Each year, the Economist selects the “country of the year”. The award does not go to the biggest, richest or happiest country, but to the one that according to the magazine’s editors, improved further in 2021. In the past, they have won the award Uzbekistan (for the abolition of slavery), the Colombia (for peace) and Tunisia (for its democratization).
This year the award went to Italy. Not for the ability of her Euro-winning footballers or her singers who won the Eurovision Song Contest, but for her policies. The Economist has repeatedly criticized Italy for choosing leaders like Silvio Berlusconi. Due to poor governance, Italians were poorer in 2019 than they were in 2000. However, this year Italy has changed, the Economist points out.
In his face Mario Draghi acquired a capable, internationally recognized prime minister. For once, the vast majority of politicians “buried” their differences and supported a program of comprehensive reforms that guarantee that Italy will receive the resources it is entitled to under the EU recovery plan.
After a difficult 2020, the country’s economy recovered much faster than those of France or Germany.
However, there is a danger that this unusual explosion of rational governance will be reversed. Mr. Dragi he wants to become president – a more “ritual” position – and can be replaced by a less capable prime minister.
But it is hard to deny that today’s Italy is much better than it was in December 2020.
And that’s why it’s the country of the year, the Economist concludes.