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Commemoration of Marcinelle tragedy: Minister Bonino’s message

On 8 August, Italy remembers the Marcinelle tragedy, the worst mining disaster ever to occur in Europe, in which 262 miners of 12 different nationalities lost their lives. 136 of them were Italian. In memory of that day, 8 August is a day of Commemoration of the Sacrifices of Italian Workers Throughout the World.

On 8 August, Italy remembers the Marcinelle tragedy, the worst mining disaster ever to occur in Europe, in which 262 miners of 12 different nationalities lost their lives. 136 of them were Italian. In memory of that day, 8 August is a day of Commemoration of the Sacrifices of Italian Workers Throughout the World.


Our thoughts and emotions go out not just to our fellow Italians who perished so tragically at Bois du Cazier on that day 57 years ago. They go out to all Italian workers who, with their labour and sacrifice, have created an image of an industrious and tenacious Italy throughout the world. Labour is the founding principle of our Republic, the cornerstone in our Constitution of the dignity of the individual. As the Marcinelle tragedy so sadly reminds us, it is our precise duty, today as in the past, to ensure that each citizen has access to work, in safe conditions. To ensure that in no part of the world are human lives sacrificed to a lack of safeguards in the workplace.


Emigration is an integral and indissoluble part of our nation and history. Those who have left – and are still leaving – Italy contribute, through their work, to the growth of our own country and their destination countries. They add lustre to the most positive Italian values throughout the world, while their input contributes to the development of their host societies.


I wish, therefore, to express my heartfelt thanks to all Italian workers throughout the world.


Emma Bonino