G7 Puglia: diplomacy, plenty of sun and luxury, but who foots the bill?

G7 Italia 2024
G7 Italia 2024

G7 Puglia: diplomacy and luxury, with LGBT rights at the forefront

This year, the picturesque setting of Puglia hosted the G7, humorously dubbed by us as the “Club of Economists on Vacation“. Amidst its stunning coastlines and luxury resorts, leaders of the world’s seven largest economies gathered not only to discuss global issues but also to indulge in some relaxation. Because resolving the Ukrainian crisis between poolside dips and gourmet dinners is certainly more satisfying, isn’t it?

President Joe Biden, known for his understated style, departed “Brindisi” after a series of working sessions, perhaps hoping to avoid another social media prank from Giorgia Meloni. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has been central to diplomatic debates, yet she garnered more attention for a video with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi than for serious matters. “Melodi team“, an endearing nickname, has inspired memes and viral clips, highlighting how easily international crises can be overshadowed.

The final agreement, a 36-page declaration, carefully avoided the term “abortion” but enthusiastically embraced LGBTQIA+ rights, suggesting that leaders may be more familiar with updating their status on Twitter than with the real global political impacts.

But there’s an aspect that many would prefer to ignore: the exorbitant cost. Over 7,000 military personnel mobilized and a spending of 25.6 million euros. Yes, you read that right. Was it really necessary? Perhaps we could have tackled the climate crisis with those funds, but who cares when there’s an exclusive resort waiting to be booked?

The ship of shame, the Mykonos Magic, rented for 6.6 million euros, has become the symbol of excess at the G7. Inspected just two months ago by Interior Ministry staff without finding significant issues, this 2004 cruise ship with 1,354 cabins and 3,470 seats passed from Costa Cruises to a Liberian company within the Greek Seajets naval group. And it doesn’t end there: 600 agents were accommodated on another marine giant, the recently rented GNV Azzurra ferry. Does all of this seem normal?

And why Puglia? Why not Calabria or a rundown area, or even better, an area built for large events and never used? There we could have solved two problems with one effort: hosting the G7 and urban revitalization. But no, it seems we prefer our leaders to spend their vacations among the remnants of ancient Greece, discussing gay rights and forgetting about the electricity bills that many Italians struggle to pay.

In conclusion, the G7 in Puglia was a shining example of how the world of international summits can be a blend of diplomacy and vacation, with very few tangible results to show despite all the media buzz. But at least we can say we had a splendid seaside view during our group photo session on global warming.

With the funds allocated to renting the ship, we could have solved the problem of hunger in the world. But a more modern, safer, and less expensive meeting, right? Smart working in these cases, right?

ARTICOLO DISPONIBILE IN ITALIANO: G7 Puglia: diplomazia, sole e lusso, ma chi paga il conto?