Unity is a duty, not an optional, Draghi tells Senate

(ANSA) – ROME, FEB 17 – New Premier Mario Draghi told the
Senate on Wednesday that unity was a duty as he outlined his
executive’s programme before a confidence vote in the Upper
House.
    “This is the third government of the current parliamentary
term,” the former president of the European Central Bank said.
    “There is nothing to make us think that it can do well without
the convinced support of his parliament.
    “This support is not based on political alchemy but on the
spirit of sacrifice with which men and women have faced the last
year in their vibrant desire for rebirth, the desire to come
back stronger, and it is based on the enthusiasm of young people
who want a country capable of making their dreams come true.
    “Today unity is not an optional, unity is a duty”. “But it is a duty driven by that which I am sure unites is all –
love for Italy”.
    He said Italy needed to launch a “New Reconstruction” like the
one the nation embarked on after World War II “This is our mission as Italians,” he said, “to give our
children and grandchildren a better, more just country”.
    Draghi’s executive is a sort of government of national unity
supported by almost all the parties in parliament.
    The only major group not to back it is the right-wing Brothers
of Italy (FdI) party.
    President Sergio Mattarella called on the parties to get behind
a government led by a non-political figure to avoid the nation
having to have early elections in the middle of the pandemic
after ex-premier Giuseppe Conte’s administration collapsed.
    Although the politicians outnumber the technocrats, many of the
key positions are held by experts, such as Economy Minister
Daniele Franco, Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese and Justice
Minister Marta Cartabia.
    “The first thought I would like to share with you regards our
national responsibility,” Draghi said.
    “That is the principle duty we are all called to respect, me
first of all…
    “It has been said that this government was necessary because the
the political world has failed.
    “I take the liberty not to agree.
    “No one has taken a step backwards with regard to their own
identity.
    “If anything, they have taken a step forwards in a new, totally
exception perimeter of cooperation in order to respond to the
needs of the country, approaching the needs of families and
firms that are well aware that it is time to work together,
without prejudice and rivalry”.
    Draghi compared the battle against COVID to trench warfare.
    “Our duty is to fight the pandemic with all means and safeguard
the lives of the citizens,” he said.
    “It is a trench where we all fight together.
    “The virus is everyone’s enemy.
    “The emotion-filled memory of those are are no longer with us
increases out commitment”.
    He said that the pandemic has affected mainly temporary workers
and the self-employed so far, hitting young people and women
especially hard.
    But he warned that people on permanent open-ended contracts risk
being affected soon.
    Draghi told the Senate that his new government will pass
much-needed reforms as well as tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
    “The government will pass reforms and it will also address the
emergency,” he said.
    “There is no before and after.
    “We know the teaching of Cavour. ‘Instead of weakening
authority, reforms completed in time strengthen it’.
    “In the meantime we must deal with those who are suffering now,
with those people who today are losing their jobs or are forced
to close their businesses”
The premier said tax reform would be one of the government’s
priorities.
    He said it was not a good idea to change one tax at a time as
they are part of a complex mechanism in which each has am impact
on the others.
    He said the IRPEF income tax should be changed, with the burden
lightened while maintaining its progressive nature.
    Other priorities mentioned in the speech were starting the
transformation of the economy to make it environmentally
sustainable, the protection of jobs, while choosing which areas
should be protected and which should be accompanied towards
change, reforms of the civil service and the justice system.
    Draghi said his government would be firmly behind the European
Union and the Atlantic alliance.
    He said public and private structures should be used for the
COVID vaccination campaign and all available “energies” should
be mobilized, including the civil protection department, the
armed forces and volunteers.
    The government is set to easily win Wednesday’s confidence vote
in the Senate and Thursday’s in the Lower House. (ANSA).
   

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