[Labouratorio interviews Marco Perduca] “The desperation of the young students lighted the fire”
|sabato 29 gennaio 2011||Scritto da Redazione - 1.017 letture|
Labouratorio became internationalist with a double interwiev in English. We made the same questions to a young emigrated Tunisian guy and an Italian politician who knows a lot about foreing politics.
Marco Perduca is an Italian senator with Radicali Italiani party. Well, he is actually much more than this. Since summer 1996, he represents the Transnational Radical Party to the United Nations and has been involved in the No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) campaign. Here are his answers.
Did you expect that outcome after the first demonstration?
The economic arguments of the riots are only the tip of an huge iceberg of illiberal policies that have characterised the Ben Ali regime. Many of those who have been to Tunisia felt that the situation was particularly volatile and ready to “explode”. What was less predictable was the brutality with which the police and the army reacted.
Why do you think the regime fell down now and not before?
I believe that the situation had been ready for quite some time now, what was missing was the trigger, the desperation of the young students lighted the fire. One needs to keep in mind that in late December demonstrations were taking place in Algeria as well and the Egyptian elections had, once again, demonstrated the discontent that Arab people have vis-à-vis with gtheir governments.
What kind of people were in the street demostrating against the government?
All sorts of people, and therefore also those not in good faith. I believe that students and some fringes of the trade unions led the movement. At the same time, for once, legal and illegal opposition groups had the courage to raise.
How was Tunisia under Ben Ali?
I have always considered Tunisa as a modern version of a Soviet Republic, only more attached to the interests of the Ben Ali clan that to real socialism.
Do you trust the trade union UGTT?
I am afraid that all those that were recognized as legal and legitimate under the regime may not necessarily be “clean”
Do you think there will be a ruling class able to take over the regime and lead the country towards a stable democracy?
I would rather take a bit more time to prepare for the elections, possibly with the involvement of international organizations such as OSCE or the UN itself, than rush to vote for the new Tunisian parliament and government. Tunisians are educated, have always had an intellectual community inside and outside that was trying to participate in the debate concerning reforms. There are dozens of people willing and able to govern, the problem is that after 23 years of regime it may prove problematic to detach those close to the previous government from their positions within the State. Tunisia was, at the end of the day, a “socialist” country where work was only granted by the public sector…
What do you think of the islamic parties?Are you afraid of them?
Of all north African countries Tunisia has the smallest and weakest “islamist” groups, and, from what I know, among the most secular one. Dialog and fear is not what should guide politics, I hope that after the dark years of Ben Ali common sense will prevail.
Do you think what happened in Tunisi could cause analogous democratic movements in other Northern Africa coutries?
I am not too sure, or rather, it may happen if European countries change their attitudes towards those governments. But if one were to judge from the way in which Rome treats Tripole there is nothing to be optimistic…
Did you know and what do you think of Mr.Marzouki, who has announced his nomination to the next presidential election?Is he popular?has he some chanches to win?
I don not know him personally, I believe that, so far, he has chosen the right approach. He does not consider himself the saviour of Tunisia and has been very critic of European complacency with Ben Ali. Now we will have to see how he is able to practice democratic principles in a chaotic situation.
What do you think could be the role of the Tunisian comunity in Europe and of Europe itself?
That they should take the courage to put difference aside, go to Tunisia and contribute to the wellbeing to all. Easier said than done…
What is the role of the youth in the Tunisian Revolution?
Crucial, let’s only hope that they do not limit their role to the one of the rioters or protesters. They are educated, know Internet and are known as stern critics of illiberal policies, now they have a chance to make a change but with that chance come responsibilities… I hope that all those that in the past have expressed their solidarity to the Tunisian youth will continue to do so and not only from “socialist” networks. There is a great need to make freedom become the law of the land of the new Tunisia, that it the greatest challange for the future.