Friday, 26 September 2014

Captain Schettino Lecturer at the University, De Falco Transferred to Coastguard Admin Duties

September 27, 2014.
We already knew that Italy is not the best example of efficiency, fairness and transparency in the world.  We knew also that central and local authorities and institutions are often the cause of a device broken, often corrupted, and inclined to follow the profit and the need of power rather than the principle of meritocracy.

We all remember the drama of almost three years ago when "the brave" captain Schettino abandoned the Costa Concordia vessel after she struck her port side on a reef. "Get on board, get on board for fuck's sake" Many of you probably will remember the telephone call from the Coastguard to Schettino, in which the enraged captain De Falco ordered captain Schettino to return to the ship from his lifeboat while almost 100 people were still on board. We all known the tragic ending of that night: 32 people lost their lives in the Italian waters.

Schettino is still facing in the trial charges of multiple manslaughter and abandoning ship; on the other hand De Falco has became a symbol of responsibility, the "voice of the duty" as addressed by the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

What instead nobody would never have  expected is that Captain Schettino would be prized by being invited to the Sapienza University to hold a seminar on "how to resist and quell panic". Stunning, stunning indeed! Does not this sound like asking to Vito Corleone (The Godfather) to hold a lecture on "the legality and justice in Italy"? To me it really does!  Further, as the Costa Concordia was towed away from Giglio this summer, photographs emerged of the former captain partying on the island of Ischia.

Someone could imagine now that the coastguard official De Falco was awarded with some medals of honour or prized with a promotion. He has not. On Thursday, he has said he is being transferred out of operational service at the Livorno coastguard and into administrative duties. De Falco said he was saddened by the transfer, which he had not requested. He referred to La Repubblica that no one has ever blame him for how he tackled the emergency that night and also admitted his anger suspecting of being a victim of mobbing. He therefore confessed he is considering the possibility either of commencing a legal action or dismiss the uniform.

Indeed, public clarification is expected in the following days so as to illustrate the reason that brought the coastguard officer to be punished. Meanwhile, Italians read this news stunned and even a bit ashamed.

Lorenzo Macchi

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