By Filippo Pala
ROME, Feb 23 (Xinhua) -- Italy's 2013 general election on Sunday and Monday are supposed to make a big change for the country, but its nature is not clear yet. Though every alliance has set certain economic goals, it could be very hard to achieve them for the Europe's third largest economy in a deep crisis with a big debt and little growth.
Many Italians are also worried about opinions from abroad, especially the European institutions and financial groups. The influential Financial Times has given its advices to the Italian candidates: "eliminate unnecessary tiers of government, reduce the number of professional politicians and cut the link between political parties and state-owned enterprises."
The main candidates all seem to agree to these points. The center-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani, favored in the polls, aims to give free public health visits and new labor laws that encourage stable employment, as well as a broader protection system for unemployed people, money pushes on struggle to tax evasion, which is widespread in Italy with estimated in 275 billion euros, and also cuts in military spending, driven by his left ally Nichi Vendola especially for the purchase of F35 fighter jets with some 120 million euros each. Reduction of the costs of high-speed rail that must connect North of Italy to France (TAV) is another issue.
The candidate of the center-right, Silvio Berlusconi, who has ruled the country for nearly 10 years, promises big spending cuts, reductions and refunds of taxes, especially those on house possession and business. He also wants to cut the cost of political system, salaries of deputies and government officials, but such commitments have all been already made by his government in the past.
At the same time Berlusconi proposes to limit the state in collecting taxes from the citizens, so his opponents say he is in favor of dodging.
In his campaign program for vote, outgoing prime minister, former European Commissioner Mario Monti, wants to cut labor cost for new hiring, to increase contracts which let young people get a job easier, to double kindergarten seats to let women work freely, and to test a new job contract that should be stable and flexible at the same time.
Meanwhile, the most radical party seems to be the Five-Star Movement led by comedian Beppe Grillo, which had a big increase in last polls, proposes to re-discuss the Italian position in the European Union, a decision to be taken with a referendum.
Grillo also supports a basic income for all Italians and the right to a free internet connection for every citizen. Changes will cost much, but he hope there will be big cuts in the political system. He also urged to increase the cost of welfare. His plan of economic development attracts nationwide support.
No body knows who's economic plan for saving Italy would work. The only clear thing is that Italians are hoping for a big change and reject the way of politics of last 20 years.