The Voice of the Susa Valley / 8

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I'm publishing a letter from Barbara Debernardi, Mayor of Condove in Val di Susa, to the President of the Regione Piemonte, Mercedes Bresso.

Coming at an important moment, this letter is written to one of our employees, paid by us, with our money, so that she remembers to act in the interests of her employers: the citizens.

"Dear President Mercedes Bresso,

Please excuse the "tu" form of address (the familiar 'you' form used between friends), perhaps it is too intimate, due to the fact that, even though on a vastly different scale, we both find ourselves to be colleagues in the delicate task of administering public affairs.

This is the first time that I'm writing to you, even though it's not the first time that I feel deeply offended by your discourse in relation to the High Speed project.

Nevertheless, since I normally avoid expressing an opinion about things of which I don't have direct knowledge, up until today I have kept to myself my disappointment and my unease.

However on Tuesday, at the transmission “10 minuti” on RAI 2 unfortunately I was there. I was sitting there, together with other mayors who are my colleagues and I heard you in direct when you told the Italians that there is not a majority of people from the Susa Valley against the TAV. I heard you clearly when you told them that the opposition to the activity came from a lack of knowledge about the projects. And I jumped in my seat when you closed by chatting about the fast trains that will take skiers to our mountains. Trains that certainly could not be those destined to run on the new Turin-Lyon route, which as you know is at the moment planned for freight traffic only. But this is a detail that you knowingly kept quiet about.

I would like to tell you about the frustration of those ten minutes of broadcasting, when we were not given the right of reply and the chance to tell the rest of Italy that the majority of the Valley is opposed to the work and that we know projects very well, even down to the most sordid detail. Here on my desk, I have the latest piece of ingenuity from Ingerop. It came to us a month ago. Anyway, have you seen this project, with a transporter belt of 30km to take people out and about along the Valley, called the “smarino”? If you haven’t seen it, it’s a good idea to glance at it, before expressing hurried opinions on it. If however, you know as much about it as we do, then on Tuesday evening, knowing that you were lying, you lied to us and to the Italian people. And that offends your and our intelligence, your and our dignity.

To talk about frustrations for an evening of TV that turned sour doesn’t get us anywhere. OK I’ll make you a promise and a proposal.

The promise is that I won’t allow myself to be dragged into little theatres like that set up the other evening on RAI2, in which one tries to attribute to the pre-constituted  “truths” the appearance of a dignified confrontation between peers.

The proposal is to be able to finally meet up, you and me, round a table, without the handy TV filters. And on the table, the papers, the reports of studies that have accumulated over the years. You, with all your mature political experience, I with all my recent experience of someone who is still convinced that politics can be a high and clean thing.

I want to be able to discuss these projects with you and I want to be able to see you straight in your eyes, while you tell me that those high speed projects are for the good of Italy and also of my Valley, just as you said the other evening.

And do you know why I dream of this encounter? Because I still hope to see in the depth of your eyes, the saving shadow of uncertainty and the courage of doubt.

The courage to say that perhaps 80,000 people that walked with me yesterday between Bussoleno and Susa could be right.

The courage to say that perhaps you made a mistake about the high-speed projects in the Susa Valley.

I hope to meet you soon.”

Barbara Debernardi mayor of Condove

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:24 AM in | Comments (0)
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