Great success with the public and critics for the kermesse organised by Gruppo 24 Ore, empty halls in the copy attempt. Even Turin docs Enrico Salza and Dario Tosetti in Trento. general Allen superstar from the USA

by Emilia Morelli

Enrico Salza, despite his age and some health problems, did not miss any of the most important events of the Trento Festival of Economics, whether early in the morning or late in the evening, from the remembrance of Beniamino Andreatta with Romano Prodi and Giovanni Bazoli to the debate on the Pnrr with Roberto Garofoli and Antonio D’Amato, to the one with Ornella Barra, Gian Maria Gros Pietro and Dario Tosetti (another Turin native) on entrepreneurial families and the generational transition. Sole 24 Ore therefore won, with the indefatigable Fabio Tamburini, editor-in-chief of Sole 24 Ore, the new director Mirja Cartia d’Asero and the head of System and Events Federico Silvestri in the front row. The Province of Trento, which had chosen the tender to assign the management of the Festival without opacity, won; the people of Trento, who flocked for four days at all hours to the venues scattered in every corner of the city, won. Turin lost because it left the halls empty, but above all the organisers Boeri and Laterza lost because they had bet on the same dates as Trento because they were too sure of their own strengths: instead, in the end they were only able to field Ignazio Visco, who had already amply illustrated the Bank of Italy’s position in his Final Considerations just a few days earlier.

In Trento, on the other hand, there was no let-up with over 200 speeches by six Nobel Prize winners (Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkul Karman, Nobel Prize winner for Physics Giorgio Parisi, and Nobel Prize winners for Economics Edmund Phelps, Muhamed Yunus, Daniel McFadden and Oliver D. Hart), the American economist Jeffrey Sachs, 75 speakers from the academic world, 20 leading international and national economists, 26 representatives of the most important European and national institutions, 36 international speakers, over 30 managers and entrepreneurs from some of the largest Italian and multinational companies, 10 ministers. The added value was the popular approach: reflections and debates were addressed with the precise intention of not being reserved for insiders. The words of the economy thus attracted an audience beyond expectations, composed mainly of young people eager to understand not only current scenarios but, above all, future prospects. From the circular economy to the digital economy, from the challenges posed by the energy transition to the Stability Pact, from the opportunities offered by the NRP to the need to ensure effective gender equality: the Festival offered a debate between the brightest minds in the scientific world, opinion leaders and experts in the various sectors to understand how the changes imposed by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine have affected the economic aspects permeating society. In fact, the evocative title “Between Order and Disorder” encapsulated the desire to address the various thematic strands with eyes fixed on the historical contingencies, first the pandemic and then the war, which are bending the economy to emergency logics and which require active and timely interventions.

Il nobel Yunus

And it is precisely around the future developments on the world scene after the war in Ukraine that, as the culmination of the Festival, General John R. Allen, President of The Brookings Institution in Washington and former commander of the NaTo Forces and US military forces in Afghanistan, was called upon to offer a privileged viewpoint. Described as a ‘military man in the service of peace’, Allen chairs the world’s most influential think-tank of excellence, a research institute capable of proposing scientific solutions and new ideas to society’s complex problems in the economic, political and military fields. “The kind of abuse the Ukrainians are suffering is leading to polarisation,” explained General Allen. The world could, thus, find itself in the aftermath of the conflict divided into two opposing blocs in which at the two extremes we find the so-called Western countries on one side and China and Russia on the other. “On the one hand, the United States and Europe have united by creating a major sanctions apparatus against Russia that has led to an almost total economic conflict, on the other hand, China has no intention of abandoning Russia and, on the contrary, places the responsibility for the conflict on the United States and NATO for having created conditions that forced Russia to intervene,” explained General Kubrick, explained the General who, however, warned, “there are more than 40 countries in the world that are aligning themselves in sanctions against Russia, many new countries want to join NATO but there is also another half of the world that has not taken a stand, has not imposed sanctions against Russia and at the same time is not aligned with Russia and China.  It is necessary not to force the rest of the world to make a choice’.

La sala di Torino

Humanitarian crisis, food crisis and rising energy prices are just some of the consequences triggered by the conflict in Ukraine, but to truly understand the implications of the war Allen suggested taking a step back. “On 4 February, the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, released a joint statement that is a manifesto of how the two leaders see the future, the new world order, human rights, sovereignty, and the integrity of the rule of law globally,” said Allen, who went on to point out, “it doesn’t take much imagination to realise that when Russia and China talk about the rule of law or human rights their views are fundamentally different from what is expected in Italy, in the European context, and in NATO. What must, however, be observed and understood is that in the manifesto the two leaders expressly say that there are no limits to their relationship and that everything will be allowed. It is no coincidence that a few days later Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, a peaceful state that was trying to align itself with the EU, and had not threatened Russia in any way’.

Asked how much longer the conflict might last Allen joked, explaining that from the beginning of his career he has understood that it is better not to predict how long a war might last. “There was a moment when President Zelensky, who is admired by everyone because he represents the tenacity of the Ukrainian people, seemed willing to negotiate Ukraine’s neutrality, abandoning the idea of joining the EU and NATO, and ceding some territory to Russia to end the conflict. However, what we then saw happening at the hands of Russian troops in Ukraine is inconceivable. As of today, President Zelensky is at a crossroads: either accept that a large part of Ukrainians live under the yoke of Russia or continue fighting until they have expelled the Russians from every city,’ the General pointed out.

In the uncertainty brought about by the conflict, amid global instability, General John Allen said he was confident that the US would continue to support Ukraine not only through the instrument of sanctions but also by offering economic support and refugee support. “We have spent many years, Europe and the US, training Ukrainians. I have had Ukrainian generals under my command in Afghanistan.  What we are seeing are soldiers who are trained by the West, who are confronting the Russian military, and they are doing very well given the size of the conflict. I would say that NATO, for the future, and certainly the US will continue to support Ukraine. As US President Joe Biden pointed out, however, it will be up to President Zelensky to decide what kind of peace he finds acceptable. Every conflict ends with a peace agreement but, it will be left to President Zelensky to decide how to deal with the post-war crisis,’ John Allen concluded.

(Associated Medias) – All rights reserved