The German presidents, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and the French presidents, Emmanuel Macron, and the world of Italian politics yesterday said goodbye to the two-time president of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano with a secular funeral held in the Chamber of Deputies, something that It had never happened in the history of the country.
Napolitano, who became the first president of the Italian Republic re-elected for a second term, died on September 22 in Rome at the age of 98 and as a non-believer a state funeral was decided, but of a secular nature and he was chosen as headquarters of the Lower House.
The funeral ceremony for Napoltiano, who had to deal with five different Executives in nine years as Head of State, was also attended by the Austrian President, Heinz Fischer, accompanied by his wife, Margit, the Duchess of Edinburgh, Sophie Helen Rhys-Jones, and the former French head of state François Hollande, among others.
In the Italian Parliament, a long red carpet was installed for the occasion to welcome those attending the ceremony at the main entrance and in the large hall known as the Transatlantic, where political leaders witnessed the passing of the coffin wrapped in the Italian flag. .
In addition to senior officials of the State such as the current President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella and the Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, several Italian politicians who were protagonists during Napolitano’s mandates were also present.
Among them Fausto Bertinotti, Massimo D’Alema, Romano Prodi, Mario Draghi and Mario Monti, the latter chosen by Napolitano to replace Silvio Berlusconi in the midst of the economic crisis that the country was going through in 2011.
After the funeral, Meloni and Macron met to talk about the migration crisis in the Mediterranean, an attempt at rapprochement between both countries after the latest tensions over this issue.
The meeting takes place after the visit to Paris this Monday of the head of Italian diplomacy, Antonio Tajani, who will travel to Berlin on Thursday, with whom Rome also has disagreements over the management of the migratory flow, with harsh criticism from representatives of the Italian government coalition.
In the meeting, described as “long and cordial” by sources from the Italian Executive, the two leaders spoke of “the main international issues with particular attention to the migration phenomenon” with a view to the “Med 9” summit on Friday in Malta and the Council Informal European next week in Granada.
Relations in the Franco-Italian axis had been strained in recent days due to the increase in border control by the French authorities, blocking immigrants in the Italian city of Ventimiglia (northwest), a situation that adds to the migratory wave since the central Mediterranean, especially hard on the island of Lampedusa.
However, Macron extended a hand to Italy on Sunday by encouraging the European Union (EU) to help Rome in migration management and proposing to condition development aid to African countries that collaborate to stop irregular immigration.
Meloni immediately acknowledged that he had received the French president’s words with “great interest.”
“It is evident” that Italy, France and the EU “must act together to support the countries of origin of migrants and to help transit countries to dismantle the criminal networks of human traffickers,” said the first. minister.
At the same time, the Italian Government has harshly criticized the German Government for the alleged funding that Berlin allocates to humanitarian organizations that rescue migrants at sea and that Rome harasses for blaming them for a -discussed- “call effect.”
Meloni in fact wrote this Monday to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz: “I was surprised to learn that your Government had decided to support non-governmental organizations involved in the reception of irregular immigrants in Italian territory and in rescues in the Mediterranean Sea with significant funds.” , he reproached him.
The German position has angered Meloni’s government coalition, which includes his Brothers of Italy, Vice President Matteo Salvini’s far-right League and Tajani’s conservative Forza Italia, who will travel to Berlin on Thursday to ask for “explanations.”
The loudest attack was delivered today by the deputy secretary of the League, Andrea Crippa, who suspected that Germany “is trying to destabilize the Government by financing NGOs to – he said – fill us with clandestine people.”
“Eighty years ago the German Government decided to invade countries with the army and it went badly. Now they finance the invasion of clandestine people to destabilize governments that the social democrats do not like,” he stated.
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