The year 2004 ended with the tragedy of the tsunami hitting the coast of Asia. We were peacefully participating in the festivity rites, when the television suddenly informed us of the catastrophe, giving us a constant update on the death count, until reaching a figure of over 200,000.
The end of 2005; it seems a coincidence that year-ends have to come with some bad news. We have witnessed an event that – for different reasons – gave us a shock, too: the upheaval in the banking sector, leading to the resignation of Antonio Fazio, governor of the Bank of Italy. Incredible facts seem to have surfaced, such as the fraud against investors perpetrated by Giampiero Fiorani, President of BPI (former Banca Popolare di Lodi), who has been arrested; the acquisition of banks through operations under suspicion of insider trading (the latest case being the notice of investigation presented to Giovanni Consorte, Unipol’s President, who also has resigned) and a confusion of roles where it is sometimes difficult to make out who controls whom. Let us make no mistake: the year end has come with news about doubtful practices in other industries as well: see, for example, the resignation of Sergio Billé, President of Confcommercio, one of the largest entrepreneurs’ organisations in the country.
There was a period, a few years ago, when it seemed that everything was going well; the end of the year came with reports about positive results, pleasant situations and sound prospects. Now, we are facing 2006 with a heavy burden of doubts and a feeble spark of hope: a slight recovery, faint prospects of tourism growth, small international improvements. Are we going to be able to grow such timid favourable signals? A great deal will certainly depend on the international situation, and the news of these latest days, about the tensions over natural gas from Russia, is no good sign. Once again we can only resort to our own creativity, our determination and … appeal to the lucky star that helps us in moments of difficulty.
Translation of the Italian
editorial by Paola Praloran