Muted Microphones and Personal Attacks in Venice City Council – Martini

Councilor Martini – “We can no longer tolerate this continued attack on representation and democracy”

It seems that good ideas go to the Venice City Council to die. The most recent example is the Council’s rapid rejection of a budget amendment proposed by Terra e Acqua Councilor Marco Gasparinetti, which would have redirected 2.5 million Euro from the construction of a parking lot on the mainland towards redevelopment of the Pescheria at Rialto, along the lines proposed by Progetto Rialto and actively supported by thousands of Venetians. The parking lot won.

Any answer to the question “why” remains speculation — though the majority’s record of swift rejection of any and all proposals not their own certainly invites plenty of that. However, the following complaint posted by Tutta la Città Insieme! Councilor Giovanni Andrea Martini after that same session goes a long way towards answering “how” – and the picture he paints is disturbing to say the least. Silencing and then verbally attacking opponents – how is this the “Courage” Luigi Brugnaro and his associates talk about all the time?

Here is how business is being done in the Venice City Council, in Martini’s words:

“This is not the first time I have reported this, but I must do so again: yet again, in City Council any discussion was prevented, thanks to the fact that the President is able to remotely silence undesirable speeches, and then they proceed to personally attack and insult the opposition councilors. These are the weapons used by the majority any time they are faced with criticism. Then, to emphasize their power, they demonize anyone who expresses different ideas and proposals, and move on to a united vote, following the playbook prepared by leadership”.

“We continue to meet online – Martini continues – while the collegial bodies of other entities have been meeting in person for some time, and it’s possible to take all the necessary precautions. Obviously I understand and appreciate President Damiano’s sense of responsibility towards our safety, but in that case I don’t understand how it is that the Administration has made all the employees return to working in person, remaining exclusively at the offices”.

“We can no longer tolerate this continued attack on representation and democracy.” Martini concludes, “Venice is by now universally seen abroad as a negative example not to be followed.”

-Giovanni Andrea Martini

Source:  Tutta la Città Insieme! Facebook page

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