Reggio Calabria, MaSushi after closing: “we chickens to be plucked”

A river in flood. Domenico Cuzzocrea it’s a raging river. He went away, but he didn’t want to remain silent. He had already spoken, in part, but now he “has put the load”. Cuzzocrea is a brilliant entrepreneur of Reggio Calabriaowner of the place “But Sushi”, on Corso Garibaldi. A few weeks ago, at the end of April, it exploded, with a post on social media quickly went viral. “H9.15 lights out like every fucking summer. I’m honestly closing and returning to Sicily while waiting to see this idiotic administration sadly disappear €13,800 worth of bets up my ass. Play five-a-side football and sell two CDs to the blockbuster that you are.”had written.

Shortly afterwards he also explained his motivations in detail to StrettoWeb, explaining the reasons for that anger and the reasons for his escape from Reggio Calabria. Now it doubles, revealing itself to Massimo Ripepi in one of the City Councilor’s live social networks. “It’s sad that there is no courage to speak. Each of us should be free. Those who do business in this city put a lot of effort into it, but the institutions are light years away from our needs. We are completely harassedsee any business activity as a source of attack. They treat an entrepreneur like a chicken to be pluckednot as an added value”Cuzzocrea’s first words.

“I’m leaving. I was called by an important hotel property in Panarea. They told me: ‘Domenico, come and bring your skills here’. Not having an outdoor area I chose, but I would have liked to stay. This is my house, this is my building, I don’t pay rent”continues.“Let’s leave aside my situation, that I don’t have an outdoor area, that systematically every year I have to find political asylum to look for suitable spaces (‘I haven’t been able to have an outdoor area for three years because they say there is a radius of curvature at which we had found the solutions’, he told StrettoWeb). I lived in Sicily explains – and there the Administrations have never rejected a practice. At most they tell me that some documentation integration is missing. But there are guidelines of color, fabric, things that I have never seen here.”

The problems: from the water crisis to tourism

I don’t know them (the members of the Administration), I don’t know who they are and I’m not interested in meeting them after 10 years. I have invested hundreds of thousands of euros, bringing employment, in our small way, but I see an absolute void in this historical moment. The example is the water crisis. This building dates back to 1910, there has never been a lack of water, but they opened the Menta dam and there is no more water. Scandalous”he adds.

Tourism? The Calabria Region gave him a gift, it brought him people (Ryanair flights, ed.). What has this Administration done to make this happen? Reggio has some objective beauties, but in 24 hours a tourist finishes it. We should create cultural, food and wine itineraries. Here it was not possible to make a 100 meter bridge“. And the 10-year delays of the Maritime Museum? We had a project approved and financed, created by the most important contemporary architect and these gentlemen, for a purely political reason, said no. I’m pissed.”

“I am neither good nor brave, I am a boy, a cheerful 50-year-old who gets up in the morning and wants to work. I know everyone. I do a very cheerful job. I would like to bring joy. I always say that beauty generates beauty, but I live in a city where ugliness is liked. Because an Administration must only see uglycan you give me some good examples?”.

That anecdote from Capo d’Orlando

The comparisons with Sicily continue: “they make all these posts about Capo d’Orlando, which is nice. I opened a business there. Always well liked by the Administrations. It’s not that I don’t feel welcome here, but I don’t exist. I’m a chicken to be plucked. My mother told me: ‘please, I’m about to die, come back’. I came back, to accompany her in her last sigh, and I invested money instead of staying still”.

And he tells an anecdote of his own Capo d’Orlando. “Whoever was in charge of promoting one of my restaurants in Sicily forgot to invite the Mayor of Capo d’Orlando and the Tourism Councilor. I thought I had made a good list, but I forgot. So we do the inauguration and the Mayor and Councilor arrive, thanking me and hugging me: ‘thank you for doing business here, thank you for creating jobs here’. A friendship was born that still exists today. This is Sicily: you don’t put on a headband, you puff out your chest and do ‘co co dé’. Come, you don’t put on the band, you shake hands, you say ‘thank you’. You don’t claim to be God, you are not God, God we only have one. Let’s get down to a real, more earthly politics that deals with people’s problems. In Sicily I felt pampered.”

Apologies to Peppe Scopelliti

Cuzzocrea continues his long story: “I wouldn’t have any anecdotes to tell here. Indeed one, where I put my face: I apologized to Peppe Scopelliti. I was one of those who misjudged him. One evening he was here, I sadly approached him and said: ‘I apologize, in any case you gave to this city’. That city rejoiced and you can’t come and tell me that after 10 years we are paying for the damages of that time. Any administration of value will eliminate its problems in 10 years. Give new jobs, lifeblood, incentives, but I haven’t seen anything. Just inaugurating the latest massacre that made me think: ‘these are outside’: that of the little bridge on the Lido, behind a defecation pit, where you cut a ribbon. But am I brave or are you crazy for not saying anything? A tourist comes with the eyes of love to bring money into an asphyxiated economy and what do we do? Let’s go cut a ribbon with tons of… forget it.”

“Ryanair’s gift to the Region, but it always becomes a political question”

The examples continue and Ryanair is brought up again: “Just today they carried out an emergency operation at the Greek walls. They realized that the tourists were there and hastily cut the grass, but they were unable to collect it. It looks like a stable. What is the element that is clear to everyone? There is no horizon vision. They had all the time with Ryanar. How long have we known it’s coming? There was plenty of time to do programming. It’s a gift that comes from another political colour, but for the love of the city I hold my nose and take it, here instead we always have a political question. I don’t see love and without love the results are what we see: a mess.”

The examples with Puglia and parking tickets

Not only comparisons with Sicily, but also with Puglia. “I spent two weeks in Puglia. I had to detox from Reggio Calabria”adds the entrepreneur, who then takes out parking tickets from some Apulian cities. “Municipality of Monopoli: 50 cents. per hour, Camper rate. With power socket. Municipality of Matera: 50 cents. time. Ostuni: 50 cents, always Camper. Polignano a mare: 50 cents, camper rate. For cars, 30 cents.”

And they tell me about 2 euros here. But I wonder: Do they ever leave Reggio Calabria? Do they leave these living rooms? Go out, travel, take a trip. Get yourself a camper and tour Italy. I have been lucky enough to travel the world, perhaps that’s why I have an open brain. With those important metropolitan salaries you get, you can go for a ride. Go and see Puglia and Sicily, how they are administered. The 5 euros of Catania? But please.”

“Leaving is a defeat for me”

Finally he adds: “I feel a visceral love for the South, for the sea, for all the free territories. I love Reggio Calabria, it’s my home. I was born there, my son was born, I came back. She’s gorgeous. For me, leaving is a defeat. I’m happy to see new territories and compare myself, but I would have happily stayed. I see many of my friends who tell me: ‘you’re right’, but then they take photos with them. But stop it! Have decency, we all have children who need to go. My son will leave. It’s a bloodbath.”he concludes.

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