Do you know Alberto Forchielli? A noted economist, entrepreneur, and columnist in Italy– he’s a regular guest on Radio24— as well as in China. He recently churned out his second book, Power is Boring, which explains complicated concepts with frank language.
Very popular (I dare say populist) even on the web, Forchielli has opened a discussion on what he cleverly defines as the “mexicanization” of Italy. The discussion was particularly energetic after a Chinese student was mugged and killed in Rome; the story, buried by Italian newspapers and ignored by Chinese media, caused a stir and fear in Asia. Forchielli’s first reaction was to the point: “A message to all the idiots that want an Italy only about food, tourism, and culture: crime makes the tourists run away, this is mexicanization! Crime kills every type of economy, you illuded idiots!” Applause! We could have written this ourselves. So, we called him for an interview.
Do you regret what you wrote on Facebook? You wrote on your page: “politicians are fighting for power and annuity, weak judges render the police defenseless, we’re at the mercy of crime, tourists and investments are fleeing. What the fuck needs to happen for us to understand that the most urgent problem is security?” Do you really see a correlation between rampant crime and a stagnating economy?
Of course. Government statistics on crime and the economy are falsified to keep the masses happy. We need to change priorities and put security in first place. We can fix this problem quickly if we want to, but not the economy. We keep giving ourselves mental blowjobs for 0.1% GDP growth and finance that doesn’t mean anything, they’re only statistical deviations. To rebuild the economy we need 30, 40, 50 years, but no economy can ever be rebuilt in a criminal country; this is what that idiot Renzi didn’t understand. He thought he would have won a mountain of votes with 0.5% GDP growth, but we didn’t even notice that insignificant change. On the contrary, going around with a sense of fear counts a lot more than 0.5%. That’s not even taking into account that a mexicanized economy makes talent, investments, and tourism flee. The country will die.
On that note you launched an alarm regarding “mexicanization.” What does it mean?
We’re on the same path as Mexico. A varied nation with areas of industrial excellence on the border with the US, zones co-controlled by the State and mafia, and others controlled completely by the mafia. All together, we are facing a huge, submerged economy and a constant erosion of virtuous areas. Who would dare invest with such instability. In Italy we’re on the same path: I don’t see potential recovery techniques in the short-term, and with instability like this even the political scenario will be increasingly South American with a continual succession of governments.
You were very touched by the death of Zheng Yao in Rome. While the Italian newspapers discussed the tragedy as if it were a railway accident, you underlined the responsibility of politics. Do you think events like this are sufficient to undermine even the last truly functional industry, tourism?
Look. In China, via the messaging app, WeChat, 900 million users sent a strong message: “Don’t go to Italy.” Naturally, it’s not an automatic thing, but the episodes repeat and nothing is being done to control the phenomenon. Paris has lost a third of its Asian tourists this way. Chinese tourism is the first in the world, where are we without it? And then you think that other tourists didn’t have any problems in Italy? Don’t you see that we’re losing our place in global tourism rankings every year? We’re sixth now, and foreign investments aren’t coming if not to buy our best companies, take them apart, and then away. Open your eyes! We need security!
You don’t seem optimistic. During the consultations for the new government, you wrote: “Why, to make the transition government, do we need to talk about Napolitanto, who at 5 pm should be home having cookies and a cafe latte before going to bed?” And now?
Gentiloni is Renzi’s loggerhead who bet everything and spent money he didn’t have; for those left it’s a bitter pill to swallow. I fear a new Nazareno agreement, the government will do little to nothing to arrive at the elections without being too unpopular, and on the other hand if I were a party I would try to expose myself as little as possible to avoid arriving at the next elections with the hatered of the electorate. At this point, Renzi has drained all the available money to win the referendum, therefore there’s nothing but bones for the newcomers to spend and nothing to make the Italian people smile in the next 50 years.
Let’s close with the bailout of MPS…
MPS? Forget “Plan B”; here they’re shoving it in our “B hind!”
Published on “Il Populista” in italian