Italian PM visiting Berlin Palazzo Chigi flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Italian PM during his visit to Berlin in 2014

Matteo Renzi was in Berlin not only for a public speech at the university, but also for a meeting with Angela Merkel about Greece, supporting the idea that “Europe, as it was imagined, had failed”. In order to change the situation he proposed a new way forward moving away from irresponsibility, a clear reference to the Greece current situation, and austerity, a reference to the German strategy.

Even if these days are very tough and Europe has in front of itself a challenge that might be one of the greatest in its history, Renzi is as always optimistic. In addition, he is confident that Europe and Greece will find a solution very soon.

“The main point here is the growth for every European country, not the IVA of some Greek islands.” said the Prime Minister, who is very confident about finding a compromise that is good both for Athens and Europe.

But Renzi doesn’t want to talk only about Greece. “I am more worried about terrorism than about Greece”, he said emphasizing the importance of the issue about the migrants from the Mediterranean Sea. “I have already said and I repeat again that Italy can deal with that alone”, he maintained, “but Europe can’t let Italy deal with it alone” and most important “the European politics can’t be indifferent in front of the drama of North Africa”. Consequently, he thanked Angela Merkel for her help in finding an agreement with the other European President.

The German Chancellor said that she is really impressed by Renzi's reforms, a signal that Germany is appreciating the efforts made by Italy to return to being competitive country. However, the Italian journalist Marco Travaglio remembers that every time that Angela Merkel had met an Italian Prime Minister, except for Silvio Berlusconi, she was “really impressed”. Firstly, she was impressed by Romano Prodi in 2006; secondly she was impressed by Monti’s measures in 2011; thirdly she was impressed and even joyful after Enrico Letta meeting in 2013 and finally she was impressed by Renzi in 2014 and again yesterday.

Brussels, 12/02/2015 flickr by Palazzo Chigi , CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 

Italy is growing”, the Prime Minister Renzi repeated many times and explained many of the reforms that he claimed to have done, even though most of them are yet to show their impact. In addition, according to the Istat, the Italian National Institute of Statistics, in the last month the unemployment rate remained constant and the occupation have not grown.

However, Renzi believes that his model is the right one and he hopes that European countries will take it as an example. He stresses the importance of drawing attention to the discussion around the common growth in Europe: “We don’t talk about this (European economy) because we are talking about one of 28 members. I would like to talk also about the other 27”. The optimism is so strong in the young President that he is confident that soon “the Italian growth will surpass the German one”.

In the first month of his government, Renzi used to promise a reform every month. Now he is not giving dates anymore and, therefore, he can really be faithful to one of his favorite quotes by Walt Disney: “The difference between a dream and a project is timing.”