Meloni meets von der Leyen in Forlì, the protesters shout: “Respect, it’s just a catwalk”

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By John

The conversation, inside the Forlì Town Hall, lasted about an hour between the Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni and that of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen. The two presidents had arrived at the municipal headquarters around 1.30pm for a summit on European economic aid following the flood that hit Emilia-Romagna last May.

The arrival, in the rain, was greeted by several whistles and the cry of ‘Respect, respect’ launched by a few dozen demonstrators who had been waiting for the two presidents since the morning. The crowd also shouted ‘Respect for Romagna, no to this catwalk’.

“Von der Leyen, who with me and Bonaccini had been in the territories a few days after the flood and had taken on responsibilities and commitments to provide answers also from a European point of view, returns to Forlì. And those answers came particularly with this revision of the Pnrr” which “allows us to invest 1.2 billion in particular”, among other things “in hydraulic defense and the restoration of roads and road infrastructure”, said Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in her speech for the signing of the agreement for development and cohesion between the Italian government and the Emilia Romagna region.

“We arrive at a figure of 687 million euros which is mobilized today with this signature. A total of 92 projects, a few big priorities: not resources that are spent on hundreds of microprojects, but choosing the priorities that represent a driving force”. This was declared by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in her speech on the occasion of the signature.

“It was a silent job, difficult to talk about, which doesn’t find much space in daily work, but of which I am particularly proud, to overcome some limitations that Italy has had up to now. My objective, our objective, is transform Italy from a nation that has often been considered at the rear in the use of European funds, to a nation that can become a model for the use of European funds”. This was declared by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in her speech on the occasion of the signing of the agreement for development and cohesion between the Italian government and the Emilia Romagna region.

“These resources will allow us to carry out environmental recovery actions but also restoration and redevelopment. That is, we do reconstruction but also something more important which is prevention”. This was said by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at the end of the meeting in Forlì with the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, on the occasion of the visit to the areas affected by the flood.

“It is very touching to be here again in Emilia Romagna after the devastation of the flood. What I remember most is this enormous mass of mud and the enormous solidarity of men and women who helped each other The EU has been on your side, this is the message, and we will continue to be so. The cooperation has been exceptional, we have dedicated 1.2 billion to this region. We want to help you get back on your feet and be more resilient. We are doing and we will do even more.” The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said this during her visit to the areas affected by the flood.

We see “global warming and extreme climate events are even more frequent. We must fight and prevent changes and this also applies to our economies”. Italy has included renewables “in the Pnrr and this is very important. Italy is absolutely in line with the Pnrr roadmap: half of the funds have already been disbursed and this is great news” – underlined Von Der Leyen.

“When I came here in May I told you that you had to stay strong and that Europe would be at your side. Now I want to tell you that we will continue to stand at your side for as long as it takes for your recovery. Tin bota, the Europe remains with you!”. This was said by the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen at the end of the meeting in Forlì with the Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, on the occasion of the visit to the areas affected by the flood.

(caption id=”attachment_1813715″ align=”alignnone” width=”300″) Protesters await Meloni-Von der Leyen, ‘it’s just a catwalk’
Meeting in Forlì for funds after the flood(/caption)

Protesters await Meloni-Von der Leyen: “It’s just a catwalk”

They wait, under a light rain, for the arrival of the Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni and that of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, “to ensure that such a catwalk, because this is a catwalk here, does not slide over again our heads.” There are a few dozen demonstrators (in front of a large deployment of the police forces) who, under the aegis and flag of the ”Appeal for the Romagna Apennines’ committee, met in Piazza Saffi, in Forlì, right in front of the Town hall where Meloni and Von der Leyen will meet for a summit on European aid intended for the territories affected by last May’s flood in Emilia-Romagna. “We have been experiencing a dramatic situation for eight months – observes Gianni Fagnoli, exponent of the ‘Appeal for the Romagna Apennines’: we have tens of thousands of desperate and ruined people who have had absolutely nothing, a reconstruction which until now has been made only on advertisements and on paper which, in practice, the people of Romagna have taken charge of with their own savings and their own work”. In fact, he continues, “this thing that is being done today could have been considered closeness to the territories six months ago, not now. Now it is just an electoral campaign”. Therefore, the exponent of the flood victims of Romagna continues, “we could not tolerate that in the face of this there was a silent or even applauding Romagna. We are here to say that we will not act as a carpet for their catwalks. And we have come here to testify the truth, which is our condition, the pocket accounts that everyone has made compared to the continuous announcements that we see reported in the press”. In the protester’s opinion “there is a part of politics that is more concerned with covering up its own shame than with responding and respecting this land which has always stood out for having worked and led the country forward more than others and which – he concludes – in times of need she is treated this way.”

Meloni to Bonaccini: “Thank you for the work done”

“I agree with the things you said. And I agree with the fact that those who spend a lot of time working on tiring things are sorry that those things don’t have visibility. I say this to take a step back from the work we have done to arrive at this signature. I thank the president of the Region, but I must thank all the institutional levels, the mayors, the provincial presidents, all the members of the government”. This was declared by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in her speech on the occasion of the signing of the agreement for development and cohesion between the Italian government and the Emilia Romagna region.

“I am very proud of this work” on development and cohesion agreements, “I thank the entire government, the president of the Region, the competent councilors, the mayors, the provincial presidents, all the offices. Together we have done an excellent job, it is worth for this cohesion agreement and can be valid for all the next great challenges. As Bonaccini said and I agree, we are all aware of the fact that everyone has their own points of view, but if there is one thing that in theory must put us all together is that we do not work for ourselves, but for the citizens we represent”, added Meloni.