Med: ANSA seminar onItaly, the Mediterranean and information

In Rome, for Aman's 21st general assembly

27 June, 18:26

(ANSAmed) - ROME, 27 JUNE - The role of Italy and of the Italian regions that are most closely intertwined with the Mediterranean Sea and its Southern Coast in the framework of considerable social and political changes and related challenges for the world of information. This key topic has been the focus of a day of seminars organised by ANSA in Rome on the occasion of the 21st General Assembly of Aman, the Alliance of Mediterranean Press Agencies.

"Italy for the Mediterranean region - information and development" was the theme of the day. Seminars took place in Farnesina and the Gregorian University. Works were inaugurated by the President of ANSA, Giulio Anselmi, who will take on the rotating presidency of the AMAN tomorrow, when he will replace the current president, General Director of the MAP Agency, Khalil Hachimi Idrissi. "The Mediterranean reflects many of today's problems," Anselmi said,"on its Northern coast, Greece, Spain and Italy are struggling with problems which go far beyond the Eurozone and encompass social issues and welfare. Not only the Mediterranean area, but the whole world is affected by the consequences of these problems. The crisis we call Arab Spring did not end with a happy summer: many areas of North Africa and the Middle East are still on fire, there is no rest for some parts of the region." "The Arab Spring brought about dramatic confrontation between the new and the old world of information. It unveiled our strengths and weaknesses, our credibility, our quickness to react; sometimes, we even lost to Twitter. Italy resumed its role of linking chain between the North and the South, after having closed into itself for some time. And ANSA, which has the widest network of correspondents abroad, pursues a development policy which led us to invite you all here, in order to debate today's issues and exchange views on our work." Libya has returned to the Aman appointment for the first time since 2003, as the Deputy Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Carlo Schillaci pointed out. Schillaci gave the public a "warm" welcome on behalf of the Minister Giulio Terzi; although " the Minister would have loved to be here today", he is currently on a mission in Lebanon. Furthermore, Schillaci stated that "knowing each other better means favouring stability, thanks to the network of Mediterranean journalists, a very fertile ground." Besides the 19 directors and top managers of the Mediterranean press agencies members of Aman, the morning session saw the speeches by the Presidents of the Lazio, Campania and Calabria regions, who explained the relations of their respective regions with the Mediterranean area and their perspectives. Renata Polverini, the Governor of the Region Lazio, emphasized the vital role of "accurate and correct information", whose goal is to allow regions on both coasts to get to know their neighbours better and to favour exchanges. "Local authorities often convey the impression that they view international activities as a waste of public money" Polverini pointed out, "On the contrary interacting with the Regions and enterprises of the world in order to support development is crucial, now more than ever." Stefano Caldoro, the president of the Campania Region, explained that Naples "has its eyes on the Mediterranean, because this is the place where the opportunities to grow and produce wealth are. We need to build a basin where growth is possible, we need a European policy which must focus on this area too, not only to the North." Giuseppe Scopelliti, the Governor of Calabria, urged Italy to abandon its approach focused on emergencies. "I have the impression that in this period of crisis Italy is affected by the so-called syndrome of the South, that is, the whole country reacts in the way its southern regions are used to react: taking into consideration only the emergency phase, without thinking about the future." "Politics must look beyond emergencies and think about the future", Scopelliti added, "and look beyond national borders. There is plenty of opportunities to be developed, especially in the South of the Mediterranean basin." In the afternoon, works resumed in the Gregorian University, where the ANSA CEO Giuseppe Cerbone introduced and coordinated a panel focusing on economic issues. "Information," Cerbone pointed out," is a crucial pre-requisite" allowing us to keep on walking the road to development of Italian enterprises in the region, "a clear, transparent information" gives enterprises the trust they need to carry out investments. The second round table of the afternoon, the one on information, hosted prominent Italian journalists specialised in the "southern coast" of the Mediterranean: Luigi Contu, ANSA's Director, stressed "ANSA's commitment to the ANSAmed programme: we continue to believe in it, in spite of the crisis which is affecting the publishing sector." (ANSAmed).

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