Genoa – Manuel Grimaldi has waited for two weeks before breaking his silence.
“I’m saddened and feeling bitter. This is not how I wanted my mandate to conclude.” Manuel Grimaldi has waited for two weeks before breaking his silence on the storm brewing over at Confitarma. “Should I reproach myself for anything I did? I never took part in any electoral group, neither in meetings, as usually occurred in the past,” explained the president of the Confederation to Secolo XIX-the MediTelegraph. “I believe that I had no way of preventing what happened; it came about as a result of the association’s charter and traditions. It was the outcome, let me be clear, of elective democracy.” Some of Italy’s shipowning heavy-weights have left Confitarma: the d’Amicos, Messinas, Italia Marittima, GNV. “I would like to point out that a confederation is free and independent, to use Paolo d’Amico’s words, when it is elective. The outcome that was not of the liking of some individuals, was ushered in by a democratic election, as has always been the case: covert deals or tendentious appointments have never been part of our history. That’s not how Confitarma works. Since I started participating in the life of the association, and it’s been now twenty-five years, its charter has always been respected, because there is no freer model. That said, I understand that some important colleagues may be in a sour mood, but I also believe that there are tools in place to remedy the situation that’s developed.”
“Selection, for example, may happen by co-opting. In the case of the Amico’s, very important appointments were on the table. Not only that: in my opinion, the famous letter signed by all the councillors had the same weight as an election. I don’t know of any other systems.”
But, as even that letter did not convince the d’Amicos to remain, obviously there is something that isn’t working. What’s going on inside?
“I do not know, I do not understand. If the idea is to create a “Confitarma 2”, well, it’s something that I would not recommend to anyone. It would not serve the shipowners’ interests nor the country. Confitarma must remain free, independent and unique. And everyone should be a part of it. The d’Amicos were offered high-ranking appointments of great prestige: but, clearly, now negotiations will have to be pursued by the next president. In my role, all I can do is ensure compliance with the rules. Take the case of the designated president: when the wise men tell me that they have heard everyone concerned, and that the associates’ selection is clear, what can I do, other than to take it into account? Every now and then I hear that someone puts out his own candidacy, maybe because a friend told him ‘You know what? You would make a really great president?”: well, that’s not the path to follow, we cannot allow it.”