Ten years have now elapsed since the declaration of the “Day of Remembrance” for the victims of the Foibe massacres and the exodus from Fiume-Rijeka, the Giulia region and Dalmatia, the tragedy that involved the Italian minorities living in the eastern Adriatic. It is a sufficient lapse of time to draw a first balance and make some considerations for the future. First of all, we can state that the narrative of this tragedy has been freed from ideological interpretations. Ideological interpretations have conditioned it for decades. Now the manipulations, lacerations, repressions and aggressions of the post-war period – in some cases perpetrated with a cruelty that is difficult to imagine today – appear remote in the past and the national community is more willing to consider this event as a constituent part of our identity. There are still residual episodes of intolerance that must be fought with the evidence of historical facts. But the most significant fact is the success of "Magazzino 18" by Simone Cristicchi, a play that stages the memory of this tragedy set in post-World War II Europe.
All this was achieved thanks to the contribution and commitment of institutions, starting with the prestigious celebration officiated by the President of the Republic every year. This shows the extent to which celebrations can serve to forge the “civil calendar” needed to form a shared memory and identity.
Of course, it is necessary to continue the effort that the Government is now making to define all the issues that are still open. From this point of view, also thanks to the contribution of all the personalities who have committed to achieve the same goal, we need to find a lofty and satisfactory compromise capable of representing, as correctly as possible, the requests of those who were obliged to migrate and whose rights were violated. A possible Foundation to receive reparations from Slovenia and Croatia should be endowed with instruments and objectives of indisputable level. There is growing consensus around this option which would see cultural activities, research and training as the principal and most significant destination of available funds.
Lastly, we must re-establish and further dialogue with our allies on the Adriatic with a view to agreeing on “political” actions of great symbolic value. One fact is particularly striking: the very same city quarters that were the backdrop to massacres, wars and deportations are now witnessing an epochal migration issuing from a conflict-ridden world. In order to avoid the errors of the past, it is here that we must commit to build a different and better Europe. A Europe capable of offering a horizon of development and integration also thanks to the Adriatic-Ionian Macroregion project. A continent that might export solidarity and justice and not walls and barbed wire. This requires a fruitful dialogue between the partners of the Adriatic and Mediterranean regions. A dialogue capable of coming to terms with a painful past and looking at the future in sign of
collaboration and trust.