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Riace hosts migrants without 'ulterior motives' says mayor

(AGI) Riace (Reggio Calabria), Sept 26 - The landing of migrants must be experie...

Riace hosts migrants without 'ulterior motives' says mayor
Riace paese dell'accoglienza (foto twitter)

(AGI) Riace (Reggio Calabria), Sept 26 - The landing of migrants must be experienced as an opportunity for growth and not as an emergency to "wind up" as quickly as possible. This is the beginning of the story of Riace, a small town in the province of Reggio Calabria which has become the symbol of reception and social inclusion, and before that, the place famous for the finding of the famous bronze statues that are kept in the city's museum. It is a "model" to which the BBC has devoted a report, with photographs showing moments of aggregation but also of the history of Riace and of its mayor, Mimmo Lucano, who has been included in the list of the world's 50 most influential men published by the American magazine "Fortune". Starting from Riace's reception system, the mayor told Italian news agency AGI about his initiatives and the results: "Riace's history began a long time ago and I don't know how it landed in America, with the recognition of "Fortune" magazine. Everything began with a coincidence, a landing dating back to a few years ago, which has become an opportunity to implement special policies that are very different from the ones passed in the rest of Italy." Mr Lucano does not see this as a record in and of itself but as a tangible commitment in favour of social policies and rebirth: "It is normalcy turned utopia. It takes very little to establish normal human relations, free of prejudice, and without ulterior motives. Today there are many reception professionals who pursue secret ends. It is necessary to be loyal, otherwise reception centres are to no avail." This message is directed to those who have built fortunes by exploiting the immigrant reception of system. The mayor went on: "I am neither powerful nor influential. I am prey to the events and this media exposure came totally unexpected. Personally, I am not pursuing anything special; I don't seek a career in politics or anything else and nobody calls me when decisions are made, even if I take part in many initiatives and many people refer to the Riace model." However, Mr Lucano believes that this town was reborn precisely thanks to the hospitality given to migrants, considering that it now hosts more than 150. He continued: "Our town was bound to drop in population, with its inhabitants resigned to their fate, while now we are experiencing a different type of awareness." . .