The huge amount of resistance that there is to change and reform in Italy, from interest groups of all kinds, is simply huge. This resistance has been Prime Minister Mario Monti’s biggest problem during the past year.
He thought that if he could persuade such interest groups, be they trade unions or big companies, professional orders or pensioners, that everyone was going to make some concessions and give up some privileges for the common benefit, then they would do so, rather as countries agree during disarmament negotiations to give up their tanks and missiles. But so far this hasn’t worked.
It hasn’t worked because Monti had to depend for his parliamentary support on parties that refused changes in order to please their core voters or just to spite each other. And it hasn’t worked because everyone knew that the Monti government was temporary: just delay and “the night will pass” as the saying goes. Even local governments used this tactic, delaying the implementation of new laws knowing that elections would soon come.
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