Italy and its enterprises: we need to stick together if we’re going to beat the crisis

According to Gfk Eurisko, the country is paralyzed by a lack of common goals. Stimuli and confidence are needed. Giorgio Squinzi, the president of Confindustria, emphatically launches his appeal for confidence

03-09-201216:40by
Convegno Internazionale "Make it in Italy" - Industria Manifatturiera e Crescita Economica
foto Fabio Ferrari - LaPresse 24 10 2011 Torino ( Italia ) evento, News Convegno Internazionale "Make it in Italy" - Industria Manifatturiera e Crescita Economica. Nella foto:Sergio Marchionne photo Fabio Ferrari - LaPresse 24 10 2011 Turin (Italy) Event, News International Conference on "Make it in Italy" - Manufacturing Industry and Economic Growth. In the picture:Sergio Marchionne

by Giovanni Iozzia

The country certainly needs growth.

But also competition, culture and awareness. Above all, it needs shared ideals. The tests of growth, in September, will not be easy for the government. Monti has already made it clear that the economic conditions will not be the most encouraging. A large amount of confidence would help.

That is why the reaction of the president of Confindustria to the warnings of the ECB about the risk of insolvency of Italian companies appears interesting. The crisis is bad, but our entrepreneurs will continue to invest in their companies and to believe in the country, says Giorgio Squinzi.

A vote of confidence that is welcome indeed in this torrid climate of disorientation and worry. A change of tone from the complaints and predictions of catastrophe of recent months that is a strategy worth encouraging if we really want to find our way back to growth again.

To understand the state of our psychological health it is helpful to read the annual monitor of GkF-Eurisko once more. “A country that does not possess an idea of itself, troubled and frightened by limitations and criticism from the other side of the Alps”, is the view of this research institute.

We are suffering, and we feel more than a little guilty but we have no idea how to emerge from this situation. And nobody seems able to offer a convincing suggestion. What is needed, claims GfK, is a project, “and sooner or later one will have to come along”.

In the last 40 years Italy has experienced other crises but also profound changes, explains the honorary president Giuseppe Minoia. Now it is confused and uncertain.

Not just because it disposes of less money to spend. It lacks motivation, the force and determination to face a changing reality: this is the diagnosis of GfK that, though focusing on the consumer market, effectively identifies the social climate that inevitably conditions it.

“The country is standing still”, says Remo Lucchi, managing director of GfK. “No two ways about it, it lacks the basic condition essential for movement: cohesion. It wastes all its energy on internal problems. And there is no cohesion because the fundamental ingredient is missing: ethics, respect for others.”

The discussion is framed in sociological terms, but it photographs a dark side of our national community that is a step away from not being a country at all, because, says Lucchi, it lacks the essential conditions: unity (personal interests prevail) and personality (it lacks medium- and long-term goals).

Conclusion: Italy is haphazard, soft, ripe for conquest. But if the country is at a standstill, the same is not true of its enterprises and families. Indeed, the signs of irritation are increasing. New values are emerging (sustainability, above all). And there are increasing demands for a system (that is not only politics but the entire managerial category) to act urgently to find cohesion, ethics, conviction.

It is not just a question of another decree, or even of a few more months. To change and grow will take at least a decade, predicts GfK. But we have to start. And one way to do that is by believing in what we are doing, defending and supporting it.

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