The founder of Community of Sant’Egidio, Andrea Riccardi, was appointed minister for International cooperation and Integration Policies of the new Italian government lead by Mario Monti.
“I know the non-profit world and I know how NGOs work, however I am noticing an increasing self-referential trend . I see that many institutions are only concerned about their own survival and forget about those places of the world where millions of men struggle with poverty.” This is what Andrea Riccardi recently said in an interview to Afronline’s sister weekly magazine Vita.
“I don’t want to shock anybody, I just want to bring up an issue and make people think about it. The culture of common good becomes crucial if it can promote innovation and participation.” Riccardi is one of the most respected representatives of social Catholicism and today has been nominated Minister for International Cooperation without portfolio. This is representative of a precise choice made by Italian new prime minister Mario Monti, after years in which development cooperation was excluded from Italian politics. “Even though there’s never been a real Second Republic in Italy” said Riccardi in the interview. “There’s the widespread feeling that the Second Republic is already dying . We went from a Republic which was made by political parties to a Republic which was made by television and talk shows. I’m not saying that we should get rid of everything. We have the Euro, but we do not trust Europe anymore. And how can we keep up with India and China when we are so divided?”
In a statement he released today, Riccardi declared that he has accepted this difficult task, hoping to give his contribution to the country’s recover. “In a difficult moment – he stated – a time of trial for the Country, while it engages in a joint effort to face the current crisis, I accepted the summons of the Premier designate, Prof. Mario Monti, to be part of the new government, hoping to help in the process of national recovery. In order to respond to the challenges our country needs to face, I make myself available, believing that Italy needs unity. The commitment for social cohesion, national integration and international cooperation are part of my culture and the experience acquired over the years. I am convinced they are crucial elements for a Country to regain its strength and come through the crisis”.