B“Area Camper Matera” is not very busy these days. Donna Michela, who runs a family business, sighs that business is progressing slowly. The pandemic and blockade have hit the tourism industry throughout Italy, especially in the “Deep South”. There is a long way from the northern and central metropolitan areas, attracting fewer foreign tourists here. Since the city of Basilicata and Plovdiv in Bulgaria became the European Capital of Culture in 2019, the situation in Matera today is quieter than before a single “year of prosperity”: a pandemic is closely followed.
Italy will assume the chairmanship of the major industrialization and emerging countries of the G20 in 2021. The Roman government has invited people from the South to participate in the first face-to-face meeting of the G20 foreign ministers and development ministers in 2021. Two years. The conference is not only held in Matera, the “Stone City” with the famous Sassi Caves. Bari and Brindisi in the neighbourhood of Apulia should also get something from the meeting: development ministers gathered for their own meetings.
“Currently, only methods that work quickly can help.”
Mayor Domenico Bennardi calculated before the meeting on Tuesday that 500 delegation members and 150 journalists would bring 1.3 million euros in “direct economic benefits” to the city of Matera. On the other hand, “centro storico” and Sassi are closed to tourists during the day. Many shops and restaurants in the old town were closed on Tuesday. Hundreds of police and military police, some of them on horseback, are on duty. The helicopter hovered over the city all day.
Rome puts its G20 chairmanship year on three pillars: people, planet, and prosperity. At the G20 “World Health Summit” held in Rome in May, 20 countries accounting for 80% of the global economic power, 75% of world trade, and 60% of the world’s population agreed to cooperate more closely in a pandemic such as the corona. Agreeing in a crisis like this. Accordingly, no more export bans or blockades should be imposed on the supply chain of medical products as in previous months. At the Rome meeting, vaccine manufacturers also assured poorer countries that they will provide more than 1 billion doses of coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year.
Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Mars (SPD) stated in Matera that it is necessary to “talk about revoking vaccine patents” with an open mind. But because this is a protracted discussion, it must be “two-pronged”, and most importantly, to promote the expansion of production facilities in poorer countries: “At present, only quick-working methods can help.” Washington has suspended its coronavirus vaccine patents. A discussion was proposed a month ago in order to increase production for poorer countries. German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has repeatedly publicly opposed the suspension of patent rights. The European Commission and the United Kingdom also oppose the suspension of patent protection.
Hot at noon
Foreign Minister Masi said in Matera on Russia and China that he had made it clear at the meeting that “we do not believe in their vaccine diplomacy.” It should not be about “short-term geostrategic advantages”, because “only when all of us are safe, each of us will be safe.”
US Secretary of State Anthony Brinken also affirmed that rich countries should do more for poor countries, especially in Africa. “In order to end the pandemic, we need to provide more vaccines to more countries,” Brinken said. Brinken said that this pandemic has further exacerbated the inequality of the world economy, which is why the G20 countries must help poor countries deal with the debt crisis.
Brinken did not meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi before the Matera meeting, despite some speculation: Not only did the Chinese chief diplomat attend the meeting via a video link, but also the foreign ministers of Australia and Brazil did not fly to Matera and could open it. Russia and South Korea each sent deputy foreign ministers to southern Italy.
In the early afternoon, after the lunch break, the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio led guests through the “cave landscape” of Sassi, from the plateau of the old town to the steep slope below the canyon. Gravina River. The cave dwellings carved in the rock, the oldest of which were built in the Neolithic period, face the east and heat up in the morning sun. Soon after noon, the temperature had risen to 36 degrees. For several days, the high temperature over North Africa has been affecting the weather in Italy, especially in the south of the country. Matera is a suitable venue for meetings between industrialized countries and emerging countries. The purpose of the meeting is to strengthen cooperation between the rich and the poor, between the North and the South, to fight the pandemic and climate crisis.