SPEECHES - ITALY

THE SPEECH OF MR BEER, Principal of Bad Aibling Coordinating School, Germany

Extracts from the opening speech of the ERASMUS+-Meeting in La Spezia given by Mr Michael Beer, prinicipal of Gymnaisum Bad Ailbing, the projects's coordinating school:

"...Yesterday was November 11th, 2018. And it was on November, 11th in 1918 that the First World War ended. This was one hundred years ago -ONLY one hundred years ago. This terrible war destroyd a complete continent, ruined the hopes of innumerable persons and killed about 10 million people. Just to give you a slight impression, an image of that number - 10 million is about the complete population of Hungary, Portugal or Greece. It was 10 million fathers, sons, boyfriends, grandfathers - and we won't forget them - wives, mothers, daughters and girlfriends. In those terrible days the French fought the Germans, the Germans fought the Italians and also the Portuguese who supported the British with about 2.000 soldiers, the Hungarians fought the Italians, the Italians fought the Turkish. And this is only three generations away.

Today things are different: I cannot imagine fighting my French or my Italian friends at all -I prefer to go out with them in the evening and have dinner. We do not hate each other, we do not fight each other any more. But what has caused this change, what is the reason for it? It is that we have come to realizde that we all share a common continent and common values. We live in one European house and are one European family. We belong together!

Today, however, this European idea is in danger, it is threatened and may even be broken to pieces.

So it will be your task, the task of the future generation, to take care of this idea, to protect it and to keep it alive. We leave this legacy to you. Please do not fight against an idea, but fight for an idea, fight for Europe.

And that's why this ERASMUS meeting is so important. If at the end of this week you say that Europe is a "cool" idea, that it is something you care about and that you think is worth while working for, then we achieved our goal and reached this week's destination.

So I wish you an interesting and marvellous week with your new European friends and a good time in La Spezia - a time you will may forget . And days of successful work for our common home - Europe "

THE SPEECH OF MRS DEL SANTO, Principal of Mazziani High School - La Spezia, Italy

Thank you , Mr Beer, good morning to you and all our guests, welcome to La Spezia and to our school. I am Francesca Del Santo, the Principal of this Liceo, former teacher of philosophy in this school. I want to express my pleasure and satisfaction for the start of this new project, and I feel honoured to host the first meeting here. I apologize for my English which is rather rusty, however I want to say I am really happy to meet you all, especially in this moment. We are Europe despite all the arguments and skepticism that surrounds it, we are good evidence of European unity. Sometimes the European structure looks fragile and weak, therefore these meetings of people coming from different countries and linked by the same principles and values are more and more important and remind us of the Ideal project we believe in. Such as "Clerici vagantes " of the Middle Ages, your presence in La Spezia is proof that the original Erasmian spirit is still blowing and that Europe is still on air. I wish you a good stay and a profitable experience with me, Piera and her team, our students and their families. Thank you for coming!