Exactly 70 years ago, on June 2, 1946, at the end of the World War II, Italians were choosing by referendum to have a republic as a form of government. Since then, this day has become the National Day and it is celebrated with joy and pride by the Italians around the world. These feelings are strongly shared also by the Italian community in Romania, as His Excellency the Ambassador of Italy in Bucharest, Mr. Diego Brasioli explained in an interview for Nine O’Clock, few days before the official reception which he will hold at his Residence on June 2.
How will be celebrated the National Day this year?
On the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the Republic, the Embassy of Italy organized a series of festive events. A very important cultural project, designed and created by the Embassy on the occasion of the National Day, is the photography exhibition called “Ciao Bucarest. Italian urban influences in Bucharest”, which has opened on Wednesday, June 1, at the National Art Museum of Romania. It is an initiative meant to capitalize and to make better known the Italian creativity in Romania, which is reflected by Bucharest’s architecture and landscapes from the 18th century until today. We dedicated to this exhibition both a volume which includes a selection of the photos, and the website www.ciaobucarest.ro, providing a larger picture of the Italian urban influences in Bucharest. Access will be free to this exhibition, hosted by Kretzulescu Halls of the National Art Museum of Romania from June 2 to August 15.
Opening ceremony will be followed by a concert organized in association with the Italian Culture Institute in Bucharest and held by the young and talented artist Pietro Roffi, playing classic accordion and being accompanied by the Youth Romanian Orchestra, conducted by master Gabriel Bebeselea, which will perform musical creations by Gorka Hermosa, Luigi Boccherini, Bela Bartok, Sabin Pautza, Giacomo Puccini and Antonio Vivaldi. The series of events dedicated to the National Day includes also the Italian Festival, organized by ICE – the Agency for promoting Italian trade abroad, from May 12 to June 24, reaching already its 8th edition. Therefore, I invite the public to participate at this already usual meeting with the “made in Italy” excellence in food and wine, fashion and design.
Italian-Romanian relationship has always been very special and it becomes more and more special year after year. Which elements give them a unique nature?
Common Latin roots give a very special nature to the relationship between Italy and Romania, providing them with a fertile ground for developing a profound bilateral cooperation, especially in terms of culture. This include not only excellent political, economic and cultural relationships, but also a relationship between social levels: it is enough for us to mention the numerous Romanian community in Italy, which is the most consistent foreign presence in the Peninsula, with more than 1 million people, as well as the very important Italian community in Romania, especially businessmen, but not only. Both Romanians from Italy and Italians from Romania bring their important contribution to the developing of the two countries. This was reasserted by the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Mrs. Laura Boldrini, on the occasion of her visit to Bucharest in March this year, when she met President Klaus Iohannis, PM Dacian Ciolos and President of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies, Valeriu Zgonea.
The excellent level of the economic relations between our countries is a known fact. We’ve assisted in the last years to an increase of both the commercial exchanges and the number of registered Italian companies in Romania. Do you appreciate that this trend, which is more than positive, will grow in the near future?
Romania has registered in the last years an economic growth rate which is among the highest in Europe, and the outlook is promising. Romania’s growth in 2015 was of 3.7 percent, and the forecasts for 2016 indicate an advance of 4.2 percent for the GDP. National Institute of Statistics recently announced that in 2015, bilateral commercial exchanges have reached the record value of EUR 13.64 billion, increasing with 8.55 percent compared to 2014.Morover, Italy is in the top of the foreign countries in terms of registered companies in Romania, namely over 40,000 companies, out of which more than a half are operational. 2203 Italian companies have been registered only in the last year in Romania. Assessments indicate that Italian companies in Romania create around 200,000 working places. Looking into the future, I would like so much the excellent commercial relations to be strengthened and Italian companies to continue to appreciate Romania as a land of opportunities.
Besides businessmen, in what other modalities the Italian community expresses itself in Romania?
There is an active Italian community in Romania, extremely receptive to the initiatives promoted by our Embassy and which, in its turn, promotes the social and cultural projects. I would like to remind you the special involvement of the Italian NGOs that are present in Romania. In 2008, Committee of the Italian Associations and NGOs in Romania (C.I.A.O.) was established, also due to the impulse of the Embassy of Italy in Bucharest; the Committee is involved in supporting people in difficulty, promoting the values of solidarity, tolerance and generosity. It’s an ambitious mission, which the Embassy fully encourages.