Taranto and Ilva: help us, please! They are killing us!

BEFORE TO READ: The text below has been written, translated in English, French, Spanish and German, and then sent to all major news agencies in the world. I'm just sharing with all my contacts through my blog and my social network accounts. The Italian version is hereThanks to all my friends who will take some minutes for reading and sharing it.

Genitori Tarantini, a group defending Taranto and its inhabitants, tells the whole world the dramatic situation which one of the most beautiful Italian cities is going through.




'It seems that Nature has done all its best and has devoted all its cares to set up Taranto's crib. We could even say that, to enrich it, Nature has undressed the surroundings'…

(Pierre Willeumier, 'Taranto – from the origins to Roman Conquest' – Paris, 1939).

If someone asks you how Taranto has grown up, how it keeps the same, how its richness is always increasing, you can happily and joyfully answer: with good agriculture, with the best agriculture, with excellent agriculture'.

(Archita from Taranto, 428-347 b.C).

The immense beauty of Taranto, the city that was founded by Spartans in the south of Italy, its climate, its endless summer, the uniqueness of its physical shape, the fruits of its land and of its two seas, its glorious History are all elements that have been praised, in the course of centuries, by several 'characters' that have appreciated its peculiarities. In this place, that is kissed by Nature, it seems that there is all you need to live in prosperity, peace and with a sense of communion. However, just half a century ago, highly polluting industries took the place of centuries-old olive trees, denying Taranto's natural development and mortifying and crushing its future.

Steel and cement factories, refineries, and huge dumps have mined health and have attacked, with success, the lives of lots of Taranto's inhabitants. Today, more than yesterday, due to the determination of the Italian governments that have succeeded in the last 4 years, Taranto has been paying for an enormous tribute, that is unbearable: ten Decree Laws have been promulgated to keep and run the largest and the most polluting steel factory in all Europe. As a consequence, of course, all this has blocked the request for the sequestration of the plants that were accused by Taranto's judiciary and this has irresponsibly increased the terrible war-bulletin numbers concerning the deaths and recoveries for all types of cancer and the serious pathologies affecting the hearth, circulatory and breathing systems.

As regards children, the National Health Institute, thanks to the SENTIERI research, attributes to Taranto a +21% of child mortality if compared to the average mortality rate for all kinds of causes in Puglia. There emerges an excess of all kinds of cancers in the range of age 0/14, that corresponds to 54%; there is also an excess of mortality in the first year of life corresponding to 20%. As to some prenatal diseases, that were developed during pregnancy, the increase in mortality is of 45%. Moreover, just due to industrial monoculture, unemployment has reached very alarming percentages. However, there are positive signals coming from the same Nature that made the province of Taranto an extraordinary place. Dolphins stop and stay in the Jonian sea, just in front of those structures that have been undermining the sea wellness. In our so-called Mar Piccolo (the Little Sea), sea turtles and seahorses testify that not everything is lost and that we can still do something for next generations' future.

People in Taranto are ready to restart from their origins, from the times when Taranto was loved and respected, because today its inhabitants want to 'write' a future based on health and work through the same peculiarities that Nature herself gave them. The great history of Taranto for the relaunch of the activities linked to tourism, to trade exchanges, to agriculture and livestock, to fishing and sea products seems a dream that, as Parents in this city, we are asking all the world to help us fulfill.

Thank you a lot in advance!

Genitori tarantini.