Saturday, February 20

THEODOR HERZL INTRODUCE IL SIONISMO IN VATICANO

 Il 23 gennaio 1904, sei mesi prima di morire, un esausto Theodor Herzl incontrò papa Pio X. Il fondatore e leader del moderno sionismo politico, in grado di parlare molte lingue, voleva capire se il Papa avrebbe sostenuto il movimento sionista e cercò di persuaderlo parlando in italiano. 

«Herzl ottenne finalmente l’udienza di papa Pio X grazie a un pittore, il conte De Lippay incontrato per caso a Venezia. 

Il 22 gennaio 1904 Theodor Herzl fu ricevuto dal Segretario di Stato vaticano, Merry del Val.

Questi disse che la Chiesa era disposta a dare protezione agli ebrei poiché essi erano necessari alla Chiesa come testimoni della punizione divina. Ma la Chiesa non accettava che gli ebrei governassero di nuovo la Palestina

"Gli ebrei rimarranno attaccati alla loro antica fede e allora essi negano la divinità di Gesù e noi non possiamo aiutarli, oppure andranno lì, senza nessuna religione, e allora meno che mai possiamo avere a che fare con loro. La fede ebraica è stata il fondamento della nostra, ma è stata sostituita dall’insegnamento di Cristo”. 

Pio X sottolineò, in particolare, che "gli ebrei, che avrebbero dovuto essere i primi a riconoscere Gesù Cristo, fino ad oggi non lo hanno fatto”.

Il Papa Francesco alla tomba di Theodor Herzl chiude un cerchio storico e attesta il successo del sionismo. Sono passati 110 anni da quando Pio X disse a Theodor Erzl: “Gerusalemme non deve cadere nelle vostre mani o in quelle degli ebrei”.


 Il riavvicinamento tra la Santa Sede e lo Stato di Israele è stato lungo e laborioso. La visita di Papa Paolo VI in Israele nel 1964, che durò appena 11 ore, rappresentò una pietra miliare che fece ben sperare per le relazioni bilaterali giacché apriva a un riconoscimento de facto dello stato ebraico. 

Ma il Papa Paolo VI, si rifiutò di incontrare i leader israeliani a Gerusalemme, perché ciò sarebbe stato interpretato come un riconoscimento di Gerusalemme come capitale d’Israele. 

Il presidente israeliano Zalman Shazar e il primo ministro Levi Eshkol misero da parte l’orgoglio e accettarono di incontrare Paolo VI, a Megiddo.

Solo 30 anni più tardi Israele e la Santa Sede avrebbero annunciato l’apertura ufficiale di relazioni diplomatiche. Ci sono poi voluti altri sei anni perché un Papa si recasse in Israele in visita ufficiale.

Israele viene spesso raffigurato come uno stato paria, un’entità trasformata in una sorta di reietto mondiale dal suo controllo su un territorio conteso. Ma questa non è affatto la reale posizione d’Israele sulla scena mondiale. 

Nel 1964, tre anni prima che Israele si trovasse costretto a combattere la guerra dei sei giorni, quando Gerusalemme era ancora divisa con la parte est sotto occupazione giordana insieme ai territori di Giudea e Samaria (Cisgiordania), la posizione di Israele era assai peggiore di quello che è oggi. La visita di papa Paolo VI e il modo in cui si comportò durante quel pellegrinaggio ne sono una conferma.

La visita di papa Francesco al Monte Herzl è stata un omaggio al visionario che preconizzò la creazione dello stato sionista. Il predecessore di papa Francesco si era rifiutato di fare questo gesto. Dunque Herzl ha vinto, la sua visione si sta realizzando. 

E’ vero che Israele, a quasi sette decenni dalla sua fondazione, deve ancora fare i conti con una pesante campagna di delegittimazione (una campagna abbracciata anche da alcuni all’interno di Israele). Ma la sua posizione complessiva sulla scena mondiale è in ascesa. 

Non per niente i leader mondiali continuano a venire in Israele (sembra quasi che ci sia un incessante ponte aereo), e qui fanno tappa i più grandi interpreti e artisti. Di più. Israele gode anche di un grande impulso nei suoi rapporti economici con tutto il mondo. 

Questo è il successo del sionismo. Ed è questo che ha testimoniato la sosta del Papa al Monte Herzl. 

Incontrando papa Francesco, il primo ministro israeliano Benjamin Netanyahu ha voluto ricordare l’ebraicità di Gesù dicendo: “Gesù era qui, in questa terra, e parlava ebraico”. “L’aramaico”, ha osservato il Papa. E Netanyahu ha prontamente precisato: “Parlava aramaico, ma conosceva l’ebraico”.

“Hanno ragione entrambi – spiega il professor Gilad Zuckerman, esperto di linguistica – La madre lingua di Gesù era l’aramaico, ma conosceva bene l’ebraico perché conosceva i testi religiosi scritti in quella lingua”. Secondo Gilad Zuckerman, ai tempi dopo Gesù cioè nel I° secolo d.C., l'aramaico occidentale era dominante nelle regioni della Samaria e della Galilea, da dove proveniva Gesù Cristo.

Contemporaneamente persisteva una forma tardiva di ebraico parlato, la lingua ebraica rabbinica, che veniva ancora usata in Giudea, specialmente nei dintorni di Gerusalemme. L'ebraico rimase la lingua vernacolare principale, questo attorno al III secolo d.C.

Una cosa è comunque certa, per la Chiesa Cattolica: “Gesù è un "Rabbino ebreo" e lo sarà "per sempre”, come si legge nel Sussidio per una corretta interpretazione dell’ebraismo del 1986, firmato dal card. Giovanni Willebrands, da mons. Pierre Duprey e da mons. Jorge Mettia.

Sunday, January 31

ALBANIA ADIOS

Looking at the entire peninsula, in the post-Cold War phase, Rome, although it started from a position of prominence thanks to its geographical proximity and familiarity acquired in more than a century of direct involvement, failed to establish itself as a Balkan satrap of the American Empire.

In the Land of the Eagles, the significant reduction in its influence compared to the 1990s is mainly attributable to three factors: lack of a long-term vision capable of enhancing and systematizing the many resources available; decline in credibility and prestige, therefore in negotiating capital, in the eyes of the US and at EU level; loss of attractiveness as an ideal model and destination for emigration. Yet, the means available to Rome in this chosen land remain considerable. Italy is still Albania's first economic partner

From the point of view of trade, in fact, the trans-Adriatic neighbor is an Italian colony: the boot absorbs almost half of Albania's exports and accounts for almost a third of imports. Over 2,600 Italian companies operate in Albania, mainly dedicated to contracting, especially in textiles. The low cost of Italian-speaking labor, including skilled labor, and a very favorable tax treatment have also stimulated the relocation of many companies, especially in the service sector. Although after years at the top of the list it is today only the fourth country for direct investments, Italy still has a considerable presence in some key sectors of the Albanian economy. 

First of all in the energy sector: in 2018 SNAM signed a joint venture with the Albanian Albgaz, the national body in charge of gas supplies, for the management and maintenance of local gas pipelines - including the Albanian section of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP ); Italian companies are also involved in the production of hydroelectric energy, with which Tirana satisfies much of its energy needs. The presence in the credit system is also significant, where Intesa Sanpaolo is the fourth largest bank by market share covered. 

Commercial interaction is also facilitated by the massive Albanian diaspora in Italy, the largest outside the Balkans and the second in our country after the Romanian one. Without counting naturalized Italians and university students, there are about 440 thousand people (a figure close to the entire population of Tirana), who send over 140 million euros in remittances to their homeland every year.

The diplomatic presence of Italy, distributed between the Tirana embassy and the Vlore consulate, also remains very significant, despite the closure of the Shkoder office. Until recently, it was the largest of those present in Albania - superior to that of the entire EU, the US, Germany or Turkey. As often happens in our country, diplomatic representations do not necessarily act as emanations of the central government, but are often institutional atoms not linked to each other by a recognizable design, whose effectiveness largely depends on the resourcefulness and competence of the staff deployed on site . 

Similarly, the proliferation of multilateral formats focused on the region, such as the Berlin Process launched by Angela Merkel in 2015 without even inviting Italy, has further crippled our country's action in Albania. Even some diplomatic efforts considered far-sighted at the time, such as the Central European Initiative (INCE) and the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative (IAI), seem to have had their day; the second was almost replaced by EUSAIR, coordinated by Slovenia.

Among the main competitive advantages that Italy has not been able to capitalize is the spread of the Italian language, which is still spoken today by a large number of Albanians, but is less and less popular. The decline, probably the clearest sign of the decline of Italian soft power, has very material reasons, including the reduction of funds allocated to the maintenance of bilingual sections, a successful experiment that has trained generations of Italian-speaking Albanians, and in general to promotion cultural. 

Above all, Italy in 2020 is an increasingly less attractive country for more trained workers, both foreign and non: last year alone, about 164 thousand Italian citizens moved permanently abroad, the highest figure since the start of the surveys (1981). With Italy itself that seems set to return to a country of emigration, the loss of appeal of Dante's language cannot surprise. Today, it is much more convenient for the Albanian graduate who contemplates expatriation to learn English, German or Turkish. 

The Italian authorities have tried to stop this decline with projects such as the Illyria Program, launched in 2002 to promote the teaching of Italian as a second language in primary and secondary schools, but the trend is clear: the number of mother tongue teachers sent by the ministry , of Italian Studies departments and therefore of students is decreasing.

The decrease in interest in the Italian language was accompanied by the loss of status of the Italy brand, which even in Illyrian land is less attractive than in the past. No other country has had Rai as the only window on the world for decades: a gift that Rome has not been able to convert into cultural hegemony. In the communist era, especially in the Eighties, 

Italy and the West were synonymous for the Albanians. The beautiful country that arrived - clandestinely - in their homes was the Craxian one of Campari spritz, of inflation at 15%, of Alfa Romeo 75 Turbo Evoluzione, of Milan of Arrigo Sacchi. It was the hologram of a European state seen through the lens of Mediaset: a pastiche of prosperity, hedonism and worldliness too sparkling not to be dazzling in the eyes of a hungry, isolated and deeply Mediterranean population. Today much of that ethical-value apparatus remains widespread in Albanian society, but as interaction and familiarity with other Western countries have increased, Albanians look less enthusiastically at the "Italy model", now almost entirely supplanted by the American way of life.

Another undervalued resource is the centrality that Italy had acquired in one of the sectors in which the Albanian system has historically proved most deficient: security. Our country had to deal with post-communist Albania first of all to prevent its definitive institutional collapse, which would have triggered other waves of migrants to the Apulian coasts after the shock of the early 1990s. Five years after the Pellicano humanitarian mission (1992), Italy then landed back on Albanian soil at the head of Operation Alba, a necessary move to prevent the degeneration of the civil war that was about to engulf the country after the collective bankruptcy induced by the scam. financial structure of the pyramid schemes.

Driven by the experience gained with these missions, Italy has done a lot over time to shore up the stability of Albania, providing assistance both in the consolidation of the Albanian police force and in the fight against organized crime. The Italian Delegation of Experts (DIE), established in 1997 at the end of the Alba mission, played a central role in the reform of the Armed Forces that Albania had to undertake to join the Atlantic Alliance, an objective achieved in 2009. 

Furthermore, since some illicit businesses such as money laundering, trafficking in human beings and drugs see the Albanian mafia at the forefront, always since 1997 the Italian Finance Police has operated in the ports of Durres and Valona with two units of the Maritime Border Nuclei (Nufrom), engaged in the contrast drug trafficking and smuggling in agreement with local authorities. Significantly, the Italian financiers were even allowed to plow the Albanian skies with military means in search of marijuana fields, the flagship of indigenous criminal exports, to be eradicated by the local police.

Despite joining NATO, Europeans continue to see Albania as an inherently unstable country. In addition to the traditional cancer of organized crime, two other threats have emerged in more recent times: the spread of jihadist ideology in the region, resulting in about 140 Albanian citizens flown to the Middle East as foreign fighters (then partly repatriated), and the intensification of migrations along the Balkan route. Although neither of these two phenomena of an exogenous matrix has actually destabilized Albania, their appearance has once again reminded us of how closely the security of the two Adriatic opposite sides is closely intertwined, suggesting in Rome the launch of joint patrol and monitoring operations.

With this set of actions, Rome had relaunched itself as a guarantor of the stability of Albania, a burden which it cannot realistically avoid for mere issues of national interest, but which in the long term has not been translated into negotiating capital at community tables. Finally, the affection that a large part of the Albanian population still has for our country is also inscribed in the collective memory. The birth and consolidation of an Albanian state has always been a priority of Italian foreign policy, since the post-unification period. 

The gradual penetration of Italy starting from the 1920s and also the occupation (1939-43), albeit tainted by controversial episodes such as the massacre of Mallakasha (1943), are not remembered as a violent colonization, but as the coming of modernity in a rural town which, recently escaped from the Ottoman yoke (1912), was in conditions of profound backwardness. Even before that farcical invasion undertaken by imperial inspiration and which took place practically without encountering resistance, the presence of Rome in Ahmet Zogu's Albania was in fact already widespread. 

The Italians actively contributed to the development of the first independent Albania, shaping some key institutions, such as the army and the banking sector. Even today, the architecture of many cities on the eastern shore of the Adriatic - Tirana above all - betrays the hand of fascist Italy. Even the attempt to build Greater Albania 2, a move with which Benito Mussolini planned to unite all ethnic Albanians into a docile state creature with a marked anti-Yugoslav and anti-Hellenic projection, was not forgotten.

Symptomatic of this generalized affection, the events that have recently affected the National Theater of Tirana, one of the symbols par excellence of Italy - fascist - in Albania. The popular demonstrations against the decision to demolish one of the few cultural institutions of the capital - then demolished one night last May - implicitly made manifest the sympathy that citizenship pays to the symbols of Italianity, perceived not as a vestige of an imperialist power, but as an integral part of its historical heritage. 

As also suggested by the quotation given in the exergue, the belief is widespread among Albanians that the interregnum of Enver Hoxha, one of Stalin's most irreducible followers, was nothing more than a non-consensual separation of two partners destined naturally to grow together. Indeed, despite some painful situations, such as the sinking of the ship Katër i Radës (1997) and the prolific smear campaigns in the press against immigrants from the eastern shore of the Adriatic, the majority of Albanians positively remember the treatment reserved by the local population to the waves of fellow countrymen who moved to Italy fleeing post-communism.

Having evoked this scenario of affinity and cooperation, it is understandable why Albania would not have a bad eye on Italy's greater assertiveness, which indeed considers it a precious tool to achieve what, once the NATO card has been obtained, remains its primary objective: entry into the EU. Since Rome is perceived as the most similar and malleable of all the partners, over the years Tirana has sought the shore to convince the most fearful EU states - France, the Netherlands and Denmark - to mitigate their hostility. 

However, the refusal to open accession negotiations collected at the European Council last November due to the opposition of Paris and Amsterdam, then rectified last May, has demonstrated blatantly how the country of the Eagles cannot entrust Italy with the protection of own interests. In fact, rather than guiding or at least trying to influence the enlargement process, which would concern those Western Balkans with which it shares geography, history and business, Rome seems to suffer. The low credibility it enjoys on a continental and global level makes it today an unattractive interlocutor also for Tirana, pushing the latter to interact more, albeit reluctantly, with Berlin and Paris, even in the absence of significant historical, economic and social constraints.

An actor who, also since the 1990s, has been able to play his cards better is Turkey. The neo-Ottoman strategy 3 pursued, albeit with varying vigor, after the end of the Cold War brought Ankara back into vogue in all the former provinces of the empire. Although in Albanian land the influence of the Sublime Porta proves to be much less consistent than both capitals should tell it, it remains an undeniable reality and is expressed in some very visible expressions: the Turkish support granted to the Albanian claims, the attempt to transform (on paper) the common Muslim faith (dominant in Turkey, majority in Albania) as a device of influence and cultural diplomacy operated through the enhancement of the Ottoman historical-architectural heritage. 

On the economic level, however, Turkey is not among the most relevant players: exports are less than 1%, imports around 8%. The picture could change when TAP becomes operational. The pipeline will likely offer Ankara considerable leverage in Albanian affairs. Already since the presidencies of Turgut Özal (1989-93) and Süleyman Demirel (1993-2000), Turkey has repeatedly presented itself as the champion of the rights and demands of Albanians, residing or not within the current borders of Albania, vigorously sponsoring, for example, its integration into NATO and the unilateral independence declared by Kosovo (2008). 

He did it as a natural step, in a party game that envisaged that in the Balkans, Russia would look after the interests of the Orthodox and Turkey those of Muslims: lawyers appointed by history. On the peninsula, Islam brings together the majority of ethnic Albanians and Bosniaks, concentrated in Bosnia-Herzegovina, southern Serbia (Sangiaccato) and Montenegro, as well as the sparse but still present Turkish communities (3.5% in North Macedonia).

The most sumptuous plastic representation of Turkish influence in Albania is the Great Mosque that Diyanet, the Turkish state agency in charge of managing religious affairs, is about to complete in the center of Tirana. Once inaugurated, it will be the largest mosque in all the Balkans. However, the very grandeur of the building conceals a bitter truth for the sultanal ambitions of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan: unlike other scenarios (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and Serbian Sandjak), in the land of the Eagles the call of the muezzin is very feeble. 

Although officially about 60% of the population is Muslim, in the first country in the world to declare itself constitutionally atheist (1976), the confessional element does not have a significant weight. The values ​​rooted after the collapse of communism - hedonism, consumerism and secularism - relegate to the background that yearning for transcendence on which clerics thrive. Seen almost thirty years later, joining the Islamic Conference (1992), also decided at the Turkish invitation by Sali Berisha, the first premier elected with multi-party elections, is more reminiscent of the faded postcard of a country plunged into an identity crisis after the end of isolationism and the baptism of an ineluctable re-Islamization of the country. 

The well-known aphorism of the Risorgimento by Vaso Pas¸a (1825-92) - "the true religion of the Albanians is Albanism" - turns out to be even more truthful after a half-century parenthesis of religious repression, followed by westernization (Americanization) among the most enthusiastic of those found beyond the Curtain. In short, in Albania, the nation always beats faith. And the national hero of this theoretically Muslim people is still that Giorgio Castriota Scanderbeg who deserved the halo of Athleta Christi by waging war against the armies of the Sublime Porte in the fifteenth century.

Beyond the mosque, one of the now classic vehicles of the Turkish projection, also in Albania, is the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (Tika), longa manus of Ankara in the post-Ottoman galaxy. Tika is dedicated both to the restoration of the buildings left by the empire and to a plethora of other activities, including training, technical-logistical support and humanitarian aid, such as after the earthquake that shook Albania last November. But his action in the Adriatic republic does not appear significantly different or more incisive than that carried out in other former Ottoman possessions, from Moldova to Hungary. 

Put into context, an operation with a high symbolic potential sponsored by Tika together with the Turkish embassy revealed against the light the current state of the celebrated Turkish-Albanian link. Last July, Turkish representatives inaugurated a memorial monument dedicated to the 251 "martyrs" who died in the failed coup of 2016 in one of Tirana's main parks. An action at first glance striking, especially considering that the plaque - vandalized a short time later - is the first of its kind to be built outside the Turkish borders. 

In the following days, however, no Albanian authorities gave prominence to the event and, pressed on the subject, the mayor of the capital said that "in Tirana there is room for everyone". Attitudes that suggest how, behind the veneer of reverence that is deemed necessary to accord to a regional heavyweight, the Albanian leadership nurtures a very lukewarm pro-Turkishism. Moving from parks to Realpolitik, Tirana has in fact proved much less sympathetic to Ankara. 

The scrutiny of the Gulenist schools present in the country, promoted by the authorities to satisfy the Turkish insistence, did not find anything suspicious. Furthermore, Albania has elegantly procrastinated for over three years in the face of the request for extradition of suspected Gulenists, repeatedly made by Turkey, yielding only last January - and for only one person, Harun Çelik. This stubborn reluctance to cooperate in the Feto affair has made it clear for the umpteenth time who really commands in Albania.

The double-headed eagle drawn on the national banner would seem to allude to the existence of a double soul of Albania, one facing west, perhaps towards the first Rome, and one facing east, perhaps towards the second. But those who know the country well know that the two former rulers can only compete for the second place: the first is already occupied by the USA 4 and with a strength that in no other corner of the Old Continent proves so unchallenged.

Tirana's degree of loyalty to Washington is precluded in any comparison with the other states of the peninsula. It is enough to compare the process of integration of Albania into NATO with that of Montenegro to understand how the former is a state completely devoted to Washington. If the integration of the second (2017), less than half the size of the first and with a quarter of its population, proved to be an ordeal, between obstruction of the large pro-Russian faction, a crude coup attempt and the very measured euphoria of Podgorica , that of Albania took place almost ten years earlier without encountering the slightest obstacle.

The open support granted by the White House to the Albanian faction in the Kosovo war of independence (1998-99), sublimated in the more than controversial NATO bombing of Belgrade, was sufficient evidence to persuade the Albanians that the preservation of their nation and of its own state lies in the firm hands of the world hegemon. 

The almost fideistic pro-Americanism that animates this population - although still very nationalist and not at all attracted by the cosmopolitan message - is inscribed in society, in the urban landscape, in consumption. The names Amelia, Noel and Joel are among the most popular options for babies; in the country there are several streets and squares dedicated to American presidents and personalities, such as Rruga George W. Bush in Tirana; Popular hymns such as Amerike by Shkurte Fejza or Thank you, USA by Armend Miftari are sung with enthusiasm.

Just like for EU accession, no political force and no segment of the population cultivates ambitions of another tenor. At the moment there is no room for maneuver for any other actor, not even for that China which for a few decades of communism embodied the exotic benevolent protector and today has returned munificent to propagate the advent of the new silk routes. For the Albanian, only the US can guarantee well-being, protection and stability; the competitors are supporting actors, from whom perhaps to draw some money and be satisfied with contingent needs. 

An almost dogmatic belief that has so far survived unscathed from all the turbulence that the Western bloc itself has experienced in the new millennium, from the explosion of the jihadist threat, and the consequent spread of Islamophobia, to the financial crisis of 2008.

Not even the rise of Donald Trump has affected the popularity of the US in the land of Eagles. A survey conducted in 2018 found that 72% of Albanians still approved of The Donald's foreign policy, despite the world average being at an all-time low (30%). The paradox that this policy, aiming to downsize the very American international projection from which the Albanians have benefited so greatly, openly contrasts with their national interests reminds us how, still in 2020, the eagle may also have more heads, but the let his heart remain one. 

And it's not for sale. he felt The Donald's foreign policy, despite the world average being at an all-time low (30%). The paradox that this policy, aiming to downsize the very American international projection from which the Albanians have benefited so greatly, openly contrasts with their national interests reminds us how, still in 2020, the eagle may also have more heads, but the let his heart remain One. Hoping it's not for sale.

                 What do you think about that Hon.Mr. President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.?

Tuesday, January 19

BETTINO CRAXI 21° ANNIVERSARIO - CON LUI SEMPRE!

 

INVICTUS (Lat.: MAI SCONFITTO)
Dal profondo della notte che mi avvolge,
Nera come un pozzo che va da un polo all'altro,
Ringrazio gli Dei qualunque essi siano
Per la mia indomabile Anima.

Nella stretta morsa delle avversità
Non mi sono tirato indietro né ho gridato.
Sotto i colpi d'ascia della sorte
Il mio capo è sanguinante, ma indomito.

Oltre questo luogo di collera e lacrime
Incombe solo l'orrore delle ombre.

Eppure la minaccia degli anni
Mi trova, e mi troverà, senza paura.

Non importa quanto stretto sia il passaggio,
Quanto piena di castighi la Vita,
Io sono il padrone del mio Destino:
Io sono il Capitano della mia Anima.
(William Ernest Henley)



Monday, November 23

DAL RNA-H1N1 1915-1920 AL SARS COV-19


100 ANNI FA LA POPOLAZIONE MONDIALE ERA UN TERZO DI QUELLI CHE SIAMO OGGI. NONOSTANTE QUESTO, I NUMERI CHE VEDREMO SONO TERRIFICANTI, RISPETTO A QUELLI PROPINATICI - OGGI A OGNI ORA, DA UN ANNO - SPACCIANDO UNA PANDEMIA PLANETARIA NEL 2020 CHE PANDEMIA NON E'. SI CHIAMA SOLO " 2020 GREAT RESET"!


Provate a indovinare quale è stata la pestilenza che ha flagellato di più l’umanità. Qualcuno ricorderà subito la famosa Morte nera del Trecento, che in cinque anni, tra il 1347 e il 1352, stravolse la storia europea, riducendo di un terzo la popolazione del Vecchio continente. 

A qualcun altro verrà in mente la più recente tragedia dell’AIDS, prontamente ribattezzata “la peste del secolo”, che dall’inizio degli anni Ottanta si diffuse a macchia d’olio in tutto il mondo, sconvolgendo gli stili di vita occidentali e falcidiando in alcuni Paesi africani intere generazioni. 

Pochi penseranno invece alla cosiddetta Spagnola del 1918, la pandemia influenzale di cui ricorre quest’anno il centenario, che forse si sarebbe meritata più propriamente l’epiteto attribuito all’immunodeficienza acquisita provocata dall’HIV.

La giornalista scientifica britannica Laura Spinney, con un’espressione tipica dell’inglese, ma facilmente comprensibile anche in italiano, definisce la pandemia del 1918 “l’elefante nella stanza”: un evento enorme, ingombrante, se vogliamo, di cui però nessuno pare voglia parlare. 

Lo fa nel suo bel libro edito in Italia nel 2017 da Marsilio “1918. L’influenza spagnola. La pandemia che cambiò il mondo”, che tuttavia nella traduzione del titolo in italiano finisce col mettersi nella stessa linea, attenuando il carico drammatico dell’originale “Pale rider”, “Il cavaliere pallido”, che fa esplicito riferimento al quarto cavaliere dell’Apocalisse, simbolo della morte.

La definizione non è esagerata, e ogni tentativo di ridimensionarne la gravità è una sorta di condanna. La pandemia del 1918 spazzò davvero il pianeta come una piaga biblica. Nel giro di pochi mesi, infatti, la Grande Influenza provocò molte più vittime di tutte le altre malattie virali o batteriche che nella storia si sono abbattute sull’umanità. 

Si parla di un numero di morti difficile da calcolare con certezza, dal momento che il virus raggiunse il cuore dell’Africa, le isole del Pacifico e le lande più desolate dell’Alaska, in un’epoca in cui la denuncia dei casi non era ancora obbligatoria nemmeno nei Paesi più avanzati. Se ne vedono però i segni in un altissimo picco della mortalità concentrato soprattutto nell’autunno del 1918, una brusca variazione verso l’alto anche rispetto all’effetto della Prima guerra mondiale che già da diversi anni mieteva le sue vittime. Si parla di 50, forse 100 milioni di morti, per lo più nel giro di poche settimane, in ogni parte del mondo. Più di quelli causati da una Guerra che per la sua estensione e letalità prese l’appellativo di “Grande”, a segnare una differenza rispetto ai conflitti del passato.

La pandemia sarebbe dovuta essere un evento altrettanto, se non più memorabile, si direbbe. Una catastrofe che si sarebbe dovuta imprimere nella memoria di tutta l’umanità. Invece è stata subito dimenticata, quasi rimossa. Capire come e perché questo sia accaduto ci può aiutare a interpretare meglio i fenomeni dell’informazione di oggi, e delle sue distorsioni (a partire dalla questione delle fake news), la nostra percezione del rischio, spesso alterata rispetto alla realtà, i pericoli costituiti ancora oggi dalle malattie infettive, l’impatto che il modo di raccontarle può avere sulla loro diffusione.
Tolto forse un famoso quadro di Egon Schiele, il pittore che, prima di soccombervi a sua volta, l’ha rappresentata nelle fattezze sofferenti della moglie Edith, incinta, che ne morì, l’arte ha completamente ignorato questa tragedia. 

Questione di prospettiva, si dice. I fenomeni si osservano meglio a distanza. Eppure la peste del Trecento lasciò il segno subito, nel contemporaneo Decamerone di Boccaccio e poi nei secoli successivi in Shakespeare e Manzoni, rappresentata in centinaia di quadri e Danze macabre in tutta Europa. 

I libri di storia ne sottolineano l’impatto sulla politica, la società, l’economia. Nella storia medievale segna una cesura, tra un prima e un dopo.


I primi libri che hanno cominciato a parlarne sono usciti a distanza di decenni, verso la fine del secolo scorso e poi in prossimità dell’anniversario che ricorre in questi mesi. Si tratta per lo più di saggi scritti da storici della medicina o di resoconti da parte di giornalisti scientifici, soprattutto in ambito anglosassone. 

Riccardo Chiaberge, nel 2016, per UTET, ne ha raccontato alcune storie (1918. La grande epidemia. Quindici storie della febbre spagnola). È strano. Un evento così sconvolgente, famiglie e città falcidiate nel giro di poche settimane e nemmeno una traccia di rilievo nella narrativa, nella poesia, nella memoria collettiva. Un’epidemia dimenticata, è stata chiamata. 


Questa malattia, infatti, sebbene abbia fatto globalmente molte più vittime della temutissima peste, sembra essere condannata a un’eterna sottovalutazione. L’aggettivo che più le si addice sembra “banale”. 

Attribuita agli influssi degli astri (da qui l’origine cinquecentesca del suo nome) e poi agli effetti del freddo (un tipico “malanno di stagione”), l’influenza paga il prezzo di un’eccessiva familiarità, anche quando si presenta con intenzioni tutt’altro che benevole. 

Ce lo spiegano gli esperti di percezione e comunicazione del rischio: più siamo abituati ad averci a che fare, meno un potenziale pericolo ci spaventa. L’influenza arriva tutti gli anni, nella stragrande maggioranza dei casi passa da sola, si accompagna a immagini di coccole domestiche, bevande calde, riposo forzato. 

Niente a che vedere con le proiezioni di spaventose epidemie di origine esotica, come quella provocata dal virus di ebola. Se è influenza, non può far paura. Se uccide, non può essere influenza. E infatti su quella del 1918 si affollarono le ipotesi, le teorie, i nomi. Chiamarla “influenza” sembrava poco.

All’oblio contribuì probabilmente anche la scarsa comprensione di quel che era accaduto: da parte della popolazione, come si è detto, soprattutto a causa della censura; da parte del mondo accademico, in una forse inconscia rimozione di un’inattesa Caporetto venuta a interrompere una lunga serie di successi che la medicina aveva riportato nei decenni precedenti, anche e soprattutto nel campo delle malattie infettive.

Di questa malattia, invece, si capiva poco. Attribuita a Haemophilus influenzae, un batterio isolato alla fine dell’Ottocento da Richard Pfeiffer, un biologo tedesco (“un caso? Non credo” si dicevano anche allora, in piena propaganda di guerra, i complottisti del tempo), solo nel 1930 sarebbe stata giustamente associata a un virus. 

Soprattutto non esistevano cure, se non quelle sintomatiche e improvvisate. Anche le misure preventive, a base di disinfettanti riversati sui marciapiedi, non si rivelarono molto efficaci.

A diffonderla contribuirono probabilmente i grandi spostamenti di popolazioni e di truppe legati alla guerra, mentre è meno certo che la sua gravità sia stata accentuata dal fatto di essere piombata su popolazioni malnutrite e già provate dal conflitto. 

Non si spiegherebbe altrimenti perché la malattia si sia diffusa ovunque, anche nei Paesi neutrali o che erano del tutto estranei alla guerra, lontanissimi dai campi di battaglia, senza mostrarsi lì meno grave. 


Le vittime però non mancavano nemmeno lì. Anzi, in assenza di quelle attribuibili al conflitto, spiccavano di più, contribuendo a confermare la fake news che l’epidemia si fosse sviluppata, e particolarmente diffusa, in quel Paese, mentre in silenzio uccideva ovunque molto più delle granate.

Origini ed eredità

Sulle effettive origini dell’influenza esistono teorie discordanti. I virus influenzali si trasformano continuamente, rimescolando le caratteristiche dei loro geni, così da sfuggire al sistema immunitario degli ospiti che vanno a infettare. 

Di anno in anno ci sono piccole variazioni che rendono necessaria la creazione di nuovi vaccini; di tanto in tanto il cambiamento è più radicale, e rende il virus totalmente irriconoscibile, tanto da prendere del tutto di sorpresa le difese dell’organismo. 


Nel caso di cui parliamo è possibile che il nuovo virus sia emerso da una roulette russa genetica avvenuta in Francia o negli Stati Uniti, ma alcuni studi suggeriscono che anche in questo caso, come per la maggior parte dei virus influenzali, l’evento iniziale sia avvenuto in Cina, dove l’anno precedente già si segnalavano possibili focolai della malattia.

Il nuovo virus colpiva i soldati in combattimento, influendo sulle scelte strategiche dei generali, che si trovavano da un giorno all’altro con le truppe decimate dalla febbre, ma non risparmiava chi viveva in condizioni di benessere: uno fra tutti, il re di Spagna Alfonso XIII, di certo non provato dalle privazioni della guerra.

Anzi, un’altra caratteristica di questa pandemia da virus A-H1N1, che poi si ripresentò nel 2009, era di colpire le diverse età con un andamento detto a W: ai due picchi di età tipicamente più suscettibili (bambini e anziani), si aggiungeva, ancora più rilevante, quello dei giovani adulti in piena salute. 


A produrli, in Germania, la Bayer, la stessa azienda che aveva lanciato la famosissima aspirina. Il complottismo, come terreno fertile su cui germogliano le bufale, non è nato con Facebook. 

Soprattutto negli Stati Uniti si diffuse il sospetto che i germi responsabili dell’epidemia fossero stati nascosti nelle compresse dal nemico per indebolire il fronte alleato. 


Come spesso accade, alcune bufale possono a loro volta nascondere un nucleo di verità: in questo caso gli esperti non escludono che il farmaco, tra i pochi rimedi allora a disposizione per contrastare la febbre alta e il mal di testa tipici della malattia, possa aver contribuito ad aumentare in alcuni contesti il carico di vittime, soprattutto favorendo i fenomeni emorragici descritti dalle cronache dell’epoca, e inusuali con la comune influenza. 

Mentre infatti oggi si consiglia di non superare i 3-4 grammi al giorno, le autorità statunitensi raccomandavano dosaggi fino a 30 grammi al giorno. Oltre ai sanguinamenti, oggi sappiamo che anche un sovradosaggio inferiore a questo può provocare un edema polmonare, una condizione compatibile con molti dei sintomi e dei segni che caratterizzavano le vittime della malattia.

Il farmaco, però, era a disposizione di pochi, e la mortalità non inferiore laddove non c’erano medicinali: non si può certamente quindi attribuire ai tentativi dei medici la colpa di una simile strage.

Altre fake news circolarono, riguardo all’ipotesi che la malattia non fosse altro che un’arma biologica messa in circolo dal nemico: dal porto di Boston, dove si riteneva che la piaga si fosse diffusa negli Stati Uniti, una donna giurava di aver visto alzarsi una nube tossica da una nave tedesca camuffata, mentre altri sospettavano che agenti nemici fossero sbarcati da U-boot, introdottisi nottetempo in rada, e avessero sparso il contenuto di fiale contenenti il germe in cinema, teatri e altri luoghi frequentati.

Non c’era internet, non c’erano i social network, ma il bisogno di trovare una spiegazione a un evento che ci affligge era la stessa, allora come oggi. 

Era la stessa la volontà di attribuire i nostri mali a un nemico, reale o immaginario, facendo fatica ad accettare che vengano invece da quella natura che ci ostiniamo a considerare sempre benigna, ignorandone le insidie. 

Censura di guerra o no, interpretiamo le notizie così come le vogliamo interpretare, a conferma di quel che ci vogliamo sentir dire, cioé:" che il banale virus che si cura con latte e miele possa essere peggio della peste, o che possa ripresentarsi, e trovarci impreparati, questo poi no, non ce lo vogliamo proprio sentir dire ".

Saturday, November 21

"THE GREAT RESET": LAST TERRIFYING GLOBALITY CONSPIRACY - ZIONISM TRIUMPH L' APOCALISSE BIBLICA PERPRETATA NEI TRE SECOLI DAI "NERI ROTHSCHILD"

Since it made its entry on to the world stage, COVID-19 2019 has torn up the existing script of how to govern countries, live with others, and take part in the global economy in a dramatic way. Professor Klaus Schwab and CEO and Founder of the Monthly Barometer and



Thierry Malleret explore these disruptions in their new book, COVID-19: The Great Reset.






Il rapporto è firmato da Klaus Schwab, 82 anni, da sempre grande regista del club di Davos, e da un suo collaboratore: Thierry Malleret  direttore del Global Risk Network, che opera all'interno del WEF

Un libro scritto e preparato nel 2017 in vista del prossimo meeting di Davos, che solitamente si tiene a gennaio, rinviato però a metà maggio 2021 (dal 18 al 21) a causa della pandemia, con sede non più a Davos, ma a Burgenstock, cittadina vicino a Lucerna.

Questa nuova bibbia dei supermiliardari non cela affatto il cinismo, ma usa un linguaggio chiaro, perfino spietato: «Molti si chiedono quando torneremo alla normalità. La risposta è concisa: mai. 

Ci sarà per sempre un'epoca di 'prima del Coronavirus' e 'dopo il Coronavirus'. 

Il peggio della pandemia deve ancora venire». Ancora: «Affronteremo le sue ricadute per anni e molte cose cambieranno per sempre. 

Ha provocato sconvolgimento economici di proporzioni monumentali, e continuerà a farlo. Nessuna azienda sarà in grado di evitare l'impatto dei cambiamenti futuri. 

O tutti si adatteranno all'Agenda del Great Reset, o non sopravviveranno. Milioni di aziende rischiano di scomparire, soprattutto quelle di dimensioni piccole. Soltanto poche saranno abbastanza forti da sopportare il disastro».

Grazie alla blogger francese, Virginie Février, che ha fatto una sintesi del rapporto citando i passaggi più incisivi, è possibile capire che cosa Schwab e Malleret intendono per grande riassetto: «Alcuni industriali e alcuni quadri superiori rischiano di confondere il reset con un reinizio. 


Ma non sarà un reinizio, non può succedere. DICONO

Le misure di distanziamento sociale e fisico rischiano di persistere ben al di là della scomparsa della pandemia. E questo servirà per giustificare la decisione di numerose aziende nei più svariati settori di accelerare l'automatizzazione. Non è affatto sicuro che la crisi del Covid-19 faccia pendere la bilancia a favore del lavoro contro il capitale. Politicamente e socialmente sarebbe possibile, ma il dato tecnologico cambia tutto».

Così, ecco qualche squarcio illuminante sui cambiamenti attesi per il futuro: «Fino all'86% dei posti di lavoro nella ristorazione, il 75% dei posti di lavoro nel commercio al dettaglio e il 59% dei posti di lavoro nei giochi e divertimenti potrebbero essere automatizzati entro il 2035. Fino al 75% dei ristoranti indipendenti potrebbero non sopravvivere al confinamento e alle misure di distanziamento sociale ulteriori. Nessuna industria o azienda sarà risparmiata».

Le ricadute sul modo di governare l'economia investiranno tutti i paesi, costringendo i governi a prenderne atto, fermo restando un principio cardine per il club di Davos: «La governance mondiale è al cuore di tutte le altre questioni». 

È facile prevedere che una frase simile scatenerà i cosiddetti «complottisti», che da anni vedono nel World economic forum il fautore di un Nuovo ordine mondiale, dove a comandare saranno, più di oggi, le élites del potere finanziario. 

Ma il rapporto di Schwab e Malleret se ne infischia dei complottisti, e va giù piatto: «La tirannia della crescita del PIL finirà. La fiscalità aumenterà. Come nel passato, la logica sociale e la giustificazione politica alla base degli aumenti delle imposte saranno basati sulla narrativa dei 'paesi in guerra' (ma questa volta contro un nemico invisibile)». Risultato: la classe media sarà spolpata, mentre aumenteranno i redditi di cittadinanza.

Confermando quanto è già accaduto con i primi lockdown, il rapporto del WEF vede lo statalismo in crescita: «Il controllo pubblico delle aziende private aumenterà. Le aziende non aderiranno a queste misure perché le considerano 'buone', ma piuttosto perché il prezzo da pagare per non sottomettersi sarà troppo alto in termini di collera dei militanti». Quali militanti? 

Ovvio: i giovani che, come Greta Thunberg, scendono in piazza per il clima, o quelli che lo fanno per i diritti sessuali. È su di loro che i supermiliardari di Davos contano per fare passare la loro nuova dottrina: «L'attivismo dei giovani aumenta nel mondo, essendo rivoluzionato dalle reti sociali che accentuano la mobilitazione a un livello che sarebbe stato impossibile precedentemente

Assume diverse forme, dalla partecipazione politica non istituzionale alle manifestazioni e proteste, e affronta questioni diverse, come il cambiamento climatico, le riforme economiche, la parità dei sessi e i diritti LGBT

La nuova generazione è fermamente all'avanguardia del cambiamento sociale. Non ci sono dubbi che sarà il catalizzatore del cambiamento sociale e una fonte di slancio critico per il Great Reset».

Gli unici ostacoli, conclude il rapporto, saranno il sovranismo e la religione, «un miscuglio tossico», che è così descritto: «Con il lockdown, il nostro attaccamento ai prossimi si è potenziato con un sentimento rinnovato di apprezzamento per tutti noi che amiamo: la famiglia e gli amici

Ma il lato non considerato, è lo scaturire di sentimenti patriottici e nazionalistici, sempre più forti, con considerazioni religiose ed etniche preoccupanti. 


Thursday, November 19

COVID-19 IN ITALY: “RESOLUTION OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE”


MAIN INTRODUCTIONS FOR DUMMIES

"The accuser first and the defendant second intervene with a single speech; [...] begin the investigation, with an adequate analysis of the facts exposed. All citizens [...] listen carefully". Plato, The Laws

The publicity of court proceedings protects defendants  against secret justice: does Italian COVID 19 regulation regarding cloud doors respect the rule of Law? 

1. State of emergency: legal framework in Italy

States of emergency pose the most significant challenges to the safeguarding of fundamental rights and civil liberties: strengthening of the executive power to the detriment of judicial authority and parliamentary oversight, absence of effective domestic mechanisms of supervision of the executive power, replacement of the judicial role with police operations represent a symptom of how prolonged emergencies lead to the eclipse of legal certainty and may cause the rapid and irreversible degradation of the rule of law.

The outbreak of the Covid-19 – first detected in China at the end of 2019 and then spread in at least 90 countries – triggered an epidemic (which evolved into a pandemic); the World Health Organisation, on 30 January 2020, declared an international public health emergency

Soon after that, the governments of many Countries in the world issued a declaration of emergency, among them Italy:  on 31 January 2020, the Italian Government formally declared the state of emergency pursuant to Legislative Decree 1/2018 (Civil Protection Code) recognizing that Covid-19 disease has to be considered as “emergency of national importance connected with natural origin or man-made disasters which, by reason of their intensity or extension, must, with immediate intervention, be faced with extraordinary means and powers to be employed during limited and predefined periods of time pursuant to Art. 24.”.

Article 24 of Civil Protection Code (“RESOLUTION ON THE STATE OF EMERGENCY OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE”), rules that the Council of Ministers can declare the state of national emergency, which has to be limited in its duration (12 + 12 months maximum) and determine  its territorial extension, with reference to the nature and quality of events; the declaration of emergency authorises the issue of civil protection orders, which can be adopted “in derogation to any current provision, within the limits and with the methods indicated in the resolution on the state of emergency and in compliance with the general principles of the legal system and the European Union rules”.

Italian Civil Protection Code legislation does not explicitly empower the Government to limit rights and freedoms. 

Since the Italian Constitution rules that restrictions to (some of the) fundamental freedoms cannot be enacted nor regulated by sources other than laws and acts having the force of law, on 23 February 2020, Decree Law n.6 was issued, containing emergency provisions in order to limit infection due to the Covid-19 Virus, granting the “competent authorities” with the power to order “any appropriate restrictive measure” on those living in affected areas. 

Initially, only 10 municipalities in Lombardy and one in Veneto were declared red areas; rapidly, measures were extended to thewhole Lombardy and 14 provinces of other Regions, and finally  on 9 March 2020,restrictive measures applying to “red areas” have been extended to the entire Italian territory until 3 April 2020 by the head of the Italian Government, the President of the Council of Ministers, through an administrative order called “Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers” (DPCM).

Essentially, as a result of the emergency legislation, the whole Country is in lockdown: citizens are prevented from leaving their homes, except for “well grounded work-related reasons or situations of need or movements for health reasons”.

At the same time, school and university activities as well as public events and sport competitions are suspended nation-wide; the closure of museums, cultural centres and sport facilities has been ordered, as well as any non-essential commercial activity; stores different form pharmacies and supermarkets are closed; trains and public transport are limited, religious ceremonies, including funeral ceremonies, are suspended.

More and more restrictions are being currently applied on a day-by-day basis: the rollout of the new restrictions has been chaotic, as they come from many different sources, including decrees or orders of different Ministers (Minister of Economics and Finance, Minister of Health, Minister of Interior), Head of Government, Presidents of Regions or Autonomous provinces, City Mayors, Civil Protection Department. ..

On 25 March 2020 Decree Law n. 19 has been enacted by the government, trying to put restrictions in order and introducing new sanctions for who does not respect same restrictions.

These measures were described as the largest lockdown in the history of Europe[8]: in fact, they establish unprecedented limitations to individual freedom and rights for a non-authoritarian regime.

Lockdown affects, inter alia, fundamental principles of the Italian democracy, such as liberty, freedom of movement, freedom of assembly, freedom to profess one’s religious belief; free enterprise is strongly impacted as well; the right to education may also be impaired, and the right to privacy may be affected by (announced)  use of surveillance technologies (such as cell-phone location tracking,  advanced video analytics, and biometric surveillance)

 2. Criminal justice and Covid-19 disease: emergency rules and fair trail rights

The Coronavirus pandemic has upended the day-by-day operations of the Italian justice system, raising significant questions regarding the limits of derogatory regulations in emergency situations.

Limiting the present analysis on the impact of the lockdown on criminal justice, it has to be said that, so far,  two Decree Laws and three DPMC have been enacted.

Focusing on the most recent provision, i.e. Decree Law No. 18 of 17 March 2020, it contains – among other provisions - specific rules about procedural criminal justice in the Covid-19 emergency[12]: there are mandatory rules, which apply by law until 15 April 2020, and rules that could be enacted by Courts on a discretional basis in the period between 16 April  and  30 June 2020.

For the emergency period until 15 April 2020, such legislation rules:

.-automatic rescheduling of every hearing and postponement of deadlines in criminal proceedings[13], except specific hearings – which will be held in closed court- such as juvenile criminal justice hearings, habeas corpus hearings in case of arrest by Police forces or hearings with defendants in pre-trial detention if the accused or the defence lawyer file a specific request to held the hearing, urgent evidentiary hearings suspension of the limitation period in criminal proceedings (noting that limitation periods are a part of substantive criminal law in the Italian system);

.-suspension of all procedural time limits, including deadlines for the notification of proceedings before the Court, enforcement and appeal procedures;

.-derogation of personal notification to the defendant of rescheduled hearing;

.-limitation of public access to court offices and courtrooms (see Closed doors, virus infects Italian criminal trial;

.-limitations for inmates regarding family (visits and contact to external world (including parole benefits);

.-limitation to access to the lawyer for inmates;

.-improving home detention for inmate swith less than 18 months to serve in order to relief the overcrowded Italian prisons.

If the existence of emergency situations may require authorities to take measures that normally diverge from the standard human rights protections afforded under the “European system”, it has to be recognized that some of said provisions do impact on fundamental criminal justice rights as well as on fair trial rights, such as reasonable length of proceeding,  access to a lawyer, effective participation in the proceeding, publicity of the hearing, right to be present at the hearing, preparation of the defence, right  to have  lawfulness  of detention  decided  speedily by  a  court (being postponed the duty to deliver the reasons in appeals proceedings about pre-trial detention).

3.Criminal justice and Covid-19 disease: sanctions

The breach of any disease containment measure constituted - in a first period -  a criminal offense: Decree Law of 23 February 2020, n. 6 established that failure to comply with any of the containment measures shall be punished with detention up to 3 months or with a fine up to EUR 206,00  pursuant to Article 650 of the Italian Criminal Code (“non-compliance with the Authority's provisions”). 

Additionally, individuals who have been tested positive to the Coronavirus and defy mandatory quarantine can be prosecuted pursuant to Articles 438 or 452 of the Criminal Code, with penalties up to life imprisonment.

On March, 25, a new Decree Law has been approved by the Council of Ministers, imposing an administrative fine up to €4.000 for who does not respect the emergency contenitive measures. Criminal sanctions have been explicetely excluded, except for who was not respecting "quarantine" for being positive for COVID-19 virus (but the law still does not rule about the reqistrements and guarantees of the imposing order of quarateine: since it is a restriction of personal liberty, Italian Constitution requestes a judiciary order and cases manner has to be provided by law).

The main problem is represented by the overlapping of information / over regulation from different sources and the complexity of prescribed measures: among the regulations provided by the Government (decrees of the President of the Council of Ministers, of Ministry of Health and Ministry of Interior), many other  local authorities have enacted containment measures, such as Presidents of Regions / Autonomous Provinces, or even City Mayors. 

The partition of authority between regional and national officials has not only caused political tensions among the authorities themselves, but it resulted in different regulations, which do not allow legal certainty, a general principle of European Union and Conventional law. The international standard in this regard rules that an individual  must  be able at least to be aware of which acts and/or omissions  will  make him/her  criminally  liable and  what  penalty will  be  applied for  the  act committed and/or  omission.

This confusion may be one of the reasons of the impressive result of police monitoring: from 11 to 23 March 2020 over 2.000.000 people have been questioned by police about the reason of their presence in public and almost 100.000 of them have been investigated.

4. Conclusions

No question about the need for containing emergency measures, since it is crucially urgent to postpone the peak outbreak, in order not to burden healthcare facilities.

But any emergency legislation is always a risk to the rule of law, because it has to be kept in mind that once a precedent to any kind of derogation of a fundamental right has been set, who can rule out the possibility that the same restrictions on fundamental rights will be reactivated again in the future in the name of another supposed emergency?

And: 

someone may remember the metaphor of the boiled frog. If it is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in tepid water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death. Risk is that we get used to ‘temporary’ restrictions on fundamental rights, so that they become dangerously .. permanent.

That’s why we have stay vigilant and defend the right to health as well as the other fundamental rights, preventing that the virus infects the rule of law. 

That’s why we must stay vigilant and protect the right to health as well as the rule of law, and prevent the virus from infecting the rule of law.

and now we speech about:

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organisation (WHO)

The publicity of court proceedings protects defendants  against secret justice, which is beyond the control of the public, and is also a means of preserving trust in judges, thus helping to achieve a fair trial. 

The question is:"Does the Covid19 disease infect the rule of Law in Italy?

Remember that: "Viruses can have more powerful consequences than any terrorist action". As, closed doors, virus infects Italian criminal trial and Criminal proceedings always in Chambers with closed doors: does Italian COVID 19 emergency legislation respect the right to a fair trial?

1. Introduction

As is well known, with the legislative decree of 17 March 2020, n. 18 (so-called "Cura Italia" decree), published in the Official Gazette n. 70 of 17.3.2020, extraordinary edition, and immediately came into force, the Government has returned to regulate, among others, the matter of carrying out judicial activity in the current context of health emergency due to the spread of Covid-19; to this measure has been added the d. l. 8 April 2020, n. 23, in force since 9 April 2020; the decree was converted, with amendments, by Law 24 April 2020 n. 27 on "measures to strengthen the National Health Service and economic support for families, workers and businesses related to the epidemiological emergency by COVID-19. Extension of the deadlines for the adoption of legislative decrees (so-called Care Italy Decree)".

Given the indisputable need to urgently regulate the matter, in order to protect public and individual health and also contain the possible negative effects of the epidemic on the regular course of criminal proceedings, it was noted (1) that the legislation in question does not fail to raise some questions: the underlying theme is of course that of the relationship between the right to health, understood in its dual individual and collective dimension under Art. 32 of Italian Constitution, procedural guarantees and the efficiency of judicial activity, all of which have constitutional status and are called into question by emergency legislation.

Before dealing with the examination of some critical aspects underlying the legislation, with particular reference to the derogation ex lege of the publicity of the trial, it should be remembered that the discipline was initially entrusted to art. 83 of the measure; with specific regard to the effects of the decree law in question on criminal proceeding, it is confirmed the adoption of two different bands of measures, according to a logic already used in the legislative decree of 8 March and for which

1.a) to a first group of general interventions uniformly extended to the whole national territory is added the possibility that the heads of the judicial offices adopt, both until 11 May and afterwards, the individual prescriptions contained in the list contained in paragraph 7 of the article.

With regard to the performance of non-suspended judicial activity, in addition to the possibility of adoption, pursuant to paragraph 5, of certain specific measures by the heads of judicial offices, it should be noted the possibility, established in paragraph 12 and already provided for in Legislative Decree 11/2020, of recourse to remote participation in hearings by persons detained, interned or remanded in custody.

(2.a) Hearings behind closed doors, a problem for democracy

With specific reference to the publicity of the hearing, Article 83/7 (e) provides for "the celebration behind closed doors, pursuant to Article 472, paragraph 3, of the Code of Criminal Procedure, of all public criminal hearings or individual hearings and, pursuant to Article 128 of the Code of Civil Procedure, of public civil hearings".

The letter of the relevant provision provides therefore (as an alternative to the remote procedure, which also raises perplexity with respect to the so-called fair trial) would indicate that the hearing in presence must always be held behind closed doors, almost as if to imply a "superordinate interest of public health and national security"; however, it is allowed here to raise doubts about the constitutional and conventional legitimacy of the emergency provision to the extent that it does not allow the judge to assess the need to proceed behind closed doors case by case (for example, only when there is a danger of assembly in the public).

(2.b) Italian ordinary discipline in internal regulations 

According to the art. 473 c.p.p., headed "order to proceed to closed doors", in the cases previewed from the art. 472, the judge, heard the parties, arranges, with order pronounced in public hearing, that the hearing or some moments of it take place behind  closed doors.

These are, in summary, cases in which the publicity may be harmful to morality or, may involve the dissemination of information to be kept secret in the interest of the State or prejudice to the confidentiality of witnesses or private parties with regard to facts that are not the subject of the criminal charge; the judge also provides that the hearing or some acts of it take place behind closed doors in sexual offenses against minors, when there are public demonstrations that disturb the regular running of hearings, when it is necessary to safeguard the safety of witnesses or defendants or - precisely - when the publicity may harm "public hygiene".


The nature of exceptions to the advertising principle proper to the collective limits set forth in Article 472 of the Italian Criminal Code is reflected in the form of the provision that provides them: the order to proceed behind closed doors is pronounced by order, formal act, extrinsic typical of the decision-making powers of the Judge, which must be motivated under penalty of nullity (Article 125 of the Italian Criminal Code).

The order ordering that the hearing or some acts of it be held behind closed doors is revoked, in the same manner in which it was issued, when the reasons for the order cease to exist (art. 473/1 c.p.c.): the "provisional" nature of the order is therefore a consequence of this, in the sense that the preclusive effectiveness of its own publicity can legitimately be expressed as long as the reasons for secrecy that justified it remain. Once the latter have ceased to exist, it must be revoked, in the same manner in which it was issued, i.e. by order issued in public hearing, then before the public readmitted to the courtroom, after hearing the parties.

On the other hand, an express revocation is not necessary when the order has ordered the doors to be closed for the completion of certain debating acts. In this case the general rule of publicity automatically regains force once the acts for which it was necessary to proceed with closed doors have been concluded.

The violation of the rules governing the adoption of the ordinance ex art. 473/1 c.p.p., determines the nullity of entire trial.

In this regard, however, different hypotheses can be outlined depending on whether the defect is related to the training procedure of the measure, or the substantive assumptions of the same.

From the first point of view, the order is null and void in two cases: when it lacks the motivation (Art. 125/3 of the Criminal Code) and when it was issued without the prior consultation of the parties. While in the first case there is relative nullity (Art. 181 of the Criminal Code), in the second case, since a provision (Art. 473, para. 1) is violated that concerns the intervention of the parties in the proceedings (Art. 178/1, letter b and e of the Criminal Code), there is an intermediate nullity (Art. 180 of the Criminal Code).

The measure that provides for the closure of the doors is then null and void, pursuant to Article 471/1 of the Italian Criminal Code, when it is adopted outside the cases absolutely indicated by Article 472. It was stated, on this point, that in order to avoid nullity, a simple reference to one of the cases referred to in Article 472 is not sufficient, requiring, instead, "the actual existence of the conditions of fact that constitute the substratum of the exceptions provided for", since the discretion of the Judge in the assessment of these conditions cannot extend to "make the measures based on circumstances that clearly do not exist" (so comment on the Code of Criminal Procedure, Wolters Kluwer, sub 372, with doctrinal references).

With regard to the nature of this nullity, the doctrine and a majority jurisprudence are in agreement in considering it to be of a relative nature, as such declarable only if the defendant raises the question and is subject to the terms and limits of deductibility set out in Articles 181 and 182 of the Italian Criminal Code. 

With regard to the appeal against the order ordering the closing of the doors, despite the silence kept on the point by art. 473, the general rule set forth in art. 586 It. criminal procedure code is considered applicable, according to which, when it is not otherwise established by law, the orders issued in the hearing can be appealed only with the appeal against the final judgment.

(2.c) The ordinary discipline in the conventional perspective

The regime of the hearing behind closed doors, applicable only for "questions of a technical nature that can be satisfactorily regulated only on the basis of the file" (judgment of the European Convention of Human Rights  of 10 April 2012, Lorenzetti v. Italy) seems to be incompatible with supranational principles, such as Article 14, paragraph 1, UN Covenant, which provides for the guarantee of publicity of judicial proceedings, also enshrined in Article 6, paragraph 1, of the ECHR, as interpreted by the European Court of Human Rights, and, consequently, with Article 117, first paragraph, Italian Constitution, with respect to which the above mentioned conventional provision is known to have an additional value, as an "interposed norm".

Article 6, paragraph 1, of the ECHR states - for the conferring party - that "every person has the right to have his case examined [...], publicly and within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal [...]. ]", also ruling that "the judgment must be rendered publicly, but access to the courtroom may be prohibited to the press and the public during all or part of the trial in the interest of morals, public order or national security in a democratic society, when the interests of children or the protection of the privacy of the parties to the proceedings so require, or, to the extent deemed strictly necessary by the court, when in special circumstances publicity might prejudice the interests of justice". Moreover, the European Court of Human Rights itself has already had the opportunity to consider as contrary to the above mentioned conventional guarantee certain judicial procedures which the Italian law provided for hearings in chambers.

This has happened, in particular, with regard to the procedure for the application of preventive measures (judgment of 13 November 2007, Bocellari and Rizza v. Italy, in the wake of which judgment of 26 July 2011, Paleari v. Italy; judgment of 17 May 2011, Capitani and Campanella v. Italy; judgment of 2 February 2010, Leone v. Italy; judgment of 5 January 2010, Bongiorno and others v. Italy; judgment of 8 July 2008, Perre and others v. Italy) and the procedure for the reparation of unjust imprisonment (judgment of 10 April 2012, Lorenzetti v. Italy).

The European Court has reached this conclusion recalling its constant jurisprudence, according to which the publicity of judicial procedures protects persons subject to jurisdiction against secret justice, which is beyond the control of the public, and is also a means to preserve trust in judges, thus contributing to the achievement of the purpose of Article 6, paragraph 1, of the ECHR, the fair trial.

As the exceptions provided for in the second part of the rule testify, this does not prevent, in absolute terms, the judicial authorities from derogating from the principle of publicity of the hearing.

The European Court itself has, on the other hand, held that certain exceptional situations, relating to the nature of the issues to be dealt with - such as, for example, the "highly technical" nature of the litigation - may justify dispensing with a public hearing. In any case, however, the hearing in camera, for all or part of its duration, must be "strictly imposed by the circumstances of the case".

As pointed out by the Italian Constitutional Court with the above mentioned judgments n. 93 of 2010 and n. 135 of 2014, the conventional rule, as interpreted by the European Court, does not conflict with the protections offered by our Constitution (hypothesis in which the rule itself would remain unsuitable to integrate the parameter of art. 117, first paragraph, Cost.), but is, indeed, in substantial agreement with them. The absence of an explicit reference, in fact, does not affect the constitutional value of the principle of publicity of judicial hearings, which is also enshrined in other international charters of fundamental rights.

The publicity of the judgement - especially the criminal one - represents, in fact, a principle inherent in a democratic system (ex plurimis, judgements n. 373 of 1992, n. 69 of 1991 and n. 50 of 1989, It. Constitutional Court). The principle has no absolute value, since it can be surrendered in the presence of particular justifying reasons, provided, however, that they are objective and rational (judgment no. 212 of 1986), and, in the case of criminal proceedings, linked to the need to protect assets of constitutional importance (judgment no. 12 of 1971).

The Strasbourg Court, in turn, recalls that the publicity of the proceedings of the judicial bodies referred to in Article 6 § 1 protects the defendant against a secret justice that is beyond the control of the public (see, Riepan v. Austria, no. 35115/97, § 27, CEDH 2000 XII); it is also one of the means of preserving confidence in the courts and tribunals. With the transparency it confers on the administration of justice, it helps to achieve the aim of article 6 § 1: the fair trial, whose guarantee is included among the principles of every democratic society under the Convention (see, among many others, Tierce and others c. Saint-Marin, nº 24954/94, 24971/94 and 24972/94, §92, CEDH 2000 IX).

Article 6§1 does not, however, pose any obstacle to the judicial authorities deciding, in view of the particularities of the case before them, to derogate from this principle: according to this very provision, "entry into the courtroom may be prohibited to the press and the public for all or part of the trial in the interests of morality, public order or national security in a democratic society, when the interests of minors or the protection of the life of the parties to the proceedings so require, or to the extent deemed strictly necessary by the court, when in special circumstances publicity could harm the interests of justice"; the hearing behind closed doors, with total or partial closure, must then be strictly imposed by the circumstances of the case (see, for example, mutatis mutandis, the Diennet c judgment. France, of 26 September 1995, Series A nº 325-A, §34) .

(3.a) Italian COVID19 emergency regulation. 

The rule that would oblige the national judge to always conduct the hearing behind closed doors clashes with the outlined principles; the protection of the health of the participants in the hearing could, however, easily be achieved through the adoption of measures less restrictive of the closure of the hearing, such as the obligation to adopt safety distances, the obligation to wear facial masks and the containment of the number of spectators/journalists present in the courtroom. 

The total and indiscriminate closure of the courtroom seems to be an excessive, as well as unjustified, restriction of the right of the defendant to a fair trial; it should be noted, however, that in the cases provided for by Article 472/3 of the Italian Criminal Code, when, in other words, proceedings are conducted behind closed doors according to the "ordinary" rules also for reasons of public hygiene, due to public demonstrations that disturb the regular conduct of the hearing or in order to safeguard the safety of witnesses or defendants, the Judge may (must?) allow the presence of journalists, a presence which is excluded by the emergency regulations (which do not even provide for the use of modern technology to ensure the necessary participation of public opinion, e.g. through links to communicate only to accredited journalists or by providing streaming on web platforms). 

Therefore, it will be up to the defense to request that the hearing be held in the form of a public hearing, raising the relative objection of nullity that has to be raised in appeals stage as well; in alternative, defense has to urge teen judge to raise question of constitutional legitimacy of the art. 83/7 (e) DL March 17, 2020, n.18, Measures to strengthen the National Health Service and economic support for families, workers and businesses related to the epidemiological emergency by COVID-19, converted with amendments by Law April 24, 2020, n. 27, with reference to Article 117 of the Constitution as an interposed parameter of Article 6 ECHR.

NOTE: 

(1) Please refer to Giulia Picaro, THE VIRUS IN THE CRIMINAL PROCESS. PROTECTION OF HEALTH, PROCESSUAL GUARANTEES AND EFFICIENCY OF JUDICIAL ACTIVITIES IN DECREE LAW Nos. 18 AND 23 OF 2020, sistema penale17.4.2020.