Reggio Calabria welcomes Antonio Decaro: on the stage of the Odeon the embrace with the mayor Falcomatà


By John

An Odeon Cineteatro overflowing with people and enthusiasm welcomed Antonio Decaromayor of Bari, president of Anci and candidate for the European Elections for the Democratic Party in the Southern Constituency. He was welcomed by the metropolitan mayor of Reggio Calabria, Giuseppe Falcomatàand the representatives of the party at every level, led by the regional secretary, Nicola Irtoand the provincial Antonio Morabito. In the audience were dozens of mayors and municipal administrators, representatives of associations, unions and trade organizations from across the metropolitan area.

On stage it was Giuseppe Falcomatà himself who gave the biggest hug «to Antonio, friend of Reggio, of the people of Reggio and of the whole of Southern Italy». «The Europe we need – said Falcomatà – is that of the peoples, of the Ventotene Manifesto, which realizes the dream of Altiero Spinelli and David Sassoli». In renewing a warm “welcome back to Reggio”, the mayor turned to Antonio Decaro to remember how, in recent years, “we have shared important moments for the development of the city”. «You were beside us in difficult times – he continued – you remembered, together with us, people who made this city not only great, but beautiful and kind. Ours is a shared history that has become a common history. We are proud to return to welcome an honest, courageous, competent person who changed the face and destiny of his city and who represented more than eight thousand Italian mayors without distinction and without trading interests for his own territory.”

«In Europe – added Falcomatà – we need to have a person like Antonio Decaro, especially in a dramatic historical moment for the country and, in particular, for the South which risks dying under the ax of differentiated autonomy and cuts to tax breaks for those who want to invest and resist in the South. The Government, however, maintains that differentiated autonomy is useful for making southern administrators responsible. Here, mayors, those regional and municipal councilors do not need to be made responsible, but accompanied and supported because they administer border territories. They are people who are used to experiencing fatigue and who know what it means to get up every day to try to solve people's problems and improve their quality of life. And they often do it in municipalities in difficulty, without a penny or the minimum conditions necessary to guarantee services, with little staff and with millions of problems. They do it, but without ever lowering their heads to the 'Ndrangheta, to criminalized crime and to personal interests. What you did in Bari is an example for all of us. Let's live this electoral campaign in the best possible way, a challenge of courage and beauty.”

Giuseppe Falcomatà's is the same Europe that Antonio Decaro has in mind, «a supportive, welcoming Union devoted to peace and brotherhood». A Europe of mayors where “territories can have a voice in the places that matter and decide”. «The Europe of Ventotene, cited by Falcomatà», said the Anci president in underlining the formidable experience of hospitality that Bari reserved for the Albanian people in the 1990s. «There was, then, a mayor – he recalled – who went against everything and everyone, opening the doors to people who saw the only hope in us. It is certainly not the thinking of nationalists, of those who, like those who govern Italy, reject rather than include.” «A mayor of the Democratic Party – continued Decaro – may lose the elections, but he certainly cannot lose his dignity».

In his speech, the mayor of Bari celebrated Europe which «reached out to us in a catastrophic moment such as Covid and the post-pandemic, thanks to the Pnrr funds that Meloni and Fitto did not want. Let's not forget that they didn't vote for that extraordinary funding.” He is therefore highly critical of a Government that pushes for differentiated autonomy, “a maneuver that splits the country, reduces resources and definitively abandons the South to its fate”. «We – concluded Antonio Decaro – have fought and will continue to fight, as administrators, to prevent this from happening».