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Costa Bill for ever

The two magic words that keep international protests silent for threats and intimidation to Italian journalists and their prison sentences

Costa Bill. For three years now the Italian government, by saying these two words, solves a big problem: reassures the international institutions that, increasingly, ask for explanations about the hundreds of threats and abuse cases that Italian journalists continue to suffer as aresult of punitive laws and non-implemented rules and, in particular through prison sentences for defamation, which continue to fall down like snow. This happens despite the government itself and the entire political spectrum have for a long time recognized that the law should stop it, because the risk of being sentenced to prison has a chilling effect on the work of journalists. It’s amazing the effect of those two words. Just say Costa Bill and no one will object anymore.

But what do these words mean? They mean, more or less: have patience, we are already dealing with the bill presented to Parliament by the MP Enrico Costa. Everyone accepts this response. Everyone patiently awaits. They have been doing so for three years now, because the Costa Bill was presented to Parliament in 2013. But it still has not been approved, despite a few hours would be enough to do so. Indeed, many believe that it has already been approved. There are those who feed this legend. Nothing is further from the truth. But even Reporters Sans Frontieres fell for it and still has not admitted that is a whopper. What to say? Its surprising. Quite very.

Even more surprising it is to see that many believe that the Costa Bill is the panacea that the government and others promise. Who has followed the creation and the involution knows that it is not so. That bill was born badly, and along the way it has gotten worse. For every drop of honey, ten grams of strychnine were added. If it were approved, the current text would create more problems than it could solve. Even the newsletter by Ossigeno which you are reading would cease to exist, on the very same day, for elementary prudence. It is so. Unfortunately the most harmful parts of the text are no longer editable. For this reason the Costa Bill has been lying motionless for a year in Parliament, like a shipwreck that should only be removed. But why do so it saying Costa Bill can allay the concerns of European institutions and can allow to continue to keep journalists under fire?

So, Costa Bill for ever. But until when?


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