Structuralizing Infrastructure

by Domenico Di Monte, President of Assofluid

In September’s issue, I underlined the necessity of industrial political policy being oriented toward growth, doing this through investment and skills, which, in my opinion are the real basis for labour force protection. I remain convinced that this is one of the principle factors when looking to bestow dignity and value to jobs, but not the only one. I used the analogy of the train, which, as well as carriages, requires a locomotive and infrastructure like rails to function. Sadly, we must consider tragic events like the collapse of the bridge in Genoa as a lack of adequate infrastructure. A lack that puts Italy in a very difficult position as regards economic and industrial development. Unfortunately, such problems, heavily impact areas like technology, transport, energy, education as well as other key sectors forming the industrial backbone of any developed nation. If we take the example of Internet and IoT, while broadband is now covering the entire nation, optical fibre connection is still well below the European average bringing with it reduced potential in digital impact (simply consider that the majority of Italian public administration still doesn’t use digital services). High speed rail connections which would greatly improve everyday efficiency and quality of life for its users is often mooted but the reality still sees thousands of people trapped in interminable commutes to and from work. Important public infrastructure projects are announced but following a disaster like that of Genoa, it now takes hours to cross the city. We depend on others for our energy provision meaning a crucial aspect of competivity is lost, not to mention the stance against research in fields like nuclear energy and drilling for oil. To be able to put together a plan to solve these problems would require greater expertise than I possess, but I can confirm that a strategic vision, managing the medium and long term, appears to be missing, the question is of establishing priorities and reaching their achievement. One thing is for sure, there is no way to escape from the fact that investment in infrastructure, both in terms of maintaining existing services and constructing new ones, is key. This, however, must be carried out with a methodical, long term strategy for the benefits of future generations not simply one which looks to securing victory in the next elections.