Dear Mario Draghi ,
I have thought about you a great deal, when, some months ago, after taking my Covid vaccine, I was sitting in an unpredictable waiting room. I was in my hometown of Perugia. Sitting next to some of my peers, all hoping not to get any undesired side effects, I overheard the conversation of two of them. They had been classmates and after finishing their technical vocational schooling, they had started working for local businesses. They had both gotten themselves fired from one but had found another one that would hire them. I was surprised that in such a small town, I had never met these guys. They were my peers, lived close enough as to be called to the same vaccination centre, yet lived such different lives to mine. I was perceiving social stratification, an aspect of life I forget about far too often. I had never seen them; we hang out in different places, we have probably worried about different things during the pandemic, even held different opinions on the matter. Nevertheless, on that summer morning, we found ourselves in the same waiting room. We had received the same antidote to a pandemic we had thought interminable. Indeed, we had chosen to get vaccinated for the common good, for our society. Face to face with life, confronted with our civic duty, our social differences had vanished, and we found ourselves there. Together. Waiting.
I wondered what might have caused this feeling of belonging and responsibility in individuals so different from one another. The State is what came to my mind, and I was thankful. I thought about how it guarantees equal treatment to all of its citizens, and, if I recall correctly from my history books, I should not take this for granted. The same State that had asked us to get vaccinated, had educated us through its public school system, place where we got some of that civic duty we were proudly strutting today. I felt pride and love for the Italian state and for those people, like yourself, that have dedicated time and resources for such an ambitious project as the correct functioning of a democratic polity.
This letter does not simply aim to praise the State and your dedication. I thought of myself, how I lived the pandemic, what had preoccupied me, my desire to contribute to the world, to feel part of a society. In those days, I was working as an intern at the Italian Representation of the European Commission, we were working on the Recovery Plan. I was involved, for the first time in my life, I was taken by a strong feeling of enthusiasm. We are the generation of the 2008 financial crisis, we grew up constantly hearing about “unemployment”. The Italian economic outlook, the state recruiting young workers to work on the various constitutional reforms had brought back this enthusiasm. I felt I was part of something. There was a place for us, for young people, an active role to be had in our society. I know you had been a promoter of this, of a generational shift. Italy is an old country, governed by old people. It seems to be that this crisis, and these funds have opened up new possibilities that previously did not exist. As our prime minister, and as the influential figure you have grown to become, regardless of your current position, I ask you to help us achieve this transition, to give us space to prosper, and something to believe in. I wish this was possible, not only to me, but also to those two guys. I wish that they can feel the same enthusiasm I had felt being in direct contact with the institution in their own reality. I wish not to leave anyone behind, that everyone feel as if they belong to this community and that could contribute positively and actively, starting from small, local businesses, on which most of the Italian economy relies on. With the funds of the NextGenerationEU, I believe this is possible. Let’s do it.