The European Championships heat up the climate in Messina. The Democratic Party attacks the Council: “There is a lack of strategy”. Basile replies: “Let them learn from us how to administer it”


By John

Can a mayor, with his council and his large team of presidents and directors of the investee companies, participate directly in the electoral campaign for the European elections, in which the leader of his party is the candidate? According to Cateno De Luca and Federico Basile, «absolutely yes». Because if it couldn't do it, neither should the national and regional governments, involved personally, including prime ministers, ministers and councilors, also candidates for the European Parliament.

But controversy is heating up over the commitment of Basile, who continues his “tour” in the villages, as promised to the leader of South Calls North, and above all over the statements made in the press conference by Cateno De Luca. In particular, the Democratic Party is adding fuel to the fire. After the note from the city coordination, and the harsh reply from the provincial coordinator of the South calls North Melangela Scolaro, yesterday the exponents of the Democratic Party returned to the attack.

«We do not intend to reply too much to the disorganized utterances of the municipal councilor Scolaro, elected in Barcelona on the list of Brothers of Italy and today provincial coordinator of South calls North, because – we read in the document of the Citizen Coordination – we perceive the nervousness of an entire movement which risks, from now until after the European Championships, losing further pieces, if not to disintegrate. Moreover, it was also to be expected from a movement made up of so many political personnel coming from other parties, while those who had approached because they believed in the Deluchian narrative of the “new” against the “old”, today have understood that it is necessary to unconditionally obey the leader , without the right to criticize, and is gradually distancing itself. Rather, It would be interesting to understand how we plan to gather all the consensus that De Luca requested because if we look at the political-administrative management of these years, it is difficult to think of reaching that ambitious goal. In general, a development strategy for the city is missing, in which the demographic decline and the closure of small and medium-sized businesses continues unabated. The new master plan ended up in a drawer and a position on the Strait Bridge is equivocal and contradictory.

Many electoral promises, then, remained on paper: to give some examples, from the implementation of administrative decentralization, to the care of the suburbs, and ending with the 24-hour supply of water. Municipal tariffs and taxes are at their maximum for well-known budgetary reasons, but it was nevertheless decided to increase the allowances for the mayor and in cascade for councilors and members of the boards of directors of the subsidiaries. And again: only 5 municipal nursery schools for 128 places; school dropout rates reaching critical levels, especially in the most marginalized areas and at risk of crime; social services not up to minimum quality standards; no intervention to protect public health; nothing has been received on actions for the diffusion of a culture of legality. No strategy for the SEZ and for the relaunch of the Strait Integrated Area as well as no role played by the metropolitan city, with the municipalities of the province abandoned to themselves. And then, in any other city – concludes the Democratic Party -, the resignation of the councilors and the heads of the subsidiaries, rather than the result of an imposition by the absolute leader, would be a necessary act”.

And the regional deputy Calogero Leanza also has something to say: «Despite wanting to stay out of the controversy, which is in some ways sterile, I feel the duty to forcefully return to the sender the claims according to which the Democratic Party, at least in the province of Messina, was “subcontracted to the young Leanza”. Politics, for me, is service, not occupation of spaces; I am proudly a servant, not a master. I am a servant of this land, of the people, all of them and not just those who have shared my political path, and also of the party, to which I am dedicating great effort for its reconstruction. I absolutely reject any form of arrogance and presumption in the exercise of the role that the Sicilians entrusted to me with the vote of 25 September 2022, both within the party and outside. In these two years, I have managed to form a group within the party, trying to become an interlocutor for the entire community of which it is made up; also and above all of those who don't think like me. In fact, I remind myself before anyone else that debate and diversity of views are an essential element of democracy, a concept that is often forgotten.”

And Basile? The mayor took time to respond in detail to the criticisms made by the Democratic Party on the administrative management of the Municipality and the Metropolitan City. Also because, in these very days, as highlighted by Basile himself, work is being done on the drafting of the Report for the second year of the mandate, which will be ready next month. A report which, they say at Palazzo Zanca, will be “very substantial”, because it will contain the figures and data of everything that has been done to date, by the departments and companies owned by the Municipality.

On a political level, the stance taken by the coordinator of South calls North was particularly harsh. «Which Democratic Party are we talking about – wrote Melangela Scolaro –, of the same Pd that had been subcontracted to Francantonio Genovese and of the same Pd that had been subcontracted to Pietro Navarra? Of that Democratic Party which today is subcontracted to the young Calogero Leanza? Which Democratic Party are we talking about? Of the one who, by governing Messina, fueled a deteriorating and gangrenous system of power not based on open and spontaneous consensus and then dismantled by the good Cateno De Luca in 2018? Today De Luca has instead launched, in broad daylight, and therefore without having to hide anything and with transparency, a strong message to those who represent the party in the institutions and this precisely because the De Luca method is the opposite of the PD method applied to city ​​of Messina”.

Basile's reply: “Let them learn from us how to administer it”

“Look who feels… the Democratic Party! We had almost forgotten about their presence in the city, but it was the election campaign atmosphere that awakened them. I immediately tell the provincial coordination of the Democratic Party that we are ready to discuss the merits of my Administration's work whenever they want, even for example in the City Council, where, I don't remember there having been interventions of who knows what level in the interest of the city.
However, we understand the reaction of the Democratic Partyour provincial coordinator Melangela Scolaro has already underlined it, as has our city coordinator Nino Carreri, and we reiterate it: this PD with its subcontracting syndrome is certainly not in a position today to give lessons to anyone, much less to we who have won the consensus of the citizens with facts. The Democratic Party was soundly rejected by the city of Messina. The citizens have twice chosen to trust Cateno De Luca and South calls North, and they did so because they understood and appreciated our administrative action. Messina for the first time with Cateno De Luca as mayor and then with the undersigned Basile as mayor has finally had an administration capable of giving a strategic vision to a city, Messina, which we inherited in disastrous conditions due to the bad policies of those who preceded us. And coincidentally, the Democratic Party was also ahead of us, the Democratic Party that today thinks it has the right to challenge our action in governing the City.

Rather, however, the start of that administrative action, precisely with a PD-branded presidency of the City Council during the De Luca mayorship, did not even call into question the mayor's annual report to avoid the comparison of the many results achieved by an Administration that it has looked after and is looking after the interests of the citizens and never of the parties. In conclusion to the PD we say: speak if you know what to say, otherwise continue doing what you have done up to now… look at how a community is administered”, concludes the Mayor.