The next G8 summit is likely to be hosted in L’Aquila – the Italian medieval town hit by the earthquake less than a month ago – as Ignazio La Russa (Defense Minister) announced today, at the end of a Ministry Council meeting .
The G8 summit was previously scheduled to take place in the “La Maddalena” island, the biggest one of an archipelago situated north-east of the Sardinian’s sea. The sudden decision of re-scheduling the venue of the G8 is a Berlusconi’s idea, motivated by two main reasons: First, as il Cavaliere stated, the entire world will be forced to pay attention to the situation in L’Aquila, forcing as well local politician and others to work hard on the reconstruction of the town. Second, but not less important, the No-Globals – the violent anti-capitalist movement that caused so much troubles in Genova – will . probably be less threatening given the messy situation with L’Aquila nowadays. “The G8 in L’Aquila represents a message of hope for the entire region struck by the earthquake”, said Berlusconi at the end of the Ministry Council meeting, today.
“The No Globals will not be so though to strike a city that has already been wounded by the earthquake”, also claimed our President of the Council, “I really don’t think that they’ll have the will and the nerves to come here for protesting in the hard way”, he added.
Although, there is also another important reason why this decision was taken: “comparing to La Maddalena – Berlusconi told the press today- we will save 220 millions”. In other words the money that were previously budget for setting up the island will now be passed over to L’Aquila, you do the math.
Finally there is also the “façade” issue: Berlusconi thinks that the Isola of La Maddalena would be too luxurious as a venue and that would contrast dramatically with the present economic crisis and especially with the quake’s consequences.
“The G8 leaders will be able to personally check the monuments that were ‘adopted’ by foreigners contributors for reconstruction. Believe me: La Maddalena is even too beautiful. We would have even had a luxury boat at our disposal and that would have been a not appropriate G8 compared to the economic crisis we are facing, while L’Aquila is certainly a much more sober venue”.
This is probably why Angelo Comiti, Major of the Sardinian Island, reacted badly to these news: “Hosting the G8 in L’Aquila is like adding another earthquake to the actual one. I think is an unconvincing and illogical option, that will certainly not be appreciated from those who were already working to organize the forthcoming meeting. There are hundreds of man at work every day here for the July event, setting up a G8 meeting is not exactly like organizing a birthday party.”
Obviously, on the other hand, Ugo Cappellacci’s (Berlusconi’s man as well as President of the Region of Sardinia) remarks were enthusiastic : “We are proud and happy to help the Abruzzo”.
Even Dario Franceschini, the new PD’s leader, agrees on this idea: “I understand that this is a very symbolic choice and I also understand that this could contribute to keep Abruzzo at the centre of the attention, I just hope that this will not hinder reconstruction works”.
Now it is only about contacting the other G8 leaders and communicating them this decision, many regard this as just formality though.
Andrea Loquenzi Holzer – L’Occidentale