– Traveling the European path “also means having internalized the lessons of history”. Sergio Mattarella thanks the President of the German Republic, Frank.Walter Steinmeier, during the toast on the occasion of the official lunch at Bellevue Castle and the delivery of the Istituto Premio in favor of the twinned municipalities between Italy and Germany.
The head of state recalled the visit to Fivizzano during which the German president apologized to the Italians for the massacre carried out by the Nazis, declaring his “shame” for the slaughter of 175 civilians in 1944.
“Germany and Italy have for decades been engaged in a rigorous analysis of the past. Together we have lived moments of truth”, recalled the Head of State. “I would like to recall here one of them, undoubtedly among the most touching, of which you were a courageous and authoritative protagonist. I refer to your unforgettable participation, in August 2019, in the commemorative ceremony of the massacre of Fivizzano, whose Mayor is present here today. On that occasion you gave a speech – in Italian – that lives in the memory of those who have had the good fortune to listen to you. Once again: thank you, dear President, for those Your words of peace, of freedom, of rebirth , of reconstruction, of reconciliation, of the future! “.
The prize for twinned municipalities
For Mattarella what we are experiencing now “is the time of the restart”. A different moment compared to the one we lived a year ago when, in the middle of the pandemic, with President Frank.Walter Steinmeier, he decided to organize a Presidents’ Award for the twinned municipalities.
“We did it in a very special moment, when the path that would lead us out of the pandemic emergency still seemed long and uncertain. In that context, we experienced first hand the concrete solidarity between our two peoples, at every level. I would especially like to recall – with deep gratitude – the welcome offered by German hospitals to Italian patients during the toughest moments of 2020 for us “.
“The twinning between Italian and German municipalities represent an essential tool to consolidate the friendship between Germany and Italy”, Mattarella reiterated.
The prizes awarded to the municipalities “are a recognition of the commitment to face these challenges with great creativity. This ceremony celebrates the very strong understanding between our countries and the firm determination to continue it”.
Europe more cohesive and stronger
In his speech Mattarella also makes a wish for the future of the old continent. “Together we are laying the foundations of Europe that we will leave to the next generations. The European Union in the coming years and decades, rooted in the daily life of each of our fellow citizens, will have to be stronger and more cohesive than that which we ourselves have inherited from our fathers founders “.