We had a question sent in from Javier from Spain about whether or not Europe needs to embark on a “determined modernisation drive.” We’ve already put this idea to Philippe Maystdat, President of the European Investment Bank (EIB). Next, we put the suggestion to Giuliano Amato, two-time Prime Minister of Italy, to get his reaction. In principle, Amato agrees. However, he is also concerned that:
A determined modernisation drive may lead to higher unemployment… [so] the risk should be reduced by working on the phasing out of employees, on the promotion of alternative options for workers and on social protection. Certainly, growth with greater poverty and greater inequality is not desirable. It does not even deserve to be named “growth”.
Accordingly, Amato is highly sceptical of swingeing cuts to the public sector. Whilst he agrees that cuts have to be made, he argues they should not aim to “reduce the size of the state”.
It is difficult for us to have more security and more public order with fewer policemen. Therefore, advocating smaller government in general terms is just ideological. But in several public sectors surgical cuts accompanied and balanced by technological innovations could be feasible and effective.