THE “MEZZOGIORNO” IN THE FIRE OF ATTENTION di Carlo Malinconico – Numero 2 – Ottobre 2015
In the last months the “Southern issue” has been lit up again. Firstly, the data gathered by Svimez in the 7-year research from 2007 to 2014, according to which Italy’s Mezzogiorno has had a smaller financial growth than Greece, then Saviano’s article on the state of abandonment of the South, finally Italy’s weekly magazine “L’Espresso” that claims “The South has disappeared” “Demographic collapse. Brain drain. Static economy. Missing entrepreneurs”. The reason for these condemnations comes from the attempt of bringing Southern Italy’s critic situation back in the objectives of the Government’s actions, that – as said- will be dealing with them next October. The Minister of Economic Development has pre-announced the summoning of the Southern States-Generals.
IN THE FIRE OF ATTENTION
To finance these investments the EU Structural Funds 2014-2020 must be used at their best- and here too we must have a joint cooperation. In fact there are administrations and Regions that have a greater knowledge on how to obtain said funding. The transferring of these best practices would be an added value, that one could reach either by sending experts from a dexterous region to a less able one, or by sending employees from less expert areas to the best ones for training. The State-Regions conference might give an impulse to this process.
Other indispensable resources of the Mezzogiorno are its culture and landscape. Not only the striking panoramic beauty or the single historical monument mesmerize the visitor, but the actual evocative nature of such beauties. Whether we talk about the Riace bronzes or the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, the Greek Theatre in Siracusa, Paestum, Pompei or Herculaneum, of the countryside in Salento, Burri’s Cretto or the stones of Matera, what strikes the traveller is the myth, the legend behind each place, symbol, rock, stone, shrub, stack. Here, more than any other place in Italy, nature and things are alive and tell stories and traditions. The enhancement of the artistic, historical and archaeological heritage – that is Mezzogiorno’s real petroleum- needs a series of abilities that luckily are already present, but also a more effective communication system and the definition of quality routes that will express these values. The modern tools to access information and the possibility of sharing knowledge and experiences online must be used at their best, in order to create the necessary development synergy and the easiest access possible: a Southern Portal, around which one can urge the creation, by University students and younger ones, of apps to furtherer help users. Superintendents, Universities and operators can cooperate for this goal.
Last, but not least, formation. Universities must find better forms of integration and coordination of courses in order to avoid duplications. It is also necessary to point out excelling centers and favor them. Post-University vocational training courses to support the creation of spin-offs in the most promising fields of economy could be established. Courses in which professors, graduates and economic operators would all be involved.
At the base of all of this is legality. This must be the State’s task to ensure safety to citizens and operators. It is fundamental to create, especially in the South, excellent centers for the formation of young people who can set off towards judiciary careers, the Armed Forces or the Police.
Of course these are just suggestions. Others, and better ones, can be found with one belief: that Southern Italy, even with all the recently re-emerged criticality’s, is a great growth opportunity, a laboratory in which one can experiment useful paths for the whole Country. Both energy and will are available, and it is possible to appeal to those in the Mezzogiorno who selflessly believe in and are ready to adhere to a “lever” of intelligence that could help in the relaunch design. It would be yet another gift from the South.