Free Trieste





On July 28th, 2011 the European Commission confirmed a new investigation about Trieste. In particular, about environmental pollution and the recent suspension of the free zone in Trieste’s Northern Free Port.


The investigation is also about human rights in the Free Territory of Trieste – FTT.


The Commission’s action follows my July 11th, 2011 comprehensive complaint. A complaint I presented as a citizen of the Free Territory of Trieste.

The reasons of my appeal:

I am investigating pollution in Trieste since 1997, as a representative of Non-Government Organizations (currently Alpe Adria Green and Greenaction Transnational). It wasn’t easy getting fellow citizens to participate in environment-related actions.


My investigations revolve also on misuses of EU funding, especially in projects “for touristic development”. I did also investigate the tendering of public works, especially those to cover in concrete the coast of Trieste.


At the same time, I worked to have the safety measures in industrial power plants released.


Currently I am opposing LNG terminals in the gulf of Trieste. Without forgetting the defense of Trieste’s Northern Free Port.


Local politicians go as far as calling it “porto vecchio” as in “old port” because, unsurprisingly, to them old = useless. All of this to promote an  illegal building speculation in that area. 


Local Courts have often open proceedings related to my investigations: the findings are that there is a local “establishment” built on the systematic breach of Italian and European laws.


However, soon I had to face the harsh truth: even in the judiciary there are representatives of the local system of corruption.


My cases were dismissed, often without investigations. At the same time, for denouncing to public opinion and to the judiciary those illegal actions, I suffered alarming threats, legal persecutions, and the violation of my very civil rights.

What I reported so far to EU authorities:

Since locally there was no way out, I decided to seek justice before European authorities.


I denounced the environmental disaster in Trieste and in its province, as well as the repressive actions of the Italian judiciary I suffered in retaliation for denouncing to public opinion decades of dramatic pollution, the related interests of the State, and also for opposing the aforementioned local establishment.


In the past 57 years of Italian administration, it is this institutionalized system of corruption that polluted this territory, and carried out illegal traffics.


A detailed account of this situations is dossier “D for dumping grounds”.


This environmental disaster does also affect Trieste’s international Free Port, because one of the local establishment’s goals is deactivating it for the sake of Italian Ports.


Once Austria-Hungary’s first port,  Trieste’s precious free zone are barren, despite a legal status worth massive trade and traffics. A perfect location for a dangerous, polluting oil terminal.


This ill fate did not spare Trieste’s Free Port: like the city and its territory, the port became a crossing point for hazardous waste. A lawless zone for the most dangerous trades, including some labeled as Secret of State. This defenseless land’s annihilation came with coastal and marine landfills.


The final phase the Port of Trieste’s destruction is the attempt to turn the Northern Free Port in an urban area, with a massive building speculation. An operation worth at least EUR 2 billion.


Houses, Hotels, recreational yacht basins, stores, casinos. A new Balkan Monte Carlo. This is the local establishment’s plan for Trieste’s future. Turning Trieste in the city-port of the Italian organized crime.


The first step in this disruption is suspending the Northern Free Port’s free zone regime. The Commissioner of the Italian Government did just that. Illegally. No authority can suspend a permanent free zone bound under international law. So I reported this action to Community authorities.


This long tradition of unlawfulness caused damages and losses to this small territory. Approximately EUR 100 billion, ranging from environmental pollution to the downgrading of Trieste’s international Free Port and the loss of revenues following the loss of trade and traffics.


All that I reported is happening in the province of Trieste: under the 1947 Italian Peace Treaty, this area is a State, the Free Territory of Trieste – FTT.


This is why my legal actions are brought forward as a European and as a Triestine.


I want to protect the environment and the interests of my community. Italy is endangering them despite being a EU Member States, despite its Government being sub-entrusted with Trieste’s temporary civil administration. An administration that should take special care of Trieste’s international Free Port.

My requests to the European authorities:

That the European Commission, as guarantor of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and of other International Treaties, ensures that Italy complies with International and European Law also in Trieste, Free State;


As a European and Triestine citizen, I requested compliance with my fundamental rights, because so far the Italian judiciary failed to do so. I appeal to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which the EU fully embraces;


That the European Commission informs the UN about the Italian authority’s unilateral suspension of Trieste’s free port regime, and of the decision, in breach of the 1947 Italian Peace Treaty, to use the port’s Northern Sector for activities that are far outside its intended scope.

Translated from blog “Environment and Legality” by Roberto Giurastante