One year as minister, interview with Musumeci: the priority is prevention


By John

One year as a minister. A slogan, a watchword, become a strategic and operational line for Nello Musumeci and for the Meloni government: «Prevent, rather than rebuild. Prevent, rather than always and only manage emergencies.”

Minister, leading the Civil Protection in a country like Italy is never easy. Can we draw an initial assessment?

«The decision of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni to entrust me with this delegation marked the return of political leadership after twenty years of technical management. I am very satisfied with the work done so far, together with the two Departments of the Ministry, which deal with emergencies and reconstruction. We are trying to restore order to a sector where chaos reigned due to a fragmentation of skills which certainly did not facilitate quick and efficient reconstructive processes. In the past, serious planning has been lacking, because there has been no inclination towards prevention. It is an anthropological fact. The Italian people are a people who seem to want to remove the memory of disasters, it is a cultural change that is not easy to achieve within a mandate.”

The floods in Tuscany confirmed the fragility of all the territories of our country.

«Unfortunately they are not the first and they will not be the last. Natural risks cannot be avoided, let’s be clear. However, the devastating effects can be neutralized and this can only happen with the culture of prevention. We need to act together with the Regions and local authorities and that is what we are doing.”

There are those who accuse you of having put few resources into the budget law in favor of securing the territories.

«The resources are there, just think of the 800 million provided for in the Pnrr and all the other financing contained in the FSC Funds. The money is there, it must be spent well, for targeted objectives. I realize that sometimes, to fuel electoral consensus, certain administrators prefer to spend resources on other things and not, for example, to secure the bed of a stream. Our commitment is twofold: on an operational and regulatory level. On the one hand there are the structural interventions, the need to equip the territories with the necessary infrastructure to deal with the risks: the lamination basins, the consolidation of the banks, the periodic cleaning of the river and stream beds, the care and maintenance of the water networks . On the other hand, our Government is working on the reform of the Civil Protection Code which, despite dating back to 2018, has several parts that are no longer current”.

Among the most severe criticisms is the choice to allocate just under 12 billion euros for the Strait Bridge.

«These are criticisms made by a small minority. The infrastructure chapter is part of a country’s priorities, such as securing territories. The Bridge is not a whim, it is an essential strategic infrastructure, at a time when Euro-Mediterranean policies are radically changing. It is a work that allows the South to acquire the infrastructural equipment that will make it the natural logistics platform of the Mediterranean. It is the Bridge of Europe, more than a bridge over the Strait.”