G7 summit calls off two events in Turin for security concerns

Ahead of the Ministerial Industry/ICT summit next week, two events in the Piedmontese capital cancelled


Pubblicato il 20/09/2017
Ultima modifica il 20/09/2017 alle ore 16:33
turin

Initial adjustments to the G7 Industry/ICT Ministerial Meeting program were deliberated at the beginning of summer. These were followed by an announcement mid-July transferring the event’s location from Turin to the periphery of Reggia di Venaria. The reason behind this was “to reduce the problems for citizens of the Piedmontese capital,” as expressed at the end of a conference at the Viminale between the leaders of the Ministry of Interior, Education, Labor and Economic Development and the City of Turin and the Piedmont Region.  

 

Cancelled visits  

One week ahead of the arrival of Italian, French, German, British, American, Japanese and Canadian delegations, Torino yields its last two planned events: A visit to the workshops at the Politecnico — Italy’s oldest technical university — and a gala dinner at the Castello del Valentino to which institutional representatives from Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Russia and South Africa were expected to attend in occasion of the Carnegie Group meeting.  

What remains in the capital? The Ministers and their parties will still be accommodated by the NH Hotel in Piazza Carlina, three blocks away from the Mole Antonelliana.  

 

Issue of security  

The confirmation of the two cancellations arrived yesterday evening by the Ministry of Economic Development, along with the clarification that Turin’s government had neither banned nor suggested program changes. But it is clear that the changes are made because of security concerns raised by the summit organizers. The visit to the Politecnico and the gala dinner at the Valentino castle were scheduled for next Friday which coincided with a national day of student mobilization. This is surely expected to be one of the most delicate subjects up for debate at the summit, which takes place 25 to 30 September. 

 

The largest participation, however, is expected for Saturday, when a large group of people will march from the Vallette district of Turin to Venaria. A geographic choice, in part, given that the travel distance is a little over two kilometers. But also symbolic one, because it is in the peripheral areas that the city is experiencing the most severe social tensions: lack of work, occupied public spaces, and sudden evictions. The march is causing genuine worry for the public policy makers because at least 1500 protestors are expected to arrive from all over Italy — not just those of the TorinoResetG7, who on Sunday, on the last day of opening of the Reggia to tourists staged the guillotining of Matteo Renzi and Minister Giuliano Poletti in the square. The G7 could withdraw from Turin using precedent to avoid a repeat of what happened two years ago in Milan at the Expo, when social centers and anarchist movements took advantage of an international forum to stage episodes of hooliganism and urban guerrillas. 

 

“Missed opportunity”  

The head of the Politecnico, Marco Gilli, said that the renunciation of these typical Turin events during the summit days can only be read as a missed opportunity. “It is unfortunate that I cannot take advantage of such an important event, that focuses on innovation, to show the world our territory’s excellence.” 

 

 

*Translated by Talia Abbas  

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