Napolitano, Giorgio
July 1978
Foreign Affairs;Jul1978, Vol. 56 Issue 4, p790
The article presents a communist perspective on the Italian crisis. Not only is it a crisis of economic and social structures, it is also a crisis of the state--its apparatus, its functioning. The problems of enforcement of laws in the economic sphere, of economic planning and public spending, have become serious. And so has the crisis in the educational system. At the same time, there has been an increase in public spending. Thus, the efforts of the Italian Communist Party to establish a policy. The first point is the refusal to accept inflationary solutions, or a short-lived, overstimulated expansion. Second is the rejection of protectionist temptations. The Italian economy depends on the import of raw materials and of sources of energy: it cannot do without this volume of imports and counts on a considerable volume of exports for its development. The work of eliminating waste is urgent in the area of public spending. Here an appreciable effort has already begun: there has been an attempt to determine the real size of the public sector deficit and to bring under control the rise in public spending and in social security services by reforms of local finance and health services, by making local utilities pay for themselves and by revising pension schemes. The need to fight inflation and to devote a share of resources to investment also implies that the cost of labor must be contained. But the policy of austerity must be based on the criteria social justice. The reorganization of tax-collecting system must be speeded up. And even among both blue-collar and white-collar salaried employees, injustices and absurd inequalities must be ironed out. Finally, the widespread practice of black labor and the practice of having two jobs must be brought under control.


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