The pandemic has hit our country forcefully, giving rise to many victims and widespread suffering. Thanks to the commitment of the whole nation, and particularly the efforts of those working in the healthcare sector and essential services, we hope to contain the effects of the virus on the health of our citizens.
The shock has been so powerful that it has required exceptional economic countermeasures by national and local governments and European institutions.
We do not yet know to what extent the measures implemented will succeed in preventing the start of a long phase of recession. It is however certain that in the next few months it will continue to be necessary to make important and difficult choices to avoid mass unemployment, businesses closures, a major increase in poverty and the intensification of inequality within countries.
In this situation, we considered it necessary to immediately begin the reflections of the Festival of Economics, using the means the web makes available to us: indeed, never has there been a greater need for public exchange of expert analysis and proposals than in this period.
We will do so as usual, by combining scientific rigour and attention to clarity, without taking anything for granted.
We will compare the opinions of economists with those of researchers in other disciplines, businesspeople, managers and representatives of Italian and European institutions. In the pluralist spirit that has always distinguished the festival, the debate will be open to the most varied opinions and cultural currents.
We will follow the evolution of economic affairs without attempting to provide a running commentary, but rather trying to offer one or more keys to interpreting events. We are convinced that each crisis is also an opportunity for improvement, and for trying out new solutions to old problems. For fifteen years the Festival of Economics has placed important issues at the centre of public debate. In Trento, from 24 to 27 September this year, we will do so by dealing with the relationship between growth and the environment. While awaiting the occasion to meet in person, we take this opportunity to open the virtual economics workshop.