Impossible not to Go to Atreju

Culture - December 4, 2023

Atreju is back, the great event of the Italian right. It will be held from 14 to 17 December in an incredible place in the heart of Rome: Castel Sant’Angelo. The last edition took place two years ago, when Fratelli d’Italia was still in opposition, in the Covid period and was the only party in opposition to the then Italian government.

On that occasion the edition was titled “Christmas of the Conservatives” and the party led by Giorgia Meloni successfully tried to bring people back to talk about politics despite the very complicated moment. “We have shown that even in a time of pandemic we do not give up doing politics and that the masks (ndr. for Covid) are not slobbers”, said the leader at the end of that week.

The name Atreju is taken from the central character in the book “The Infinite Story” by Michael Ende. It represents the young hero involved in a constant struggle against the forces of Nothing. This event, which bears his name, aspires to embody the essence of a young man engaged in the daily battle against an enemy that undermines youth creativity, depletes energy, and subtracts values and ideals, up to reduce lives to a flat platitude. Atreju, as mentioned, was founded in 1998 as the official holiday of the youth movement Youth Action, organization of National Alliance. With the passing of time it became the feast organized by Fratelli d’Italia. It is good to emphasize the word “organized” because as has always been repeated over the years: “It is a party party, not a party party”. It is a real party where there are no party symbols and which is made entirely by young volunteers. Atreju is the place where everyone is welcome. It is the place that has seen participating in the debates leaders far from the positions of the right but, despite this, have found space on stage. Because the Italian right, unlike the left, finds in debate and confrontation the engine of politics. It is a place where there is tangible commitment, political militancy and love for politics. Where those who fight do it for something greater and deeper than an electoral success.

This year the subtitle is “Welcome back Italian Pride” and the spirit is the same of the first Atreju made in 1998.  Truly a unique event to which, all the more so this year, it will be impossible to give up participating. Just this year, however, despite being officially invited, the secretary of the Democratic Party, Elly Schlein will not participate. She refused the invitation. The question arises: is she afraid of democratic confrontation? Ironically, the Italian Prime Minister said: “The event takes place the same, we will overcome rejection”. And she reiterated: “I always showed up when I was invited. It would be the first time, one of the very few times that someone says no”. It’s just waiting for the program. It’s a matter of days before we find out who’s going to be there. However, it would be a shame to miss.