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DOCUMENTARIO DEDICATO DA AL-JAZEERA ALLA LEADER RADICALE EMMA BONINO

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AN EYE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS

An interview with Emma Boninoreported by Mario Avagliano

ROME - "Now the crosses are two". Emma Bonino, secretary of the radical party, 49 years old, Member of Parliament since 1976, is very happy. "By appointing the public prosecutor of the international Court on war crimes in Bosnia" - she explains - "the second point of the agreement between the reformers and Berlusconi has also been respected". Bonino welcomes us with a smile in her office at the third floor of Via di Torre Argentina, the historical headquarters of the party of the rose in the fist. A photo portraying her with the Dalai Lama hangs on the wall. It was shot on the occasion of the meeting with Berlusconi, she says. On the desk full of paper there is a fax from the United Nations. It is a thank-you letter from Antonio Cassese, the President of the international tribunal. The radicals' struggle and the intervention of the Italian government in the bilateral meetings of the G7 were decisive in appointing the public prosecutor. "We have finally come out of the deadlock" - comments Bonino - "and the court, which is an international tool to do justice and reinstate the rights that have been so barbarically crushed in the former Yugoslavia, is now able to function. We should not forget that the court on Bosnia is the first after the Nuremberg and Tokyo ones. This time the question isn't imposing the justice of the victors but the international law and the rule of law, on the basis of the Geneva conventions on genocide". Q: What was it that was hampering the functioning of the Court? A: We couldn't manage to appoint a public prosecutor, The last two candidates had been vetoed by Russia, on the grounds that they belonged to the NATO area. Together with Cassese we managed to find a third candidate, the South African Richard Goldstone. At the G7 Berlusconi himself posed the question in the bilateral meetings with Eltsin. And everything was solved". Q: What's the next step? A: The campaign for the institution of a permanent international court. The problem is there are heaps of conventions on human rights and on the environment, but there are no means to verify their application other than sanctions. The Italian government should promote a resolution for the institution of a Tribunal within the U.N. Assembly. Q: What are the government's other international policy objectives? A: The Prime Minister pledged to call a national conference to evaluate the prohibitionist policies on drugs. Our other commitment concerns the abolition of the death penalty by the Year 2000, and the affirmation of a new human right: the right not to be killed as an effect of the law. Q: How would you estimate the government's foreign policy? A: So far the foreign Minister, Mr. Martino, has done very little. He has objectively found himself in the position of "traveling" a great deal as the exponent of a new member and because the presence of neo-fascist ministers in the executive has created some trouble. So far the government's foreign policy is vague. That is why the Chamber foreign affairs committee has requested a parliamentary debate on this issue by the end of July. Q: What do you expect of Mr. Martino? A: On the question of the international tribunal we were in agreement. Now we need to work on cooperation with the countries of the Third World. He has not disclosed his intentions on this matter. It is a matter of competence of the judges". Q: Some accuse Mr. Martino of being Euroskeptic. Is that true? A: On this point the minister has issued contrasting statements. At any rate, I agree with him when he says he is skeptical about a purely economic Europe, without strong political institutions". Q: What is your opinion on the G7 summit? A: Unfortunately Italy accepted the proposal to carve up Bosnia. It is an unfeasible proposal, that tramples the international law. Borders simply cannot be changed with weapons. Q: Let's talk about the Berlusconi government. How would you judge its performance in these fifty days? Q: I think of it as a period in which those who thought things could be solved in a few days' time have been forced to think better. Even the story of the decree on RAI is far from positive. In terms of economic reprise we haven't seen much so far. Also, there are strong contradictions within the party, Forza Italia. Q: What kind of contradictions? A: There are two factions inside Forza Italia. One is a Catholic one, which explicitly targets the Christian Democratic electorate and that attempts to fill the gap left by the DC, overlooking the liberal ideas. The demonstration is the intention of joining the European popular party instead of strengthening the liberal group. A serious mistake. Then there is a liberal part which has allowed, for instance, to present together an appeal for the single turn of voting and the Anglo-Saxon American presidential system. Q: Do you consider Berlusconi a good prime minister? A: I'm a bit worried about his mania for opinion polls, which are very useful but should not be over-emphasized. The role of a leading class is that of orienting the public opinion, not adapting to it. Berlusconi's limit is wanting to please everyone. This could stop him from making courageous choices".





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