Strasbourg, 26/10/2016

The No Tav Movement presented their petition to the Vice-Presidents of the EU Parliament Dimitrios Papadimoulis from GUE/NGL  and Ulrike Lunacek (GREENS/EFA) and certifies the violation of human rights in Val di Susa through the militarisation of the area and through the violent repression which took place against citizens and groups.

Curzio Maltese, who introduced the initiative, has underlined that “the large infrastructure projects in Europe are akin to a mafia system. We are here to discuss the merits of the Turin-Lyon rail link and we must consider the huge waste of public funds spent on this wicked project and on the ridiculous criminalisation which has been exposed by the  No Tav movement . “The building of that construction site,”  said Eleonora Forenza – “is there to remind us every day that a decision-making process has been taken out of the  hands the local population. This is an important day because this struggle  by the No Tav Movement has reached the European Parliament – a democratic practice that should be repeated daily in these buildings”.

Nicoletta Dosio, who joined via Skype connection, gave testimony  to the violence endured by the inhabitants of Val di Susa . Dosio – resisting house arrest order  – is exercising a form of resistance that demonstrates the difference between legality and legitimacy.

Her case is the perfect example of the system which has been devised by the promoters of the large infrastructure projects which, as underlined by Livio Pepino (former Italian magistrate), is based on three fundamental steps: “Firstly, the petitions made by the local populations are ignored and overstepped, then the dissemination of false data takes place in order to influence  public opinion and the decision makers, before finally the same citizens that raise the alarm on the violation to which themselves and their territory are exposed, are banned and then criminalised”.

The hearing on the Turin-Lyon rail link has also been an opportunity to further discuss other mega projects  which are currently under construction in the EU and which put at risk the environmental and economic sustainability, let alone the citizens' health. Thanks to the testimonies of Victor Pachon ( CADE Committee, Pays Basque du Nord, France ), Thomas Dubreuil ( Avocat, Notre Dame des Landes Committee, France ), Mike Geddes ( Professor, representative of the 'Stop High Speed 2 Committee, UK ) and Ruut-Maaria Rissanen ( Best practices in infrastructures in the Tampere region, Finland ) who, amongst others, which has discusses on the infrastructure in the Tampere region in Finland, participants gained further insight into similar projects elsewhere.

After three hours of hearing, we heard from , Italo di Sabato ( Osservatorio sulla Repressione, Italy ) and Paolo Prieri ( Presidio No Tav Europe ) who defined the large infrastructures as “an overbearing act against environment and people” and the one done by the mayor Ombretta Bertollo which highlighted the importance of listening to the local populations: “the mayor's door is always open, the citizens knock our door the same day when something wrong has occurred. Europe is suffering because it does not listen to its citizens' petitions”.


Many MEPs also took part in the initiative such as Karima Delli (Green, France ) who invited those in the room to “never stop the mobilisation”; Marco Valli and Daniela Aiuto (5 Stars Movement, Italy ) who denounced that “the EU is the house of conflict of interests and it needs to become again the citizens' house”. Tania Gonzalez ( GUE/NGL, Spain ), who disclosed the misleading argument which states that the large infrastructures lead to a corresponding development: “they continue to tell us that we need more and more larger infrastructures even though Spain is full of  unused highways and airports without planes”. Merja Killonen (GUE/NGL, Finland ) made the concluding remarks of the initiative, stating that ”as a MEP and as the coordinator of the group for the Transport Committee, I am ashamed of how badly we use public funds and of the fact that in Europe the fundamental rights of the populations are so clearly ignored”.

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