n.8 March 2006
It’s been a notable effort, especially because of the scarce and confusing data they had to start with, but in the end Daniele Castellani Perelli,Vittorino Ferla, Dennis Redmont and Ennio Remondino succeeded in producing for east the first overview of the power of massmedia in Europe with a particular emphasis on Eastern and Central Europe (see the dossier on page 97). A critical map, obviously, because it’s not possible to simply describe the media systems of the former communist countries without attempting an evaluation of their transparency, efficiency and degree of autonomy from the established powers. No-one can ignore the fact that this is a key issue for building a Europe of peoples and not just of governments. An issue that concerns Western countries as well, as the Italian television duopoly shows. In addition, three contributions by a pool of young economists (Alessia Amighini, Carmelina Carluzzo, Stefano Chiarlone, Fabrizio Coricelli, Fabio Mucci and Debora Revoltella) on the economies of the so-called New Europe deserve particular attention. The first article analyzes family indebtedness as the engine for the development of a modern consumer market; the second looks at the former communist countries and their models of specialization; the third analyzes the points of excellence achieved by the new economies in the area of production, but also in
research and technological innovation (starting on page 16). There are two items of reportage in this issue; one by Monika Bulaj on Azerbaijan and another by Silvia Sartori on Xinjiang. And we present twoleaders of “glocalism”: Peter Thun, a native of Alto Adige, famous throughout the world for his praising angels, and Graziano Verdi, President of Graniti Fiandre, able to lay down floors at either Maranello or the Crowne Plaza. And we finish in twos: a pair of major interviews on globalization featuring Gae Aulenti and Renato Ruggiero. Two names and two personal histories that could not be more different, but they both well represent Italy in the world.
The media suffers from myopia. It takes the news item of the day, turns it into an "event" and blows it up to the point of isolating it from earlier events or events taking place elsewhere. Politicians can either derive benefit from this distorted perspective of the reality or lose their advantage, depending on the case.
The former director-general raises the alarm: the proliferation of bilateral and regional agreements is changing the dynamics of world trade and is making multilateral negotiation more difficult. The consequences, especially for the world’s poor and developing countries, could be disastrous. Industrialized countries would also have a lot to lose. And as for Europe, Renato Ruggiero sees signs of recovery. Angela Merkel, for example...
by Fabrizio Coricelli, Fabio Mucci e Debora Revoltella
In the new Europe, the level of household debt relative to GDP is still low compared to that of the euro zone. However, there is a very strong growth trend. There are many concerns, even if economists consider households’ higher propensity to get into debt a normal phase of the transition process. In fact, when income is insufficient, debt helps to keep interest rates low.
The machinery and tooling industry, particularly electrical and optical components, is growing substantially. Pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and all the transport-related sectors are also doing well and the paper, publishing and printing industries are likewise promising. The most promising increase in the tertiary sector can be seen in communications, insurance companies and corporate financial services. The labour-intensive sectors are however declining.