Migrants, Tommaso Foti says: “It’s the last disaster in Europe”

Europe has lost “many opportunities” in recent years: common defence, energy policy, foreign policy. And the migration issue that today contrasts Italy and France is just the latest example of Brussels’ problems. Tommaso Foti, recently elected leader of the Brothers of Italy in the Chamber, does not fail to point out in this interview with Il Tempo the contradictions of the European Union, starting with the right of veto, an institution now considered obsolete.

Mr Foti, among the first emergencies that Prime Minister Giorgia Meloi has had to face is the issue of migrants. Is it a coincidence that a few days after the new government took office, four ships full of foreigners showed up in Italian territorial waters asking to disembark them?

“I don’t know if it’s a coincidence, a coincidence. It is certainly a fact. And Prime Minister Meloni showed how he intends to take a clear line on this issue as well. It amazes me that many politicians sympathize with Macron and not with his country’s government. It would take a bipartisan spirit to sustain the defense of the national interest, but someone prefers to play with the opponent’s shirt, even if they are the leader of a country that is our ally like France. We are the bad guys because we don’t let ships full of immigrants dock and France is full of heart because in 2022 it received 38 foreigners. But I say, are we in the Serious? If they disembark in Italy without any problems, if instead they arrive in Menton, they are beaten by the French police and our agents have to help and receive them. How does this story work? Italy has already welcomed ninety thousand people this year, as a provincial city. For this we receive few contributions from the EU, the balance always seems to me to be quite negative ».

How does it come out?

“With the naval blockade to discourage smugglers in a preventive way, greater coordination with Malta and Cyprus, perhaps reducing Malta’s area of ​​competence. And then creating hot spots in Libya, despite the difficulties caused by the political instability created by the French intervention and the fall of Gaddafi”.

The latest migrant case and the tensions between Macron and Meloni represent yet another European failure.

“We must distinguish between economic migrants and refugees. The first must be welcomed and no one questions it. In the latter, everything must be reviewed, because Italy cannot become the EU’s hot spot. In recent years, Brussels has missed too many opportunities: common security, energy policy, foreign policy. Member States do not move in a particular order. If Italy toughens up on migrants, controversies that last for weeks erupt, if Germany and the Netherlands are against the gas price cap, they legitimately follow their energy policy and protect their needs. Can they protect the national interest and we can’t? Either we all have the right to do so or we are all wrong. In Europe some people always say no. Even the right of veto, with a Union of 27 countries, no longer makes sense because it only leads to compromise solutions”.

Economics chapter. The business unions are satisfied with the meeting with Prime Minister Meloni, but the president of Confindustria Bonomi makes some criticisms about the cut in the tax burden, considered insufficient.

“These are not dramatic criticisms. It’s more of an attempt to pinpoint a position for future reference. The 5% reduction in the tax burden is a goal included in the government’s program, it would have pleased everyone, but achieving it today is impossible with all the resources to be allocated to reduce expensive bills for families and businesses. The unions appreciated the working method proposed by the Prime Minister».

Is a tax cut of at least 2% desirable?

“Next year, interest on public debt will increase by 22-23 billion euros and we run the risk that they will rise even more. This is the basic problem. The fiscal advance will come in five years, this is a legislative government. The situation we face today is dramatic.”

Is this the famous “truth operation” about the situation inherited from the government that Meloni spoke about in the Senate responses during the confidence vote?

“We don’t blame anyone if we tell the citizens how things really are.”

And how are you?

“From 2018 to today, just to give an example, public debt has increased by 400 billion. And that gives us little room for manoeuvre. The only solution is to push GDP up and not end up in the European stagnation that can manifest itself in the first half of next year. We cannot afford to gamble, it takes little to break public finances. There is no single index that says 2023 will be an easy year, despite Italy being better positioned than expected. In the Budget Law we will give clear signals, but we cannot ignore it. All the resources will go to contain the expensive bills, the rest will have to be done with compensation».

Hence the Superbonus review?

“This created a devastating hole: 38 billion. Natural to make corrections. We will also have to intervene in citizens’ incomes, but not drastically right away. Of course there will be a twist. This newly arrived government was supposed to solve the problems and, given the huge consensus achieved in the elections, expectations are high. But the reality of the facts is the reality of the facts, anyway in the next five years we will do everything”.

Presidential reform too, of course. Will there be a bicameral?

“The season of reforms must necessarily open and the bicameral can be useful if the common objective is to give a new structure of government to this nation.”

Matteo Renzi said he was open to dialogue.

“The prime minister said he was open to various solutions: presidentialism, semi-presidentialism, mayor of Italy. The FdI is willing to discuss any possibility. I hope not only with Renzi, but also with the other oppositions. The Democratic Party, for example, after the congress will not be able to escape institutional issues. After the reform, we will have to talk about electoral law: those who campaigned criticizing the current one were the same ones who voted for it. With a cut of parliamentarians, it is necessary to review the electoral law and the form of government”.

Speaking of oppositions, with such divided parties, will this government have a peaceful life at least until the European elections?

“This majority sails at will anyway. There is certainly a Giuseppe Conte OPA on the Democratic Party and another Third Pole OPA on the moderate votes of the Democrats. On the Aid ter decree, they presented 70 amendments on a provision made when they were in government and in majority. It doesn’t make much sense… such opposition is sterile”.

What subjects can you talk about then? And with whom?

“We are ready to discuss everything and everyone, but we will not distort anything. The best way to prove a majority is not to dilute the program points where citizens voted for us. Like rave parties, immigration, life in prison. The centre-right government is making the centre-right government”.

Will a commission of inquiry into the management of the Covid emergency be held?

“Yes, but in 2023. A law is needed to institute it and the Parliament will be committed until the end of the year in the conversion of the Dl Aid quarter and in the Budget law”.

On Friday, in Bologna, the collectives hung a mannequin representing Giorgia Meloni upside down. It is the last episode in a climate of increasing tension. Is Fabio Rampelli right when he asks the left to stop because the Years of Lead started like this?

“Fires often arise from small fires that do not go out in time and then lose control… A certain increase is absurd, which, moreover, demonstrates uninterrupted links with criminal activities. The answer to all this must be political, but also of public security, without underestimating and neglecting some signs that suggest that some phenomena may be welded to situations of social shortage”.

Source: IL Tempo