Mattarella, leave with identikit of his successor

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The end-of-year and farewell speech of the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella, on unified networks TV, 31 December 2021. ANSA / FERMO IMMAGINE TV +++ ANSA PROVIDES ACCESS TO THIS HANDOUT PHOTO TO BE USED SOLELY TO ILLUSTRATE NEWS REPORTING OR COMMENTARY ON THE FACTS OR EVENTS DEPICTED IN THIS IMAGE; NO ARCHIVING; NO TV; NO LICENSING +++

As in the style of man, it is not a finale with bangs or special effects, on the contrary it is exactly the opposite because Sergio Mattarella’s last speech is probably among the shortest and most ecumenical of his seven years. Standing for about fifteen minutes, with the window of the illuminated garden behind him, the head of state takes his leave with the sobriety and style of someone who, considering his task exhausted, does not want to indicate a binding perspective to a political world that is already enough screwed in choosing his successor. Almost with detachment, inversely proportional to the intensity – political and emotional – of a seven-year period to shake the veins in the wrists, in which the pandemic has precipitated a collapsed political system and a legislature marked by complicated governance.

However, albeit speaking in general terms, in the elegant and proud claim of one’s profile there is an indication, which perhaps is not really an identikit, but a non-trivial principle offered to the parties. The claim lies in the awareness of those who leave a country, having preserved its “institutional and moral unity”, precisely at the most difficult moment in its history. And this is “patriotism concretely expressed in the life of the republic”, and any reference to patriots à la carte in this sentence seems simply intended. Unity made possible by the extraordinary “sense of responsibility” of the Italians who, faced with the unknown, were able to draw on their own resources and follow the indications of science. And from that deep sentimental connection with the institutions that is perhaps the true resource of the Republic.

But this unity, Mattarella basically says, is not a sociological fact, but also a political construction, made up of choices. And, here is the indication, the task of the head of state has been and is to be the guarantor. This means perceiving two “basic needs” from the moment of the election: “to strip oneself of all belonging and take charge of the general interest” and “to safeguard the role, powers and prerogatives of the institution it receives from its predecessor”.

Words behind which it is possible to review the most dramatic moments of recent years, from the appeal, addressed to the country, to vaccinate itself to that, addressed to the political forces, to support the government led by Mario Draghi, a name that did not come out of the consultations, but the result of the difficult and lonely decision to avoid early elections which, at that moment, would have made the vaccination campaign, necessary to deal with the health emergency, more complicated, and would have jeopardized the recovery process, necessary to make in the face of the economic emergency: “The governability that the institutions have helped to achieve – says the head of state – has allowed the country, especially in some particularly difficult and demanding passages, to avoid dangerous leaps in the dark”.

And precisely on vaccines there is perhaps the strongest passage of the speech, now that the fourth wave is accompanied by the discussion on how to make them more stringent and mandatory: “What would we have given in those days – asks Mattarella – to have the vaccine? “. The reference is to the weeks of the “coffins” of Bergamo, of the “closed schools” and of the generalized lockdown, in short, of “impotence” and “desperation”. To the Italians bombarded by talk show virologists, by professionals of the distinctions and also by a fragmentation of the measures that are difficult to keep up with, including the extension of the super Green Pass for buses but not yet for the workplace, where perhaps it will arrive anyway shortly , Mattarella recalls, in a simple and understandable way that “vaccines have been and are a precious tool, not because they guarantee invulnerability, but because they represent the defense that allows you to reduce risks for yourself and for others”.

In short, we “got up”, but it’s not over. Because there is a country to be rebuilt. And the word “reconstruction” is always declined in its meaning not only economic, but also “moral” and material. Which first of all requires an effort in the mentality with which one faces a phase that has not closed and the repudiation of laziness in the approach, because there is not an X hour in which one returns to the world of before, but a complicated transformation marked by new conflicts and social “new inequalities”. And this too is an indication. It is the discourse of the end of a mandate, but not of a departure from the scene, in the sense that this point of view on Italy remains. And, with it, the moral relationship built with the country. Happy New Year


Source: Huffington Post Italy Athena2 by www.huffingtonpost.it.

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