Protocol meeting, but marked by the utmost friendliness. Held, in the Acting Chamber of the Palazzo dei Bruzi, between the Consul General of the United States in Naples, Marie Avery, and the mayor Franz Caruso. The US diplomat concluded her first official visit to Calabria in the city of Prose, which left Reggio last Monday, although the Consul General visited Calabria two more times, but for short vacations. Pointing out, “I am not a foreigner in this land.” The delegation consisted of Consul Charles Lobdel, Head of the Office of Political and Economic Affairs of the Consulate, and Head of Ceremony, Physician. Veronica Stasio And by the head of the press office of the consulate, the doctor Chiara de Mizio.
Consul Marie Avery was scheduled to visit Calabria as early as 2020, but the pandemic forced her to cancel all commitments. Today’s meeting in Cosenza also coincides with the year the Consulate General of the United States in Naples celebrates 225 years, dating back to 1796. The Consulate General in Naples is, in fact, one of the oldest diplomatic offices in the world and the seventh in Europe and has powers over Campania, Molise, Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria and Sicily. The consul, who will complete his mandate in August 2022, told Mayor Franz Caruso that during the visit to Reggio Calabria, I was positively impressed by the Rias bronze pieces preserved in the Reggio Museum, especially for their surprising state of preservation. Likewise, Marie Avery, who had arrived in Cosenza, was drawn to the MAB Belotti open-air museum, about which she wanted to know something more than the mayor. In this regard, Mayor Franz Caruso, having recalled its absolute value as an air museum, where there are sculptures, works of the most important masters of the twentieth century, expressed the intention to complement it with another. Businesses waiting to be placed. “In the country – said the mayor – there are few realities like Cosenza and we have a duty to implement, laying even those works which will complete this wonderful journey very soon.” Franz Caruso did not hide from the Consul General of the United States the economic and financial difficulties in which the municipality is struggling. “The most important challenge – which the mayor has identified – is to restore the budget and get out of the collapse. Only in this way will we be able to provide answers to services to citizens. We were confident that the Edict of Naples could extend its beneficial effects to other cities in the south, and we would join ourselves in this direction. This idea has been abandoned by the central government for the time being. We hope that this goal will be achieved with the anticipation of the next budget and a thousand extension decrees that can provide aid to cities in financial difficulty.” Mayor Franz Caruso called the Consul General to return to Cosenza as a tourist. “He will realize the many opportunities that Cosenza can provide, both in terms of sediment Cultural, architectural or city characteristics within twenty minutes of the coast and many minutes of the mountains. And then – added Caruso – the presence of such an important American tourist will only be useful to the city. ”
During the friendly interview, reference was made – and it could not be otherwise – to the epidemic and the vaccination campaign. As difficult as it may be, we must make everyone understand – the mayor identified in this regard – the importance of a vaccine. We defend and defend all liberties, and on the other hand America is the most appropriate example of this, but the freedom of each individual, which is an absolute value, ends where the freedom of others begins. “And Consul Marie Avery added: “During this very difficult period of the epidemic – it remained The US and Italy are always side by side and we are very much involved in the economic recovery that is already underway. I consider myself very fortunate to be here in Calabria and to have a personal awareness of the culture and millennium history of this region, also thanks to the historical links linking the United States with southern Italy. We are here to increase our knowledge of Calabria as well as Cosenza and to create new cultural and business opportunities between us in the future.”
In response to a specific question about the city’s plans for the future, Franz Caruso cited the restoration of the suburbs as one of the goals to be pursued. We have a problem of structural and social difference – as defined by the mayor – between the center and the suburbs. I foresaw the construction of great infrastructure in the suburbs and in this regard we have outlined a program in four areas: health, services, sports and culture. Even our historical center, which is among the most beautiful in Italy, is very deteriorated not only structurally, but also socially. Major cleaning is needed. We need to relaunch Cosenza which has always been an engine to develop a much larger area. Cosenza has an important history – it has long been identified as the Athens of Calabria – and has always had a function in the region that was to direct the political processes in this region. The health district should also see the establishment of the new hospital, in service of the entire province, which should become a structure of excellence in which the quality of health services should be better than in the past. Essential commodities have to go back to the center of our business and cannot be managed politically.”
At the end of the meeting, Mary Avery thanked Mayor Caruso for the welcome he gave me. I have had the opportunity to congratulate him on his recent election, and to recall the excellent relations our Consulate General in Naples has maintained with the institutions of the city for many years. I hope to be able to return soon to learn more about the uniqueness of the region, and in particular this region of Calabria.”
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