Stefano Fassina, 55, is a deputy of Liberi e Uguali. Graduated in Economics from Bocconi, he played in the Communist Party since 1990 and then in the PDS; he later worked at the International Monetary Fund. Member of Parliament since 2013 in 2016 he was a candidate for mayor of Rome and is a councilor in the Aula Giulio Cesare. Today he is a candidate, from the left, in the center-left primaries for the office of mayor of Rome. We interviewed him.
Mrs Fassina, you said that your candidacy aims to bring the exploited part of Rome to the Capitol. What is meant?
It is understood that there was a part of the city in suffering even before Covid and today it has expanded. This part includes restaurateurs, commercial activities, taxi drivers, street vendors, precarious workers victims of municipal contracts: it is a Rome that has no visibility in the newspapers but that needs urgent answers to survive, to regain dignity and hope for the future.
How do you help this part, in practice?
The priority is to rebuild the credibility that the left has lost in the last two to three decades towards these social groups. This credibility is not improvised, it is not built in the election campaign but is cultivated every day as we have done in these five years of opposition in the Capitol, with a presence street by street, with concrete acts, having as a priority for example the re-internalization of important services starting from educational and cultural assistants who today give support to children with disabilities in schools. We must fight to ensure decent living conditions for the workers of the municipality and its subsidiaries.
Speaking of the subsidiaries, you are, as you said, for the re-internalization of many of the activities collateral to the administration and oppose privatizations. The sale of Farmacap was inaugurated by Ignazio Marino who considered it an activity exceeding the mandate of the municipality. It is no mystery that the subsidiaries are also, not only, but also caravans. How do you act on this level?
We start by avoiding illusory shortcuts to privatization, as unfortunately the mayor Marino had also begun to do. It continues by putting capable management, then making a clear pact with workers that aims to reward their commitment, the quality of work and therefore know how to relaunch the fundamental services for citizens. Farmacap is the most relevant example because these structures are not just pharmacies, they are garrisons that are in the most difficult places in the city, they certainly give drugs but also provide fundamental and irreplaceable social assistance services for people who have more difficulties. I am thinking of the handicapped citizens in the less equipped areas, who can find here a garrison certainly for drugs, but then for daily assistance.
You said that Virginia Raggi did not arrive by chance and that “there is no going back”. What is meant?
The Five Star Movement had a plebiscite five years ago, certainly in the context of a national wave but also because an important part of our electorate gave a negative opinion of the administrative experience of the center left in Rome. Now with great frankness I am very worried, I see in our field a suicidal vocation to return to “the old ones”. Well, if we go back to what we were before, if we don’t recognize the mistakes we made, I’m afraid we will have a bad awakening the day after the elections. My candidacy also wants to be a message to the entire center-left, which recognizes the need for a radical discontinuity with the pre-M5S phase. Instead I see an entrenchment on the part of the Democratic Party that worries me and I hope that the result of the elections will give me the strength to be able to break up encrustations that would be very harmful.
What are these errors, and what are the incrustations of which he speaks?
In these five years I have experienced first hand the problems of the area plans, I have touched the consequences of urban planning choices that did not go towards the general interest, I have touched the outsourcing of important services unfortunately made by the center-left and the consequences they have had on male and female workers. I have personally experienced the disastrous results of resolution 140/2015, approved by us, for the economic enhancement of the Capitoline buildings, where hundreds of solidarity, culture and environment associations operate. We must recognize the problems that our culture of government has had: the Rome model was not that glittering time that we often propagate, which is still described as perfect and which instead had great contradictions.
Walter Tocci often says this, who was co-author of that model: the left would have intercepted a phase of economic growth that did not depend on it and interpreted it by having a few parties. I simplify, of course.
Yes, I agree with Tocci’s assessment, which unfortunately remains isolated, has not become a political point of our programmatic platform and this worries me. I continue to see in the center-left this claim of a past that has had its lights but also all its shadows and that has also generated problems.
Under what conditions is the list of the united left made?
Under the conditions of recognizing our mission which, as I said, is to bring the representation of those groups of people most in difficulty to the government of the city. We must prioritize work, social justice, environmental justice; we build a political proposal around these discriminating factors and the relative turnover of the ruling class. We need to bring to the Capitol and to all the municipal councils women and men who have worked in the territories and who are recognized there. Citizens who have built their protagonism almost always outside the party circuit, or in associations. This action will lead to a qualified turnover of the ruling class, inserting in our cadres not a generic “civil society” but those men and women who, through volunteering in all its forms, in social circuits, have made politics with a capital P. I appeal to everyone to go and vote on Sunday 20 June, we need to bring fresh energy into the coalition and avert the risk of a center-left looking back.