I fear the Greeks even when they bring gifts! It is Virgil who puts this phrase in Laocoonte's mouth, in the Aeneid, in the scene on the beach, at the edge of the sea, in which the discussion between the Trojans stirs up whether or not to bring the wooden horse left by the Achaeans, within the city walls by Ilio.
The phrase came to my mind, looking at the press of yesterday, today (and who knows, maybe tomorrow) which reproduces, with unprecedented repetitiveness, a smiling and captivating image of the President of the Commission (executive body) of the Union European, Mrs. Ursula von der Leyen.
Under the photo, which appeared yesterday, there was an expression: We are all Italians!
It probably intended to show the solidarity and participation of all Europeans for the country that had achieved the certainly unenviable record of being the most infected place on the old continent, with a frightful number of deaths.
Under the same photograph, published today, there is an inscription which, in even more important characters, expresses a judgment, with a different flavor, because it is even "enthusiastic" about our country: Italy is wonderful!
However, if it is quite simple to give an explanation to the first of the two sentences of the President (We are all Italians!) In the sense we have imagined as an expression of solidarity and participation in our pain, it becomes difficult to give a logical sense to the second expression of passionate admiration (Italy is wonderful!). Because?
Sure. The two phrases, coordinated with each other, could be the result of a Protestant-Lutheran sensitivity (President Von Leyen is enrolled in the Christian Democratic group of her country) and constitute the sign of a remorse of conscience of what the Germans ( and the French) have done against Italy before and after the Maastricht Treaty as a result of the dominant position they have assumed in the European Union.
We might like the hypothesis but it would not be credible, above all for the "antecedent" story of the President who is considered a woman with such a hard, inflexible character and not inclined to the emotion that Angela Merkel was appointed to the Ministry of Defense (before current position).
There are, then, those who opine that behind those sentences and above all the repetition of their publication and the placement in the first pages of the most current, complacent, and not by chance fanatically "pro-European" newspapers, there is rather not only the fear of the outbreak of a "sovereign bubo" at the next Italian elections (which, after the pandemic is over, will have to take place in a country where one would like to lose the habit of voting), but also "sugary" to sweeten the pill that the inhabitants of the boot want to swallow. And this, due to its dramatic, eventual (for now, in fact, it is only breezy) heavy request for help to the State-Savings Financial Fund, called the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).
The President knows that the pernicious effects of the stability pact wanted by the Brussels technocrats have been more devastating in Italy than elsewhere. And this, a little, for the insipidity of our rulers, you always use to obey by keeping silent, a little (and certainly more) for the ability of Germany and France (comparable to the "cat" and the "fox" Collodi's story because they are two Member States that have managed to occupy the command bridge of the European Union for decades).
- it is true that the Stability Pact imposed a limit on general overruns, leaving the Member States free to limit expenditure as they see fit;
- It is also true that if in Italy the reduction in investments may have affected Healthcare to an excessive extent this was due to competition in the Health sector both from the competence of the State and from that of the Regions (political figure certainly known to Von Der Leyen), but
- It is equally probable that only with the complicity of the Christian social and social democrats who run European politics, Italian politicians have been able to do what they have done to the detriment of the national health system, with a particularly substantial cut in investments.
So, given that the Italian voters have well understood that the war of the central government with the Italian regions progressively escaped from the hands of the parties of its majority (now, moreover, only fictitious) has been so crazy and inconsiderate as to represent a real mine for their health, it is very likely that they will not forget it at the time of the vote.
The fact is, however, that a political woman, attentive, clever and wise as the German noblewoman, President of the Commission, cannot fail to realize that the Italian disaster will not be without consequences on the political mood of the voters after the pandemic has ended.
In the first place, because the accusations of our central government's insipidity will be more violent than they are today and will also bring into play the generosity of the subsidies paid to the citizens of the income cunning, wanted by the improvised pentastellato but confirmed by the "sailed" democrats as well as all the hesitations of the yellow-red government in assuming the prohibitions and measures required by the Regions. This is why, with regard to the gift of those smiles and those commendations, the Virgilian verse is useful: Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes!