Palazzo del Quirinale, 27/03/2020
Dear fellow citizens,
I wish to address all of you again to share some reflections. I feel the duty to do so.
Firstly, I am thinking of those people who lost their lives to this epidemic, and of their families.
The pain of loss is magnified by the sorrow of being deprived of the chance to be close to our loved ones and by the impossibility of commemorating their parting from the communities to which they belonged, as we ought to. Meanwhile, these communities are at a severe loss from their passing.
We are living through a grim period in our history. We have seen images that will persist in our memories for evermore. Some territories – and, above all, the older generation – are paying the heaviest price.
Over these days, I have been talking with several managers and had the chance to express my solidarity and support on behalf of all Italians.
I also wish to express my renewed gratitude towards those who are facing up to such disease with tireless abnegation: medics, nurses, and the health workforce in its entirety – to whom we must provide all the equipment necessary at all costs. Many of them have become victims as a result of their own generous commitment.
Moreover, I would like to thank the pharmacists, the national and local law enforcement officers, those who keep food supplies and essential services and activities up and running, those who transport the products we all need, the Armed Forces.
To all of them goes the gratitude of our Republic, which equally goes out to the scientistsand researchers who are working to find treatments and vaccines against the virus, to the many volunteers who are committed to relieving the hardships of the most vulnerable, to the Civil Protection that is working around the clock and to the Commissioner appointed by the Government, to the companies which have converted their production lines to produce the goods that are needed for the emergency, to the teachers who are keeping their dialogue with their students alive, to those who are supporting our fellow Italians abroad. To those who, in any way and in any role, engage in this battle one day after another.
Such a prompt and numerous response to the Civil Protection’s call for doctors who would be available to work in the hospitals that are most under pressure is, yet again, another sign of that generous solidarity that is invading Italy.
Furthermore, I wish to thank all of you. The sacrifices in behaviour which the measures outlined by the Government require from all of us have been accepted with a great sense of citizenry, as shown by the vast majority of our people.
For a few days now, we have been seeing signs of a slowdown in the increase of new infections in comparison with previous weeks: it is not reassuring data, for it implies that many have fallen sick, and most importantly because this is accompanied by many new deaths. However, this phenomenon makes us believe that the adopted behaviour norms are bearing fruit, consequently underscoring the necessity to continue to adhere to them thoroughly for as long as is necessary.
Our citizens’ sense of responsibility is the most essential resource that a democratic state can rely on in the moments we are facing.
The collective response that the Italian nation is setting aside for this emergency is an object of admiration abroad as well, as I observed during my many calls with foreign Heads of State.
In these regards too, I feel the duty of telling you that several Heads of State, in Europe and beyond, have expressed their closeness to Italy. Some of their countries have provided concrete support to us. All of them have said that their countries have taken decisions in accordance with the choices made in Italy in this emergency.
In the European Union, over the last few days, the Central Bank and the Commission have taken significant and positive financial and economic decisions, with the support of the European Parliament.
The Council of the national heads of government has not done so yet. We expect them to act in the upcoming days.
Further common initiatives are indispensable, which must go beyond old methods that no longer apply to the reality of the dramatic conditions our Continent is withstanding. I hope that everyone will fully understand, before it is too late, the gravity of this threat against Europe. Solidarity is not just required by the values of the European Union; it is also in our common interest.
As I mentioned, very rigorous but indispensable measures of a legally binding nature have been taken in our country, both in the early and later periods of a stage of continuous update – thus these norms are subject to the approval of the Parliament.
Some measures have been drafted – and are currently under parliamentary scrutiny – for the many social and economic sectors of life that have been hit. More measures will follow.
I have seen – and I understand well – the deep concern of many who feel uncertain about the future of their jobs. We must make every effort to leave no one behind.
I have expressed the wish – and I continue to do so – that these responses should be undertaken as a common commitment by all, particularly political actors of the majority and the opposition, social actors and regional and local authorities.
Unity and social cohesion are crucial in these conditions.
One last consideration: as we apply, promptly and with efficacy, instruments against these economic difficulties, we must begin to think about what comes after the emergency: about the initiatives and modalities to relaunch, gradually but with determination, our social life and our economy.
In times of reconstruction, our people have always shown their best.
Future prospects are – once again – within our reach.
We have previously overcome difficult and dramatic periods. We will certainly achieve this – together – even this time.