Excerpts of the speech of Carlo Cottarelli, Prime Minister-Designate of Italy (2018), at the Free Iran 2022, is as follows:
Thank you very much for inviting me here today. It is, of course, a great honor for me to address all of you, and in particular the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi.
You, all of you, represent the flame of hope for the Iranian people, hope for a secular republic based on democratic values. You can say this only for a handful of countries, over the last millennia, Iran has been at the center of world culture and economic development.
It is therefore particularly sad and disturbing to see the Iranian people going through such a difficult period over the last decade. The failure of the current regime in managing the Iranian economy and the Iranian society is clear to everybody.
Economic growth, gross domestic product has been stagnant for decades, and indeed, per capita income has actually declined by almost 3% between 2010 and 2020. The unemployment rate has remained high at close to 10%, according to official figures, but it’s twice as large, according to some estimates by independent sources. Consumer price inflation reached 40% last year.
And poverty as a result of all this has become widespread. Let me underscore, however, that the problems arising for the Iranian people from the disappointing performance of the Iranian economy pale when compared to the problems caused by lack of freedom and democracy and by corruption and poor governance.
I have, and I will, fully support Maryam Rajavi‘s Ten Point Plan to turn Iran into a secular republic based on democratic values. A republic that rejects dictatorship in all forms, be it the previous dictatorship of the shah or the current theocratic regime.
Iran needs free elections. Iran needs freedom of expression, freedom of religion, gender equality and independent judiciary, and a non-nuclear country. Let me conclude by thanking you for what you do. I come from a country, Italy, that during the last century suffered from the fascist dictatorship.
I was lucky enough to be born after Italy became a democracy. But my parents grew up during fascism, and they taught me the values of freedom and democracy. So please keep fighting for freedom.
This would not only be good for the Iranian people, but it will be good for Iran, and it will be good for the whole world, and you will eventually prevail. Thank you very much.