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Message from the Consul General of Italy in Edinburgh, Fabio Monaco, on the occasion of the Italian National Day



Message from the Consul General of Italy in Edinburgh, Fabio Monaco, on the occasion of the Italian National Day

Dear Fellow Italians

As we do every year, today, the 2nd of June we are celebrating the National Day of the Republic of Italy. It is a national day different to previous years: the health emergency which we are experiencing and the dramatic events of the last few months have changed our way of life, obliging us to maintain social distancing for the good of the whole community.

As a result we will be unable to meet up in person, to greet one another, to shake hands as we did last year. But this year we can and we must remember, perhaps more than ever, the real meaning of the 2nd of June celebration.

With this message therefore I wish to call on you all, including the public and governmental institutions operating in Scotland and my colleagues of the Consular Corps to celebrate, albeit at a distance, the day on which the Italian people, after years of warfare and authoritarianism, won freedom and democracy.

Since 2nd June last year, many events have taken place, some of which have had a direct impact on the Consulate General and its fundamental duty to assist Italian citizens in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Among these I cannot but mention the UK leaving the European Union on 31st January. Our commitment has been aimed - increasingly and with greater intensity - at assisting and supporting the Italian citizens in this constituency and not only directed at improving the delivery of consular services. In conjunction with our Embassy, with COMITES and other Italian Institutions operating in the area, we have organised events, both in Scotland and in Northern Ireland focused on informing our nationals about the procedures for registration in the EU Settlement Scheme, providing, where possible, practical support in the registration process. It has been, and will be ongoing in the coming months a joint effort, an extraordinary display of team work to which many people involved in associations as well as public Institutions, have contributed and continue to contribute with generosity and professionalism. To the latter I must express particular thanks for the attention and support given to the Italian community in Scotland.

No less difficult has been and will continue to be the task which the current emergency requires us to address. In recent months, with the support of the Embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, we have helped thousands of our compatriots to return to Italy. It is a wholly exceptional situation which we are experiencing - one without precedent which is difficult to manage.

Allow me, also this year, to thank the staff of the Consulate and the Institute of Culture who have continued to work in support of our fellow nationals especially in the most critical moments of the emergency. We are aware of the difficulties that everyone has had to face in recent months and will continue to face in the months to come. Distance, physical separation, being apart from our loved ones and being prevented from joining them have been felt as never before. In these difficult moments our thoughts turn to the many people, whether Italian or not, who in recent months have lost loved ones, with the intention of extending the comforting embrace of the Institutions in the hope they will feel less lonely.

The many collaborative projects organized by or in conjunction with the Consulate General are witness, above all in moments like those we are living right now, to how we must appeal to the sense of responsibility of each one of us and to the deepest values of solidarity and collaboration which transcend borders and nationalities.

These are important values to remember and celebrate, especially today on the occasion of our National day, because the freedom and democracy that Italy achieved seventy-four years ago by founding the democratic and republican regime in which we live are not compatible with individualism and indifference.

The principles of solidarity and pluralism represent the foundation of our Republic. Today, in celebrating our National day, let us remember that each of us is called, as citizens, to collaborate with others to promote the common good and well-being both at home and abroad. History has taught us it was not always so. There were times when indifference and mistrust of the different prevailed, fuelling hatred and conflict. Now more than ever it is necessary that each of us renew our conscious and coherent choice, consistent with the duties of every citizen of the Republic in order to avoid losing sight of that “shock at the suffering of others” of which Liliana Segre spoke reminding us of Primo Levi.

Let us therefore gather in support of the Institutions of the Republic and, in our everyday lives, in the small but important dimension of our daily existence, let us be bearers and exponents of the civic message of solidarity and compassion conferred to us by history.
I wish you all a happy National day.

Fabio Monaco


Inno di Mameli Accademia Chigiana from Italian Cultural Institute Edinb on Vimeo.