Be optimistic. There is no alternative for the Italians if they want to continue to maintain the highest standards of living accrued after World War II. Being optimistic, despite the picture painted by Frank Bruni in his article in the New York Times last Saturday is so bleak as it is real.
Be optimistic to build a new country, open, inclusive, equitable, meritocratic and not gerontocratic. Be optimistic and roll up the sleeves. Perhaps it is true that only in the difficulties Italians know how to give the best of themselves. And that this is a difficult time there is no doubt.
Last week in Naples, during the Italian Forum on Bioeconomy, I was having dinner with the coordinator of the national program on marine biotech of Ireland, an associate professor at the University of Graz (Austria) and a researcher at the University of Gothenburg (Sweden). Three Italians, two women and a man. The emphasis is necessary because in our country women are who suffer most of the gerontocracy and social closure.
The proof that we have excellent researchers, who carry out their activities with satisfaction abroad. Even in the field of bioeconomy. Nothing wrong with that if we were able to attract Irish, Austrian and Swedish to do research in our universities. Instead we lose human capital educated at the expense of our school and university system without being able to be attractive for foreign researchers.
Will we remain a country where only spend the holidays? In Naples, the same week, four foreign scientists have told me that they have taken a taxi from the airport to their hotel. The fixed rate would be 20 euros, but the driver has applied it for each passenger, so he went back home with 80 euros for a trip of few kilometers. An incalculable damage to its image for Naples, and Italy.
Be optimistic. There is no alternative. But we must all act together now, reminding us to be a great country in a Europe that will have to be more united. Italy can no longer afford to be one country for old men. It should no longer tolerate being the land of crafty people.