Italy's Parliament has elected the constitutional court judge, Sergio Mattarella, as the Country's President on last Saturday. Italy's President is largely a ceremonial role, but includes the power to appoint the Prime Minister.

President Mattarella, 73 years old, comes from a prominent Sicilian family which bears the scars of a painful fight against mafia. In 1980, mafia shot and killed Mr Mattarella's elder brother Piersanti, when he was island's governor. Sergio Mattarella entered politics three years later, as a member of Parliament for the Christian Democrat party. He has been Minister in several governments, most recently he has been a member of Italy's Constitutional Court.

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He was elected after three inconclusive rounds of voting, in which no candidate secured the two-thirds majority needed to win.


Saturday's fourth round required merely a simple majority of the 1,009 eligible voters to produce a result. President Mattarella passed the 505-vote threshold, he reached 665.

After the official communication by President of the Chamber of Deputies, Laura Boldrini, he was appointed President.

His first action, as 12nd President of the Italian Republic, was to go on a private visit to the Fosse Ardeatine Monument.

The Ardeatine massacre, or Fosse Ardeatine massacre was a mass killing carried out in Rome on 24 March 1944 by German occupation troops during the Second World War as a reprisal for a partisan attack conducted on the previous day in central Rome (Via Rasella) against the SS Police Regiment Bozen. The SS Kappler, commander of the Security Police in Rome, together with Generalmajor Kurt Malzer, decided to kill 10 Italians for each German policeman killed. A total of 335 prisoners were taken, five in excess of the 330 needed, but we know “melius abundare quam deficere”.

It is useless to underline that the majority of those were Jews, isn’t it?

Subsequently, the Ardeatine Caves site (Fosse Ardeatine) was declared a Memorial Cemetery and National Monument open daily to visitors. Every year, on the anniversary of the slaughter and in the presence of the senior officials of the Italian Republic, a solemn State commemoration is held at the monument in honor of the fallen.

Sergio Mattarella went there on Saturday, and after this great symbolic and political gesture, he declared: “The alliance between nations and people was able to beat the hate Nazi, racist, anti-Semitic and totalitarian hate of which this place is a painful symbol. The same unity in Europe and in the world is needed today to beat who wants to drag us into a new era of terror. "

He has sworn this morning.

During the speech, delivered by President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella, during the installation ceremony at Montecitorio he said:

“The international terrorism launched his bloody challenge, sowing death and tragedies in the world and making innocent victims. We are horrified by the barbaric beheadings of hostages, war and bloodshed in the Middle East and Africa, to the tragic events in Paris. Our Country has paid, many times, in a not too distant past, the price of hate and intolerance. I want to remember one name: Stefano Taché, he was killed in a coward terrorist attack in front of the synagogue in Rome in October 1982. He was only two years old. He was our baby, an Italian child. The practice of violence in the name of religion seemed a long closed chapter in history. We must condemn and fight those who exploits with purposes of domain their belief, violating the fundamental right to religious freedom”.

Stefano Gaj Tachè was killed by a Palestinian commando who wanted to hit the Jews as such, just like the nazis and the fascists at Fosse Ardeatine.

It has been a great denounce, having remembered that sad episode of our history, that still today arouses embarrassment. Many Italians still today support the Palestinian cause in the Middle East conflict. They often remove the fact that in the name of that they legitimate and justified terrorist actions marked by an ethnic-religious belief. Something to be ashamed of, not to support!

The relevance of what Mattarella has said is too evident. Italy will fight the new anti-Semitism, called anti-Zionism.

We, as Italian, as European, not only Italian Jews, but everyone, absolutely everyone, we must be grateful for that words.

Good start, Mr. President!

 


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