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Geostrategic thinking Pensiero geostrategico

Carlos Place, London: a “diplomatic” fountain

Ambassador Umberto Vattani, former Secretary General of the Italian ministry of Foreign Affairs, wrote – Saturday, Sept. 10 for “Il Quotidiano del Sud” – a very interesting reflection on the figure of Charles III and the challenges he faces.

The central part of Vattani’s reasoning concerns the relations between the British Royal House and the Italian State. While, in 1961 (the year in which British Prime Minister Macmillan presented his country’s candidacy in the EEC), Giuseppe Saragat and Pietro Nenni – Italy’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, respectively – were being received at Windsor Castle, De Gaulle’s resignation in France took place.

Italy became a major player and, in 1973, England entered the European Common Market.

In the 1980s, Cossiga went on an official visit to England and Vattani recalls the suggestion given to the former President to make a gift to the Queen and to a country that had a special relationship with Italy and needed to be consolidated. A fountain with Nereide was created by artist Emilio Greco at Carlos Place. The fountain, Vattani writes, was also the subject of negotiations with the Irish Jesuits who had a church in that area.

The Ambassador’s recollections express the complex capabilities of diplomacy, particularly the Italian one. Negotiate is the key-word: and negotiating is part of issues (apparently) different from each other but all aimed at making systemic dialogues between States evolve sustainably, not only in the immediacy of relations but in the medium-long term.

In short, with the future of the monarchy in the background, the extraordinary figure (certainly to be studied in its complexity) of Elizabeth II, the testimony of Ambassador Vattani gives us a lesson: our time needs new political paradigms, never forgetting that the creativity in negotiations is an added value to be treated with great vision.