the Eternit trial report, Torino (Italy)
Thursday December the 29th, 2012
Alessandria edition of La Stampa
by Silvana Mossano
The feeling is that in the end for the time being the settlement with SS will not be signed, that there will be no agreement before the judgment ‘before justice’ to quote Romana Blasotti Pavesi’s words.
There is no official statement to support this feeling but some of the sentences in the course of the latest statements by the City Council and some of the mayor’s words in the official statements could lead us to believe that the Minister of health’s call to ‘reconsider’ and the supplication by Bishop Alceste Catella, as well as the suggestion of the Dioceses to decide with the families of the victims, and the words of Don Ciotti at the Xmas mass in Murisengo are all leading to reconsider.
The settlement the City Council had been offered had been presented as the obvious solution ‘take the 18.3 million euro (…) in exchange for withdrawing from all present and future civil cases against SS.’
The reaction of the people of Casale will go down in history – they tried to fence it in, but the photos and videos of housewives, old age pensioners, nurses, doctors, youngsters, teachers, workers, shopkeepers, sportspeople (the other night at the Siena Basketball Stadium where the Casale team was playing the Siena one, there was a banner, as had happened on two other occasions at the Palaferraris and the Natale Palli, there were people who voted right and people who voted left, but who will not take the ‘indecent proposal’ lying down).
The mayor admits he was very touched by the emails and letters he received by people who expressed politely and with dignity the suffering he would cause with the agreement before the sentence, a settlement with the person accused of the slaughter.
Bruno Pesce remembers ‘ a little more than ayear before the 1993 trial in Casale against Eternit management a man said to me in court: ‘ it’s your (the Union’s) fault if Eternit closed down, it could have still been up and running…’ one of the few letters our papers received in favour of the agreement is signed by that same man. I believe, says Pesce, that such statements are the result of a distorted view of the struggle against asbestos which has made it impossible for them
to understand that this battle sees the whole city, regardless of their political leaning, age or social class. What else has to happen to realize the damage caused by the criminal use of asbestos? For the most hesitant to realize?’
In the meantime things have quieted down while waiting for the Minister of health Balducci to set a date for the meeting with Municipality (which the municipality requested). Yesterday Afeva had asked to be invited in an attempt to ‘share’ more. This event in itself means the Mayor should not sign in the immediate future. Will the ‘urgency’ SS was suggesting be disregarded? Possibly.
Today at 5.30 there will be an open meeting at the AFEVA headquarters in Piazza castello (Casale). And from the other side of the Ocean Linda Reinstein, president of the USA Association of Victims and Family members launches an appeal to symbolically light a candle ‘online’ from 7 to 8 of January the 4th to support those who are fighting courageously against mesothelioma.
Many of us are hoping to be able to acknowledge the fact that the City of Casale has/will change position, and thus work with the Municipality with who we have marched together for 30 years.