The recent statements by the Minister of the Interior, Matteo Salvini, on the need to “census” the Roma present in Italy, accompanied by regret at the impossibility of expelling those of Italian nationality, arouse not only astonishment but also concern and challenge us, as citizens and as Catholic associations who live the reality of ordinary people every day, to adopt a position that we believe necessary.

The choice to use such arguments to find political consensus seems even more serious because it is carried out in the Italian context, which has recently been fuelled by fears, threats of alleged invasions, resentment and anger against "the other". It is an approach that recalls the ghosts of a past that we thought far away, and that instead in our country, as in the rest of Europe, reappears with the face of new sovereignties. There is a risk of passing on the idea, unacceptable because it is false, that belonging to a culture automatically means behaving outside the law and therefore finding no place in our social fabric.

Building a policy for Italy by choosing the convenient strategy of continually identifying "enemies" against whom to oppose, be they migrants, stepmother Europe and now the Roma, perhaps demonstrates a skill in tactics, but unfortunately reveals intellectual and political poverty that we fear will have to be paid in the future by the country.

Translated from Italian original by Philippe Ledouble.

 

   The political events of recent months in Italy have revealed a change, not only in the political forms and orientations that characterize the new government, but also in the conscience of the country. We have cultivated for many years the idea that Italians, apart from their defects, were still a hospitable people, open to Europe, capable of dealing seriously with the difficult moments of its history. Today everything seems overturned, as if a great anxiety were eroding our thoughts and changing our beliefs: the processes of globalization and the financialisation of the economy seem unmanageable to us and generate serious social inequalities, and therefore produce in us the need for a defense, which increasingly takes the character of closure. And it is the same mechanism by which we live the migratory phenomena, which we would like to do but we cannot regulate as we like: it is not enough to say that the numbers of migrants in our country are relatively small (also compared with other European countries), because the perception is different. In this situation, which is no different from that of many other realities present in Europe and the United States, the ideal and cultural references on which society was based and on which politics drew have also changed.

Davide Casaleggio, member of the "Five star movement", gave an interview on the overcoming of representative democracy and on Parliament, which will soon become useless, was welcomed by a predictable and vast rag of clothes, starting with the political opposition forces. Appeals to the President of the Chamber (and party colleague of Casaleggio) Roberto Fico, vain evocations of Venezuela, and so on. Such reactions are the faithful thermometer of a widespread inability to generate a culturally and politically equipped response to the season just begun.

     As the President of the Conference of INGOs, I am extremely concerned by the criminalization of essential human rights work by NGOs in the context of migration that this bill proposes. The modification of the Criminal Code by this Bill targets organizations and professionals who are merely providing legitimate and necessary assistance to asylum-seekers. In addition, this draft Bill would criminalise the ‘production or dissemination of informational materials’, and other ‘organizational activities’ such as advocacy. These two elements alone risk seriously undermining the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association which are guaranteed by the European Convention for Human Rights, itself the cornerstone of Hungary’s membership of the Council of Europe.

    Facing the current developments and the crisis in our societies, is the rediscovery of the spiritual dimension not necessary? But how can we bear witness to this? Wouldn't it be by showing that the spiritual path is a path of fulfilment for our humanity? To try to answer these questions, I will base myself on two of my works which, precisely, address these subjects, trying on the one hand to update them - with a better consideration of the ecological dimension - and on the other hand to integrate René Macaire's thought, whose intuitions are correct but are too exclusively situated in a Christian framework.

An unbalanced choice.

                In “Les deux sources de la morale et de la religion”, Henri Bergson highlights the fantastic impulse given to the West by Christianity which, by desecrating nature and bringing out individual consciousness, has released man's creative potential. According to him, this dynamic, initiated in the early middle Ages, could lead to two types of process: material development or mystical quest, "control over things" or "self-control that makes things independent".

   The Sub-Africa Africa faces several governance challenges that hinder public sector delivery. Public institutions such as parliament, judiciary and electoral bodies among others- in most countries in Sub-Africa Africa, remain under elite, ethnic and political capture. Voter bribery, intimidation, violence along tribal lines are common elements that characterize electoral process in the region. Social service delivery remains a big challenge. Data from Afrobameter shows that it is common for citizens from sub-Sahara Africa to pay bribes to receive medical care, obtain documents such as national identification cards and passports, get a child into school, avoid problems with the police, and obtain household services like piped water and electricity.

1 MEIC: Government: incomprehensible stiffening, parties must find a sense of responsibility

                The dramatic conclusion of the attempt to create a new government in the country is triggering a phase of instability for our democratic life. We are concerned about the arrogant way in which the President of the Republic has been forced to appoint a minister, an act which, according to our Constitution, he owns. We are concerned about the contemptuous judgments that are spreading over Sergio Mattarella for a decision that was the conclusion of a long work of mediation, shattered on the rocks of an incomprehensible stiffening of the political forces that should have supported the new government. A very delicate season is beginning, for the problems that our country has to face, but now also for the conflict that involves our institutions. At this delicate time, Meic would like to thank the President of the Republic for the dignity and seriousness with which he is managing a complex and difficult situation. At the same time, however, it is intended to remind the political parties and their leaders of a sense of responsibility towards the future that seems to have disappeared today, dissolved in an eternal present of incessant electoral campaigning.

     The situation changes minute by minute. And as I write it, this piece on the Italian political situation risks not being updated anymore. New hypotheses of government have re-emerged after the resounding end of the first attempt of the League-5 stars and the appointment of Carlo Cottarelli. And this too is a dramatic sign of a situation in which the search for true good for our country, on the part of many protagonists on the political scene, has increasingly gone into the background. Because this is the point that risks escaping the vortex of declarations, debates and contrasts. There is no question about whetehr a parliamentary majority is formed, which has the right to govern. But if, after almost three months of waiting, this has not yet been achieved and if the only political objective is either to govern at all costs or to go to new elections (it does not matter if in the middle of summer and with a country increasingly under attack from speculation, whose harmful effects - it should be remembered - are fortunately held back, at least for now, from membership of the Euro and a European institution such as the ECB), in the hope of increasing its consensus, without any concern for the real state and the needs of Italy, means that we are really losing sight of the fundamentals. And it's worrying to see so many people fidgeting and exalting, as if we were at the stadium, and then pulling up the pieces - the television, the smartphone and the computer off - of an economic situation that is getting worse.