Protection, searching for balance
The secretary of Sinistra Italiana, Nicola Fratoianni, believes that in the fight against pathological gaming we must proceed quickly and we must find a meeting point between the protection of people’s health and that of employment.
In Europe and in Italy, always having clear objectives to pursue: protection of workers and of the environment.
Policies that the Sinistra Italiana, a party founded in February 2017, has been pursuing for some time, often assuming very critical positions towards the current government coalition. And yet, the extreme combativeness of Sinistra Italiana is attenuated as regards the gaming subject.
Starting with the provisions adopted in the summer of 2018 with the Dignity decree, strongly supported by the Minister of Labor and Production Activities, as well as vice-premier, Luigi Di Maio, and which, in addition to several other measures on tax tightening, use by the player of the health insurance card and reform of the offer (only announced for now), has totally banned gaming advertising.
We start our conversation with Nicola Fratoianni, national secretary of Sinistra Italian, from these provisions, which are about to make a year, asking him to evaluate them.
“As regards gaming, with the Dignity decree there was indeed a signal that goes in the right direction, even if those adopted are insufficient measures. Gaming is recognized as a producer of addiction with consequences on various fronts and we must therefore act much faster”.
Italian regions have adopted regulations about gaming, imposing restrictions especially in terms of distances and hours. Obviously, these measures affect only legal gaming operators, and they are having serious consequences also in terms of employment. Sinistra Italiana always takes a special interest to the employment issue: what can you tell us about the protection of legal gaming sector employees?
“Of course, there is no A-list and B-list employment, and we don’t consider gaming employment belonging to the latter. However, a fundamental balance is needed, given that we must also protect people’s health, which is put at risk of developing forms of gambling addiction”.
What are the requests that La Sinistra, this is the list headed by Sinistra Italiana, will present in Europe after the elections of May, the 26th?
“In Europe we carry the need to end the austerity season, as regards to cutting public services and, rather, we are claiming a European minimum wage. Development can’t be done on the skin of workers and therefore a great European plan for work development is needed. Again, we aim at a development that goes through ecology, through a plan aiming to achieve zero emissions by 2030. The environmental issue is the real problem to be addressed at European level”.
Do you think that the current government will arrive at the end of the mandate and will it be able to fully realize the contract signed?
“I can’t predict if it will end its legislature, but it seems to me that the conflict that characterized the electoral campaign for the European elections was a trick to attract the whole attention on itself. Moreover, the fact remains that the current government is causing great damage to the country. A damage of a cultural nature, caused by a government that is strong with those who are weak and weak with those who are strong, and that doesn’t aim to the redistribution of wealth. My opinion is strongly negative and I believe that the Minister of the Interior and vice premier Matteo Salvini is the protagonist of this unfortunate political season and the most dangerous, but with the support of Luigi Di Maio”.
What do you hope for Italy for the coming months?
“I hope it get out of fear and that it can give confidence to a political class that shouldn’t focus on people’s fears”.
As regards major projects, what do you think of the Tav, on which it has been so much discussed, and even fought within the majority, in recent months? Do you think and hope that it will be realized?
“I hope not. It is an anachronistic and expensive project. Yes, we have to invest in iron, but on city rails or on commuter trains. Not on this Turin Lyon connection”.
WHO IS HE?! – Nicola Fratoianni was born in Pisa on 4 October 1972 from a family native from Ururi (in the province of Campobasso).
In the Tuscan city he has been a member of the Partito della Rifondazione Comunista since 1992. From 2002 to 2004, he was the national coordinator of the Giovani Comunisti, a youth organization of the Prc. Having completed the job for reasons of age, he takes the role of regional secretary of Rifondazione Comunista in Puglia. He is among the supporters of the candidacy of Nichi Vendola in the primary elections, then he won against Francesco Boccia, who will be followed by the election of Vendola as Governor of Puglia. In 2009, he left the Prc to contribute to the foundation of the Movimento per la sinistra and, then, of Sinistra Ecologia libertà, of which it is part of the National Coordination since the beginning. Since 2010, he is Councilor for Youth Policies, Social Citizenship and Implementation of the Program of the Puglia Region in the Vendola II Council. In 2013 general elections, he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies, for Sinistra ecologia e libertà in the Puglia district. On 15 February 2014 he was elected National Coordinator of Sinistra ecologia libertà. On 23 June 2014, he replaces Gennaro Migliore as the new interim leader of Sel in the Chamber. Fratoianni is considered an expression of the left wing of the party, in favor of maintaining a tough opposition to the Renzi government and the establishment of a constitution of the Italian radical left, following the model of the Tsipras List at the 2014 European elections, opposing to the line of the former group leader in the Chamber, Gennaro Migliore and former national coordinator Claudio Fava, who in June 2014 make a split to support the Government and the alliance with the Pd in the Pse. On 19 February 2017, in the margins of the Congresso fondativo, he was elected national secretary of Sinistra Italiana with 503 votes in favor, 32 against and 28 abstentions. In the political elections of 2018 he is re-elected to the Chamber of Deputies, in the Liberi e uguali party in the Piemonte 1 district. Following the outcome of the polical elections (LeU slightly exceeds the electoral threshold) he presented his resignation to the national assembly of Si: they will be immediately rejected. Sinistra Italiana will abandon the project in the autumn of the same year. On 8 April 2019, in view of the European elections of 26 May, Fratoianni presents the symbol of la Sinistra, a list in which also Rifondazione Comunista and L’Altra Europa with Tsipras converge, but not the other two components with which Si showed up to the 2018 policies in the project of LeU or Mdp, whose candidates are included in the list of the Nicola Zingaretti’s Pd, and Possibile, which is candidated with Verdi. At the same European consultations, Fratoianni is a candidate in the central Italy district.