Energy Policy in Italy: Contingent Emergency and Structural Weakness

in Italian Politics
Author: Alberto Clò
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In 2006, the energy question—and in particular the natural gas emergency

that will be discussed here—was brought to the attention of

public opinion, of political and economic debate, and of the electoral

contest. First, it needs to be made clear that on both sides, and within

the two coalitions, demagoguery prevailed over pragmatism. Similarly,

the propensity to demonize the proposals of opponents tended

to hold sway over attempts to contribute constructively to the discussion.

Thus, a game of mutual vetoes and false propositions took place,

characterized by erroneous diagnoses aimed solely at avoiding the

electoral costs that the required choices would have imposed. This

had the inevitable result of confusing public opinion, which should

be aware of the issue, and feeding the general “right of veto,” which,

since before the reform of Title V of the Constitution, has allowed

anyone to prevent others from doing anything—with the result that

nothing happens.

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