The Minister of Justice Carlo Nordio arrived in Catanzaro for the inauguration of the new power of attorney. To do the honors, the chief prosecutor Nicola Gratteri who accompanied Nordio on a visit inside the former convent restored and used as judicial offices.
Among others, the Undersecretary of the Interior Wanda Ferro, the former Minister Graziano del Rio, the President of the Region Roberto Occhiuto and the President of the Regional Council Filippo Mancuso were present.
Soon after, the ceremony with words began by the prosecutor Gratteri who recounted the process that led to the identification of the former convent as the new seat of the prosecutor’s office. “This beautiful fifteenth-century convent remained closed for 15 years – said Gratteri – When I arrived in Catanzaro I spoke with the president of the Introcaso Court of Appeal who told me that we paid 1,700,000 euros a year in rent in this town. However, there was this property and we thought that we could build the new power of attorney here».
“So I went to Rome to talk to the minister of the time, Graziano De Rio, whom I had known since he was mayor of Reggio Emilia. The minister told me something that perhaps politically he would not like to be remembered: “We were unable to do anything in Calabria, but if she’s a stubborn person, the job will be done”. Del Rio – added the attorney – had seen clearly, because I really have a very stubborn head. In my life I have always said, wrongly, that the friends are those of when you were a child, but I have to change my mind because coming to Catanzaro I met a new friend, President Domenco Introcaso, who has always been close to me, not only for the realization of this work».
Prosecutor Gratteri wanted to let Minister Nordio know everything that has happened in recent years was made in Catanzaro and in Calabria, under his leadership at the prosecutor’s office. «Minister – Gratteri said addressing the Minister of Justice – I would like to let you know that in the Covid period, in just four and a half months, we managed to build the largest bunker classroom in the western world: 3300 meters, 1000 seats at a Covid distance, connections with all prisons in Italy. We had to celebrate the maxi-trial and we didn’t know where to do it».
A bumpy ride what characterized the construction of the new bunker classroom. “I had some trouble with the Ministry of Justice paintings because they looked put a spoke in the wheel – Gratteri underlined – they tossed us around in the Palermo bunker room which was not equipped with videoconferencing, then to the bunker classroom of Rome Rebibbia. That didn’t suit our needs either. So I also had the company work on the day of the Immaculate Conception and we finished the work on the day the process began. There has been controversy because it was held in Lamezia, near the airport. In Catanzaro, unfortunately, there was no suitable place. So I called Jole Santelli asking for the shed which was free and he gave it to us for free. But we didn’t stop. We asked President Occhiuto for the availability of Palazzo Alemanno where we will build the new one european prosecutor and we will also include the judicial police sections. Occhiuto also gave us another free shed near the bunker room where we will make a large district archive. We found 5 million euros to build an underground car park».
Minister Nordio’s speech
At the end of the day, Minister Nordio spoke, starting from the great work done in Catanzaro to donate a new office to the prosecutor’s office, and then moved on to the chronic problems of the world of justice in our country. “Here it was done a miracle – declared the Minister of Justice – uniting art with efficiency and modernity. I say these things with a certain envy. Italy is full of works of art that sometimes prevent the conjugation with modernity. In Venice, for example, 20 years ago we had a court that was completely outlawed, in an old building and we looked for a different court. We had spotted a historic Venetian palace, but lacked the toilets which by law must exist in proportion to the employees who work there. But when the architect of the Municipality identified the methods for obtaining them, the Fine Arts intervened, saying that one could not touch a brick. So we had three laws: the first is that Venice had to have a court; the second which was to have toilet facilities; the third said that the toilets could not be done because the building could not be touched. It took them 20 years to have a citadel of justice that is not even completed. So this is a formal respect that I address to the prosecutor Gratteri and to the South. In the efficient North-East we have almost had a paralysis of the justice system because it is difficult to reconcile the beautiful, the good, the true and the right precisely because of this (fortunately) presence of a great artistic heritage»..
Immediately afterwards, the minister focused on the lack of functionality of the justice system in Italy. “We have one cumbersome, contradictory legislation sometimes, with often conflicting norms, following which one deviates from the others, because they have stratified over time without coordination and homogeneity. In this great mess there is some sort of mental laziness in implementing reforms, for this we witness paradoxical things. So, we are in a country that goes radically modernised, modified from top to bottom and naturally the human and financial structures must be strengthened. But mostly they go change your minds, starting with the Legislator who still fails to understand that in the digital age we still can’t send hand written green postcards home using resources that could be used elsewhere. Our ministry has already set up one task force for digitization and personnel recovery that can speed up processes. These visits are manifestations of interest because, at least the first part of the ministry’s work which I have the honor of directing, will not have as its object those disputes which have also been divisive among us. There will be time and place to talk about reforms of a certain kind and discuss above all from Parliament, but for the first phase our attention will be concentrated on the efficiency of justicein the recovery of personnel, their utilization and, as far as possible, in the acquisition of new personnel”.CopyAMP code
Nordio invoked “a synergy also with the other ministries which, as did the prosecutor Gratteri, sometimes produces miraculous results as happened here in Catanzaro where the restructuring of this complex was zero cost for the Ministry of Justice. This means that we have used other people’s funds which, however, will bring benefits not only to the world of justice, but also to citizens. We recall that the slowness of the processes costs 2 points of GDP, we are talking about 30 or 40 billion a year that we lose because our justice is slow. These are figures that speak. If we had a more efficient civil and criminal justice, Italian and foreign investors they would be more inclined to bring companies and their finances here. It is not a purely philosophical discourse on justice, but an economic one. And since the economy is the main element of the emergency, I believe that the total energies of our ministry must be directed towards improving the efficiency of justice and consequently the economy”.
«As far as the legal profession is concerned, I come from a family of lawyers and I know their problems perfectly, as I know the forces of order and the penitentiary police well given my long experience in frontline judiciary. This teaches you the more material problems, the important ones because they make justice live».
Occhiuto: «A beautiful page for Catanzaro and Calabria»
«Today a beautiful building is being returned to the Catanzaro and Calabrian community where the State has decided to concentrate its efforts to combat organized crime. A beautiful page. I’m happy that Minister Nordio is here, I believe in his first outing as Minister of Justice, to bear witness to the Government’s attention to Calabria». Said the president of the Calabria Region Roberto Occhiuto, on the sidelines of the ceremony.
«The ‘Ndrangheta – he added – sucks because it kills the future of the Calabrians, it offers the national community a terrible commercial which then becomes an alibi for which it is often said that nothing can be done in Calabria because the ‘Ndrangheta is there. Here, seeing the State gathered here in this beautiful building shows that the State exists, the State is strong is good news for the Calabrian citizens it is also good news for those who administer Calabria because knowing that there is such an effort important by the Prosecutors, the Government, to face the criminal powers, it also gives greater security to those who govern. So congratulations to those who wanted to organize this initiative but above all congratulations to the prosecutor Gratteri who also demonstrated extraordinary organizational skills, because in a very short time he returned this beautiful building to the city of Catanzaro and to the Calabrian community, choosing to make it the seat of the prosecutor’s office “.