Around tragedy

A deep emotional shock has shaken Italy and permeated the media-television debate following the disappearance first, and then the confirmed killing, of 22-year-old Giulia Cecchettin from Veneto by her ex-boyfriend Filippo Turetta. The latest feminicide since the beginning of the year, according to the most recent data provided by the Ministry of the Interior, which estimates that 102 women have been killed since 13 November, 82 of them in family and emotional contexts. The emotional wave of this latest tragedy, in addition to impacting collective moods, thoughts and behaviour, has inevitably conditioned the political scene as well. In a “lightning” vote, on Wednesday the Senate unanimously and definitively approved the bill on combating men’s violence against women that had been presented several months ago by the Minister for the Family and Equal Opportunities, Eugenia Roccella. It contains several measures to strengthen the so-called “secondary prevention”, i.e. to protect women who have already reported violence suffered or threatened. In the intentions of the government and Minister Roccella, the new law aims, in fact, to make it easier to enforce the rules already contained in the “Code Red” – i.e. the previous law against violence against women in force since 2019 – and to encourage prevention, especially with a tightening of already existing penalties and coercive measures. The unanimous approval of the measure; the phone call between PD secretary Elly Schlein and Giorgia Meloni to concretise their promises of collaboration in the fight against the phenomenon; the willingness of the opposition not to submit amendments to the measure to favour a rapid go-ahead; and the openness of the majority, on the other hand, to approve three agendas presented by the PD. All signals that prompted Minister Roccella to speak of a «beautiful page written together», of an «important step that witnesses and gathers the commitment of all to stop this chain of suffering and death» on a subject that requires a bipartisan approach.

Despite the many domestic issues, the commitments on the foreign front are becoming increasingly tight for Prime Minister Meloni, who flew to Berlin this week to attend the intergovernmental summit between Italy and Germany, which culminated with the signing of the Action Plan on five strategic sectors for strengthening bilateral and European cooperation. During the conference that followed the face-to-face meeting between Meloni and Scholz, a renewed harmony emerged between the parties, which had not been seen at previous meetings. A closeness sealed on the foreign policy front, where the prime minister and the German chancellor share the same positions both on the crisis in the Middle East and on Ukraine, promptly reiterated by both. However, on the most uncomfortable dossier, that of the Stability Pact, positions still seem far apart and, for the moment, any mediation appears very complex and certainly not definitive.

Meanwhile, a first timid ray of light seems to be glimpsed in Gaza more than a month and a half after the outbreak of war. In fact, an agreement has been announced between Israel and Hamas, under the mediation of Qatar and the US push, for a truce of at least four days from the fighting, during which a number of hostages and prisoners, women and children, should be released. At the same time, more humanitarian aid is also expected to enter the Gaza Strip, where Israel’s bombardments have been going on incessantly for weeks and the situation has now reached its limits, not least because of the dramatic state of the medical infrastructure. The Israeli national security advisor, Tzachi Hanegbi, declared that the hostage exchange, initially scheduled for Thursday, will begin on Friday, emphasising, however, that at the end of the truce, the war is destined to begin again. All the more so because neither side trusts the other: Israel expects provocations from Hamas while the militiamen fear that the Jewish state’s intelligence may be spying. An agreement therefore fragile and paved with unknowns, but still an agreement that, after forty-nine days of war and almost 15,000 dead, at least allows a glimmer of dialogue and détente between the two sides.