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Il Fatto Quotidiano, Italy

The State of the Union Address:
Obama or Bersani?
Maybe It’s Just Crozza

By Giampiero Gramaglia

Translated By William Tew

13 February 2013

Edited by Daye Lee

Italy - Il Fatto Quotidiano - Original Article (Italian)

The priorities are: workers, with regards to raising the minimum wage; controlling the deficit by mixing expenditure cuts and revenue increases and by stopping tax reductions for energy giants and reductions that outsource work; investments for growth, a total of $40 billion for 70,000 projects; $1 billion reserved for research, with the creation of a network of institutions for innovation in the industrial sector; immigration reform; and equal rights for heterosexuals and homosexuals, because "it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or who you love."

Is this the left government's platform in Italy? Warm… Warmer… Almost… No, no, that's not it. Okay, I'll give you a clue: an initiative to control the sale of firearms and to reduce the risk of massacres. Now the riddle is too easy. It's the State of the Union address, given last night — yesterday evening in Washington time — by President Barack Obama.

Still, the good proposals of the U.S.' Democratic administration for 2013, which would put into practice the principles of the inaugural speech given only three weeks ago on January 21, could be a good agenda for Italy's "left," moderates and reformers. I already hear the remarks — "But it's American! We need a European plan."

True. But we Italians and Europeans need a good plan overall. If there is some good in Obama's, there's nothing wrong with taking some inspiration. With the EU budget for 2014-2020, we have been given a plan that skimps on investment for growth and research.

By following this trend, we won't be governed by somebody like Obama, or somebody like Bersani, Merkel or Monti. We'll be governed by Crozza, in other words, by the imitation of leaders who care more about their images than their programs. And we won't even notice — in the end, they all look the same on television.*

*Editor's Note: Maurizio Crozza is an Italian comedian known for his political satires.



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