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PRATO di Sandro Veronesi


“Lavorando in casa con quattro vecchi telai mio padre la casa se l’è comprata, mi ha fatto studiare, mi ha regalato la macchina e mi ha pagato le vacanze alle Maldive. Io allora ne ho pre¬si otto, di telai, e mi sono affittato un capannone al ma¬cro¬lot¬to. Volevo fare di più, volevo migliorare; ma ormai c’è lavoro sì e no per sei mesi l’an¬no, e se non e¬ro svel¬to a dare via tutto finivo male come tanti che cono¬sco. Ora faccio etichette da maglieria per i cinesi, L, XL, XXL, e almeno la mesata la porto a casa”. A dir così è un tes¬sitore prate¬se di trent’anni, e posso assicurare che sentir dire questo da un tessitore pratese è come sentir dire da un guer¬riero maori “sì, certo, sono scappato da¬vanti al nemico, ma al¬meno non mi sono fatto male”.
Dopo quasi vent’anni sono tornato a vivere a Prato, la mia cit¬tà, e questo è quello che trovo. Che ci fosse crisi lo sentivo di¬re da un po’, ma questa sembra più che una crisi, so¬miglia a u¬na fine. Due mesi fa, del resto, per chiedere “re¬go¬le che valgano per tutti”, gli industriali pratesi hanno perfino indetto uno scio¬pero – lo sciopero dei padroni, sembra una filastrocca di Gianni Rodari; e se i miei concittadini si sono ridotti a scioperare e a chiedere regole de¬v’ess¬ere per forza successo qualcosa di grave.
In effetti l’im¬pressione è che la città e tutto il distretto tes¬si¬le che le fa capo – uno dei ter¬ritori industrialmente più com¬patti, produttivi, com¬peti¬ti¬vi e ric¬chi d’Europa, così come l’ave¬vo la¬sciato io – siano schiacciati da una pesantis¬sima pagina della storia del capitali¬smo che gli è stata voltata addos¬so. E’ un’im¬pres¬sione che viene par¬lan¬do con loro, gli im¬pren¬ditori, gli arti¬giani, gli o¬pe¬rai, tra i qua¬li circola una rasse¬gna¬zione che da queste parti non aveva mai trovato cittadinan¬za. D’altra parte stiamo parlando di gente rimasta im¬battuta per qua¬ran¬t’an¬ni, che prima d’ora aveva conosciuto solo periodi più o meno flo¬ridi – più flo¬ridi quando andava bene an¬che in tutto il resto del paese, meno flo¬ridi quando andava male –, ma mai, mai, batoste come questa. E’ naturale che sia sotto shock. Né può consolar¬li il fat¬to che gli stessi problemi che mettono in gi¬noc¬chio Prato stiano mi¬nacciando l’intera economia nazionale, tanto da far sorgere quel sospetto di “declino” con¬tro il quale il Capo dello Stato si è recen¬temente pro¬nunciato. Perché di pro¬spettive che possano raddrizzare le cose questa volta non se ne vedono, e e¬spres¬sioni come “rim¬boccarsi le maniche” o “recu¬perare la competitività” suonano ingenue, qui, dove si continua a far pezze sapendo che un paese con un mi¬liardo e mezzo di persone da sfamare, due¬cento mi¬lioni di di¬soccupati e un PIL che cresce del 10% l’anno si è spe¬cializzato nel copiare il frutto del tuo inge¬gno, produrlo più in fretta di te in qualsiasi quantità e conse¬gnarlo in qualsiasi parte del mondo a un prezzo quattro volte in¬feriore. Con questo non voglio dire che Ciampi potesse fare qualcosa di più, oltre a lanciare il suo appello; ma certo, ascoltate da qui, le sue parole sono suo¬nate come un’arringa fatta a Bisanzio nel 1204, in cui si pro¬clama al¬l’im¬pero ormai crollato che è venuto il tempo di rea¬gi¬re.
No, i pratesi sono troppo in prima linea per potersi illudere; come a Carpi, a Biella, a Como, ad Arezzo, a Santa Croce sul¬l’Ar¬no, per parlare solo del tessile-abbigliamento, e in gene¬rale come in tutti gli altri avamposti dell’industria manifatturie¬ra italiana, a Prato sanno benissimo che, per loro, sul terreno dell’e¬conomia glo¬bale si sta consumando una vera e propria tra¬ge¬dia. C’è di che dispe¬rarsi. Ma è il caso di rilevare che a Prato, oltre che di¬spe¬rati, sono anche ab¬bastanza risentiti con chi gli ha venduto la globa¬lizza¬zione come una grande op¬por¬tunità, quando in¬vece si sta rive¬lando, almeno per chi è pic¬colo, eu¬ropeo e co¬stretto a ri¬spettare le regole, una colos¬sale fre¬ga¬tura – e qui ci sarebbe da fare tutto un di¬scorso sui profeti del capitalismo glo¬bale che ci hanno guidato negli ultimi anni, e sulla sottilissima linea che se¬para il loro ottimi¬smo dal fanati¬smo, la loro sfortuna dalla dabbenaggine, la loro buonafede dalla malafede.
Ma forse con Prato la globalizzazione ha semplice¬mente svolto un compito storico, per¬ché forse è l’industria tessile in sé ad avere fatto il proprio tempo, almeno qui. Di sicuro è finito per sempre il tempo in cui consentiva di arricchire fa¬cilmente senza bisogno di essere particolarmente bravi o intelli¬genti – bastava la¬vorare quattor¬dici ore al giorno e non ri¬spettare le re¬gole e non pagare le tasse; è finito il tempo in cui più di mezzo mondo era comunista e in economia non conta¬va, e i pratesi e¬rano i cinesi d’occi¬den¬te, e con il loro si¬stema fatto di rigenera¬zione de¬gli stracci, flessibilità del prodotto, con¬segne veloci e prezzi bas¬si mandavano loro in rovina intere città, – Hud¬der¬sfield, per esempio, dalle parti di Manchester, o Tilburg, in Olanda. Ed è u¬na vera beffa poiché adesso i figli dei pratesi di allora sono più bravi, più preparati, hanno potuto studiare, sanno di marketing, di eco¬nomia e di finanza, ma pro¬prio per¬ché sanno queste cose hanno capito che la cuccagna è finita, l’ar¬ricchi¬mento diffuso è fi¬nito, l’identità collet¬tiva è finita, e quel¬la galassia di filature, tessitu¬re, orditure, aspatu¬re, stribbia¬tu¬re, roccature, ritor¬citu¬re, carbo¬nizzi, follature, ac¬coppiature, tin¬torie e rifi¬nizioni che faceva risplendere la loro città si sta spegnendo inesorabilmente.
Un dramma, dunque – e il peggio deve ancora arrivare. Ma c’è un’altra cosa che va pur detta, e cioè che Prato, rispetto a quando l’avevo lasciata io, vincente, ruggente, invulnerabile, è straordinariamente migliorata. Allora, nel pieno del successo, era una ricca città industriale, brutta e sporca, dove tutto era tra¬scurato e immolato al mito del lavoro: ora, nel pieno della crisi, è una città d’arte bella ed elegante, pulita, piena di passato, per¬fino raffinata, sede di musei e di università: una piccola perla to¬scana pronta per essere inclusa dalle guide turistiche nel no¬vero delle visite raccomandate a chi passi più di due giorni in vacanza a Firenze – cioè circa mezzo milione di persone al mese. I miei concittadini adesso sono troppo distratti dalla pro¬pria via crucis per accorgersene, ma sono anche gente svelta a “cambiar nego¬zio”, quando è necessario, e sono convinto che nei prossimi anni il buco scavato dal crollo dell’indu¬stria tessile verrà col¬mato da quel “turismo alto” che so¬stiene città come Siena, Pisa o Lucca. Basterà accettare il cam¬biamento, smettere di pensare ai cinesi, riconoscere che la storia e la natura sono state molto generose con questa città, e anziché del proprio conto in banca abituarsi a esser fieri del suolo che si calpesta e del paesaggio che si ha intorno: lì per lì, mi rendo conto, è un passaggio diffi¬cile da accettare, che co¬sterà caro e lascerà a terra parecchi ca¬duti; ma è ineluttabile, e sta già avve¬nendo, e dopo, una volta completato e accettato, darà di nuovo di che vivere bene a tutti – un bene regolato sulla qualità della vita più che sul fatturato, sul godimento dei beni più che sul loro possesso. Per¬ché è chiaro che il futuro di Prato (come del resto, io credo, di tutto il nostro paese), non è più nei diktat del¬l’eco¬no¬mia di mer¬cato, dove or¬mai trionfano solo i grandi gruppi multinazionali che violano le regole e i bacini industriali emer¬genti dove la mano d’opera vie¬ne sfruttata, ma nella grande op¬portunità che essa ha di sot¬trar¬visi, grazie a un’altra ricchezza, più soli¬da e stratificata, fatta dei valori storici, artistici, civili e na¬turali che pos¬sono vantare in pochi ma che non fanno PIL – e per questo do¬vevano essere risvegliati dal bacio catartico di un po’ di mise¬ria.

[*] Questo racconto è un’anticipazione dall’antologia Viva L’Italia! edita dalla Fandango.


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