President Mattarella in Bergamo: “Mayors, voice of the country: function to be protected”.  Over 2,200 administrators at the Anci meeting: it’s a record – Photos and videos

President Mattarella in Bergamo: “Mayors, voice of the country: function to be protected”. Over 2,200 administrators at the Anci meeting: it’s a record – Photos and videos

The event.

The Head of State: “The National Assembly of Italian Municipalities here after the pandemic demonstrates that you can only win with common values”. And then the thought of Ukraine: “We need a just peace and full independence”.

Capital of volunteering this year, Capital of Culture in 2023. And for three days, now, Capital of Municipalities. Bergamo once again in the showcase hosts the Anci national assembly for the first time (edition number 39), scheduled from today until November 24th, at the fair. «The voice of the country. To give the floor to our communities», is the red thread of the reflections that will unfold. And today, the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella arrived to inaugurate this event with record numbers (2,208 mayors and administrators from all over Italy).

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It is the eighth time that the Head of State has taken part in the National Assembly of the association which brings together the Italian Municipalities. In addition to the mayors from all over Italy, the president of Anci Antonio Decaro, also the minister of regional affairs and autonomy, Roberto Calderoli, and the president of the Lombardy Region, Attilio Fontana.

At the opening, Roberto Maroni was remembered, who died on the morning of 22 November. “I want to remember a determined administrator, a passionate politician, a loyal and courageous man who left us,” recalled the national president of Anci, Antonio Decaro. A large photo of Maroni was projected onto the screen in the plenary assembly hall.

President Mattarella was greeted by the applause and standing ovation of the first citizens who came from all over Italy. After a handshake with some mayors, the Anci assembly opened with the notes of Mameli’s anthem.

Over 2,200 mayors and administrators: it’s a record

A record attendance was recorded at the Fair: 2,208 mayors and local administrators. The guests in total are instead 4148. The president of the Province of Bergamo, Pasquale Gandolfi, in greeting the Head of State wanted to recall the pandemic that hit Bergamo so hard in 2020 and the great strength of the volunteers who built a hospital right at the Fair in a few days to deal with the dramatic situation from the health point of view that Bergamo lived. He recalled the great sense of self-sacrifice of the local Bergamo administrators who tried to stay as close as possible to citizens in difficulty.

Gori: «Mayors, true voice of the country»

The mayor of Bergamo, Giorgio Gori, then took the floor and thanked the Head of State for the “warmth and closeness” he showed during the pandemic period for Covid. «On behalf of the Bergamo community – Gori declared – I want to renew my feelings of deep, sincere gratitude for how close you were to us – like no other representative of the institutions – when this territory suffered, in the spring of two years ago. You have given us comfort and courage: thank you from the bottom of my heart President ».

«If Bergamo and Brescia were designated “Italian Capital of Culture 2023” – two cities for one capital – it is mainly thanks to you, mayor friends. When with the Mayor of Brescia we decided to nominate our cities, we first of all wanted to give a signal of reaction and hope to our citizens. If our dream has come true, we owe it to the mayors and mayors who – one after the other – have publicly expressed their support for our candidacy, some choosing to withdraw theirs; and to the Anci, which officially promoted it. Heartfelt thanks, you have given the citizens of Brescia and Bergamo a great gift: we will do everything to live up to your trust».

Gori continued speaking on behalf of all the Mayors, «we want to be heard because we think we are truly the “Voice of the Country”, we speak not in our name, but of our communities; and as every mayor knows, no one can delude himself into governing without first listening to his community. In these days we will meet many ministers, and the Prime Minister: we trust that they will want to hear our voice».

Fontana: autonomy, way for the protagonism of the Municipalities

«Differentiated autonomy is our opportunity to redesign skills and affirm the protagonism and responsibility of Municipalities and Institutions» underlined the Lombard governor Attilio Fontana. «Lombardy Region is ready to do its part, to assume the direction of a polycentric and virtuous system of relationships, skills and good governance capable of improving the lives of its citizens – he added -. We shun any idea of ​​re-proposing centralism at the regional level. We don’t want more resources but decide how to spend them to have more efficient services».

Decaro: speed up procedures and carry out the planned works

The national president of Anci, Antonio Decaro then took the floor: «Let’s avoid it, for the resources

assigned to the Municipalities, to call into question the foundations of the Pnrr and the fundamental choices made together with Europe, risking slowing down or even stopping everything» he recalled in his long speech. “Our only intention now must be to speed up the procedures and carry out the works planned to spend the resources that have been assigned to us”, he added. “If I have to stick to the funds destined for the Municipalities, I feel like saying that the commitments we had undertaken have so far been fully respected – he continued -. Forty billion were earmarked for projects in the Municipalities. We had said that by the summer they mostly had to be assigned and they did. Now it seems easy to say. But when we were faced with the deadlines to be met for many, it seemed like an impossible mission». “Well, now the impossible mission seems extraordinarily possible – he concluded -, practically all the allocations of resources have been made, and for some works we have entered the phase of assigning the works that precedes the opening of the construction sites”.

The request to the new government

The president of Anci, Antonio Decaro, from the stage of the National Assembly held at the Fiera di Bergamo, made an initial proposal to the government that has just taken office. “Let’s try to ask for the establishment of a single fund for the municipal social protection system – he said in his opening speech -, with stable resources that allow areas and municipalities to plan activities at the beginning of each year. It could be an important novelty, a great simplification of procedures that would benefit all that part of the population of our cities that is most in need”. “This is a first proposal that we are making here from Bergamo to the new government – he underlined -. The State allocates many resources in many streams: the National Fund for Social Policies, the Fund for non-self-sufficiency, the Poverty Fund, the ‘after us’ Fund, just to mention the most important. To give you a measure, these funds are worth around 1 billion and 800 million euros for 2023».

Mattarella’s speech

After Decaro’s long and content-packed speech, the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, took the floor. «The terrible images of military trucks that carry away the coffins of many people who died from the virus will remain engraved in our minds, people who in many cases have left us without the greeting of family members, without a prayer at their funeral. We will not forget them. They represent a permanent warning. A severe and not ephemeral appeal to responsibility. Celebrating the Anci assembly here means awareness of the lessons deriving from the pandemic »he said speaking at the Anci national assembly in Bergamo.

«The Municipalities are Italy. I am the Republic, as stated in article 114 of the Constitution. The almost 9,000 Municipalities fulfill, with equal dignity and commitment, the responsibility of supporting our communities, offering services of a universal nature. The Constitution establishes the principle of equality for citizens and, of course, it applies to the Municipalities, which must all be put in a position to fulfill the tasks entrusted to them, in order to contribute to the realization of the constitutional principle of the equal dignity of citizens”.

Mattarella then took up the requests expressed by Decaro, as spokesman for the mayors he listed in his speech. «Subsidiarity does not mean unloading the difficulties on the institutional ring in direct contact with the citizens but rather supporting it. It means participation. Sharing and dialogue between the various levels of government. This is how problems are addressed and solved. We cannot afford delays. Problems need to be identified and resolved. The procedures, where necessary, adapted. Not to define shortcuts but to raise the quality of administrative paths. It is a goal of high national value».

Thinking about the war in Ukraine

«Today a war in Europe, provoked by the aggression of Russia, is making us fall back into the fear of a nightmare that we thought would never come again. A war marked by atrocious cruelties and the intention to keep millions of people in the dark and cold in winter. In the face of these crimes, the EU has reacted with unity, assuring solidarity with Ukraine and its resistance. An important reaction, which has as its horizon the construction of a just and necessary peace, capable of restoring the violated full independence to that country» said President Mattarella.

«My wish is that the “voice of the country” that you aspire to interpret can always express itself fully and find a hearing – concluded the Head of State -. Authority will be conferred by the ability to keep faith with the decisive commitments undertaken in these difficult times. Firm points are the guarantee of the rights of citizens, who in the North as in the South, in cities as in towns, in metropolises as in internal areas, must be able to experience the full validity of the constitutional principles».

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