By Vatican News
In this time of emergency, politics should set an example of unity to citizens. That is what the Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, said in an interview with L'Osservatore Romano and Vatican News. Conte stressed that he had always acted "with a sense of responsibility, putting the health of citizens first" by taking "difficult decisions", "facing a virus we knew very little about". He then emphasized his government’s commitment to respond to the economic crisis through "powerful" interventions to support Italian companies, both "small and large". And, quoting Laudato Si’, he said he hopes that after the crisis, an economic model of sustainable development can be worked on. On the issue of the difficult condition in prisons, exacerbated by the pandemic, he stated that he has adopted "the principle of maximum precaution doing everything possible to minimize the risk". He added that, where possible, "home detention" has been adopted.
The Italian Prime Minister then focused on Europe's role in tackling the Coronavirus crisis. "The European Union must live up to its role in order to confront the challenge it faces at this stage". We need "a united, strong and supportive Europe". If we want to "preserve our common home," he warns, "now is the time to think as a team”. Conte supports the appeal for a global ceasefire, raised by the UN Secretary General and the Pope. "It is necessary,” he says, “that all parties involved in conflicts" join forces "against this invisible enemy that claims victims all over the world”. On the issue of the Easter Triduum liturgies without the presence of the faithful, the premier declared that he is aware of the "great sacrifice" required of the faithful and pastors. He thanks the Italian bishops "for their sense of responsibility", and says he is confident that from this "renunciation a fruitful season can be born".
Finally, he says he is "proud and moved" by "the gestures of great self-sacrifice and generosity that we are witnessing" in this period. "Every day in our country”, Conte underlined, “there are small and large gestures that denote a strong sense of altruism, solidarity, a spirit of abnegation". Gestures, he concluded, "in which the message of the Pope revives, inviting everyone not to think about what we lack, but