The 16th congress of the Italian Radicals ended yesterday, anticipated by the “United States of Europe” event which saw representatives of the progressive and pro-European front alternating on the stage to which the Radicals speak and look in view of the next electoral appointments. “A list to work on together with the promoters of Forza Europa” – reads the party’s official communications – “characterized by the priority objective of European federalism and open to all political forces who wish to share its objectives”.
Therefore, the electoral campaign of the Italian progressives begins. “In the coming pre-election months” – said Riccardo Magiin his concluding speech – “we must put the United States of Europe and the relaunch of the federalist project at the center of the debate, enriching that front that is opposed to neo-nationalisms and the forces that very close to us, on our continent, are preparing for the violation of human, civil and political rights “. Now, as Fabio Martini writes today in La Stampa, the next appointment is for November 12 at the Golden Theater in Rome when Giuliano Pisapia , present at the radical convention, will launch his Progressive Camp, another important pivot of that progressive list that should see collaborating the numerous political forces, from the Greens, to the PSI and the Bruno Tabacci Democratic Center, seen at the Radicals’ conference. Forces that, as Magi said, want to “show, starting with Italy, the face of a Europe that innovates, that thrives, that protects, that integrates, that decides democratically”.
THE POLITICAL PROGRAM OF THE RADICALS
But what will the political program of the Progressive List be ?
Some ideas are contained in the document released at the conclusion of the work of the radical congress. The motion focuses both on the historic issues dear to the radicals, such as drug liberalization and prison overcrowding, and on the most recent immigration campaigns.
It is precisely the latter that have given media momentum to the Radicals after the death of the historic leader and frontman Marco Pannellaand the almost concomitant and temporary withdrawal from the stage of Emma Bonino for health reasons. “The congress notes that thanks to the nonviolent initiative launched by the Italian Radicals together with Senator Luigi Manconi“- reads the text of the motion regarding the approval of a law on the Ius Soli -” the bill on the reform of citizenship has returned to the center of the parliamentary debate, and hopes for its approval by the end of the legislature “. Alongside this is the success of the campaign “I was a stranger – Humanity that does well”, which was joined, among others, by Roberto Saviano, which ended with the delivery to Parliament of 70 thousand signatures for the law of popular initiative that aims to profoundly modify Bossi-Fini by abolishing the crime of illegal immigration and introducing safe access channels to Italy. This campaign, in which the Radicals had at their side unprecedented travel companions such as the Acli and Centro Astalli,
The liberalization of cannabis, on the other hand, is one of the historical arguments of the Radicals, which this year found concrete expression in the “Legalize” campaign aimed at presenting a bill of popular initiative. “By choosing to limit the examination of the legal cannabis bill to medical use only, Parliament wasted a historic opportunity: that of winning a major reform for the country which, through a broad legalization provision, would have relieved justice and prisons from damage caused by prohibition, launched a deadly attack on narcotics, would have brought advantages from an economic and health point of view and affirmed the freedom and rights of millions of citizens criminalized for their lifestyle “, the radicals wrote in the aftermath of Parliament’s choice to evaluate only a medical and therapeutic use of cannabis. In the post-congress motion they take a step further: “It is necessary to revive the decriminalization of the use of all narcotic substances, also by promoting programs for medically controlled administration of heroin and drug checking”.
THE CONTRAST TO POVERTY PASSES FROM PUBLIC DEBT
The economic issues enter the political program of the Radicals from the side of the actions to contrast the new poverty. The proposal is that of introducing a “minimum income for insertion”, reserved for the poorest segments, which can be financed by replacing the current and fragmented services in support of poverty and “by reducing those aimed at the more affluent groups”. Active labor policies are at the center of that welfare reform quickly outlined by the radical motion that aims to define a “welfare model that both protects and stimulates study and training and rewards those who want to pursue their ambitions in the best possible way”. In short, a mixed Anglo-Saxon-Scandinavian welfare, on the one hand, economic support only to the poor for other work reintegration policies in order to get to “look at work as a right to opportunity, with particular attention to enhancing the professional skills of young people and their contribution to society, eliminating forms of exploitation and investing in technology as a democratizing factor for greater transparency and inclusion “. All this, however, cannot be sustained unless the first problem of the Italian economy is tackled: the monstrous public debt. “The issue of Italian public debt risks putting Europe’s very future into question” – say the radicals – “To quickly reach a balanced budget, public spending must be frozen in nominal terms for the duration of the next legislature, and then begin to lighten the tax burden on income from work and business through a simplification and reduction of the IRPEF and IRES rates “. This means that the idea of a reduction in taxation is not present in the radical proposal, a controversial and difficult point to communicate in the electoral campaign.
REFORM OF EUROPEAN CONSTITUTIONAL ARCHITECTURE: ELECTION OF A EUROPEAN PRESIDENT
The Radicals fly high when they tackle issues related to European constitutional architecture. During the “United States of Europe” Enrico Letta had proposed to merge the 73 seats in the European Parliament left vacant by the British parliamentarians into a single transactional list. The proposal is accepted by the Radicals who, however, go further. “In order to guarantee greater political recognition, it is necessary to establish a European president elected directly by the citizens who combines the functions currently held by the presidents of the Commission and the Council” – reads the motion – “And the definition of a common foreign and security policy “.