L’economia reale nel Mezzogiorno

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Il Mulino

Volume 23

L’economia reale nel Mezzogiorno

Edited by Alberto Quadrio Curzio and Marco Fortis Il Mulino - July 2014

The development of the Mezzogiorno (also known as “Southern Italy”) according to an industrial logic would turn Italy into a France or Germany in Europe. Edison Foundation (the voice of a large and historic company in Northern Italy) and the National Academy of Lincei set out to demonstrate this thesis in this book following up a convention. There are two main points. The first is that development of the Mezzogiorno requires an “industrial logic”, an expression used in 1946 by the founders of SVIMEZ.

Today we would place this paradigm alongside that of the “real economy” to emphasize that organizational and productive rationality can be applied across the board. Only in this way can the Mezzogiorno's territorial system be freed from the discretionary subsidies that begin and end in a form of welfare dependency that the highly qualified resources of the South do not need.

This is because the Mezzogiorno already has strengths and points of excellence in the real economy capable of competing, even internationally, on a par with the companies of Northern Italy. The difference is that whereas in the North there is a robust network of firms that make up a system or several territorial systems with external and internal economies that represent its strength, the Mezzogiorno has no network and relatively few firms. At any rate not enough for a region with 26 million inhabitants.

The conclusion is that integration between agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, logistics and infrastructure is the cornerstone of Mediterranean progress and development in the first decades of the 21st century. These are the themes underlying the four parts of the book. The problem of the Mezzogiorno and how to move on from the present stasis is examined by some of Italy's leading experts, scholars and business people, whose ideas are presented alongside the views of the book's editors, Marco Fortis and Alberto Quadrio Curzio. In order of appearance the contributors are: Carlo Trigilia, Adriano Giannola, Marco Fortis, Giovanni Iuzzolino, Fabrizio De Filippis and Roberto Henke, Salvio Capasso, Federico Pirro, Giulio Cainelli, Massimo Deandreis and Luigi Nicolais.

Introduction. The strengths and weaknesses of Southern Italy, by Marco Fortis and Alberto Quadrio Curzio