Norman Gobbi - A media cyclone from a stolen phrase

INTERVIEW

The President of the Council of State responded to the criticisms that were addressed to him after having expressed a comment against the Italians. He denies that there is nervousness in the Government about the containment measures to be adopted

Norman Gobbi - A media cyclone from a stolen phrase
Norman Gobbi: A cyclone from a stolen phrase, we can’t even apologize

Norman Gobbi - A media cyclone from a stolen phrase

Norman Gobbi: A cyclone from a stolen phrase, we can’t even apologize

You have ended up in the eye of a media and political storm for a comment against the Italians. Do you agree your comment was unacceptable?

When the media and political cyclone is created on a misunderstanding of a phrase ‘stolen’ off-air television, there is little to do. You can’t even apologize. What has been reported (artfully by some political opponents) is not what I said. So the fact doesn’t exist. We could stay here for hours talking about it however the reality is different: this pandemic needs appropriate interventions on both sides of the border and everyone is called to do his or her own due diligance. Unicuique suum: if I say it in Latin would it better?

In this second wave, you are accused of having raised your tone excessively as president of the government. Do you agree or dispute the claims?

As spokesperson for the entire Government. It is not the tones that are excessive, it is the measures to be taken that are demanding, for some heavy and for others always too bland. My tones have always been based on conveying a clear message’.

Then there is the retraction of the rules presented last Sunday in a hurry. An error or nervousness?

The Government wanted and had to launch a last appeal to the public last Sunday to avoid having to resort to more drastic measures. And the numbers of the last few days seem to confirm that the public has received the appeal and understood the gravity of the situation. The fact that the following day we had to clarify some issues (basically for the entertainment world; cinema, theaters and concerts) does not seem like a tragedy to me. The government is united and the conduct of this crisis is strengthening us.

It is curious that Chancellor Arnoldo Coduri was sent to the front to explain the turnaround. Did all the councilors of state have urgent commitments to the point of avoiding confrontation and explanation to the citizens?

‘They were explanations of a technical nature, not a political one (from 5 people to 30 for shows, as had already been foreseen for religious services). The political message was: let’s all act together now to avoid worse limitations later. I also remember that one of the chancellor’s tasks is to represent the Government to the outside world and in fact the communication and information on the crisis has currently been centralized, as I communicated during the press conference last Sunday, at the SIC (Servizio dell ‘ government information and communication) for which the chancellor is responsible. In all fairness, it therefore seems to me a sterile controversy. Now it is important to look ahead because the next few months will be just as demanding.

Given that we are only human and make mistakes the risk is that citizens looks more to the information/form given rather than substance. What do you think?

We prefer facts to rivers of words. Like all Ticino people, we prefer substance to form and in this crisis, chatter is harmful. On the contrary: they make mistakes. I believe that we have repeated hundreds of times what is the main objective of all measures in the face of the crisis: the health of fellow citizens; and not only for those who, unfortunately, fall ill with COVID-19, but also for those who have to face all the other pathologies that do not stop in front of the coronavirus. Therefore: avoid the pressure on health facilities through appropriate measures that do not lead to the closure of every activity.

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