Riccardo Petrella: The militarization of pandemic is dangerous


Riccardo Petrella (photo: Riccardo Petrella)

The world after this crisis will be more fragmented, more unjust and inequal, says the Italian economist, who is a former adviser in the European Commission. He also states his opinion on the EU answer to the crisis, created by COVID-19

Vladimir Mitev

This article was published on 13 April 2020 on the English section of the site ”The Barricade”.

Riccardo Petrella is an Italian economist who was a scientific and technology policy analyst to the European Commission between 1979 and 1995, becoming a witness and voice of dissent over the EC’s definition of Europe as a union of competition. He is the main force behind the report “Limits to Competition” by the Group of Lisbon that has criticised the neoliberal reforms undertaken by the Commission of Jacque Delors, that serve capital and markets, but undermine the achievements of Post-War Europe. Petrella worked between 1967 and 1975 as a scientific secretary, and then as the director of The European Coordination Center for Research and Documentation in Social Sciences in Vienna – an organisation that brought about scientific exchanges between East and West Europe  during the times it was divided. The Italian university professor taught between 1982 and 2005 at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium); including courses such as “Scientific and technological politics” and “Economic globalisation”, and has been a lecturer in other universities and countries, too. Between 2005 and 2006, he was president of the Water Company of Puglia (Italy). In 1997, he founded the International Committee on the World Water Contract, which has the former Portuguese president Mario Soares as a president. In 1998, Petrella published “The Water Manifesto” (first in French and then in English in 2001), where he unveiled his vision for water as a “common good”.

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