Yesterday, (10 February) European Parliament President Antonio Tajani participated in the commemoration of the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Foibe Massacres. He laid a wreath at the edge of the Basovizza Foiba in Trieste, Italy, as part of the solemn commemoration established by Italian state law in 2004.
The President issued the following press statement in Strasbourg today concerning the event.
“I identify with the President of the Italian Republic’s speech last Saturday: ‘Commemorating the Day of Remembrance means reliving a dark chapter in national and international history. It was not retaliation against the wrongs of Fascism. Among the Italian victims of intolerable ideological, ethnic and social hatred, there were many who had nothing to do with the fascists and their persecutions’.
“By being there, I wanted to remember the thousands of victims – mainly Italian, but also Croatian and Slovenian – of what should be considered one of the most heinous tragedies of the previous century. The horror of thousands of people thrown, often alive, into the depths of sinkholes, is an established historical fact. The Day of Remembrance aims to restore this truth.
“In my speech, I wanted to highlight the path to peace and reconciliation between the Italian, Croatian and Slovenian peoples and their contribution to the European project. My reference to Istria and Italian Dalmatia was in no way a territorial claim. I was referring to the Istrian and Dalmatian Italian-language exiles, their children and grandchildren, many of whom were present at the ceremony.
“It is precisely by restoring the historical truth that it was possible to reach a turning point in relations between Italy, Croatia and Slovenia, countries linked today by strong friendship. The lasting peace between the enemies of the past is the best example of how the European Union is a success story.
“I am sorry if the sense of my words may have been misinterpreted. It is not my intention to offend anyone. I just want to send a message of peace between peoples, so that what happened never happens again.”