5 and 3 nanometers, not on LPE products. So great media fanfare “Italy is with the USA, not with China”, but the substance is quite different. Indeed, be careful not to fall into the trap of deluding ourselves with this type of action we really protect what must be protected.
4) The MOU agreement with China was a trade agreement, not a geopolitical one, aimed at increasing trade and investment. It was approved by the entire government with the Pdr Mattarella placet. I believe that no one can doubt our President’s vision of Italy’s place on the international stage. So if you don’t believe me, at least trust our president.
5) Finally, since the agreement has been signed, the best possible use of the agreement may be made of it. Unfortunately, for two years, everything has stood still, partly because of the pandemic, partly because of the lack of interest or, perhaps, courage on the part of those who should, on the contrary, be doing the interests of our companies, and not of companies from other countries. Just like our friends, Germans, French and Americans, who, in addition to doing business with billions, also make agreements with China. We, instead: motionless, frozen by fear.
And who will pay for this immobility, indecision and lack of vision and courage, will be our young people, our workers and our companies.
INSIGHT AND SOURCES
- Mario Draghi sets tone in cooling EU-China relations – ft.com