Free Trieste Movement



One of the most notable reactions against the rebirth of the struggle for Trieste’s independence is Italian nationalism. It did not consist in a mere,  simile, complete opposition to the very idea of restoring the Free Territory, because due to the more and more desperate condition of the Italian State and its deep economic recession, such opposition would not be appealing, even for the most patriotic supporters of the tricolour flag, on the contrary, the opposition consisted in an attempt to destroy the legitimate requests of the Free Trieste Movement, which represents all the Triestine people who identify themselves in the validity of the Treaty of Peace and presented all the complaints that have been presented to international courts and institutions on the Question of the Free Territory: the opposition consisted in a severe denigratory campaign aiming to discredit the FTM and cause an internal fracture.

The operation, prepared as early as in 2012, had been launched due to the increasing support and partecipation of the citizens to the demonstrations organized by Free Trieste. It essentially consisted in activating some individuals who had been infiltrated in the Movement to open an internal fracture, to put into question the policy that had been respected up to that moment. At the same time, it was mandatory blocking the source of funds, again with the help of their trusted men, distracting the money to a possible, antagonistic group. This way, it would have been possible slowing down (or, even better, getting rid of) the legal actions supported by the Movement as well, since these were leading to the beginning of international trials, which are very inconvenient for Italian authorities.

Of course, all of this was coordinated by certain structures of the Italian State that are very active on the Eastern border; structures that are usually super secret and deviant, such as the network of Gladio 2, never truly been dissolved. Such structures were often active in our zones, from time to time, and they come back from their deep hiding places when their intervention is required: their main duty is destabilising the area of former Yugoslavia to support nationalistic Italian territorial claims.

The following analysis is useful to understand what has happened to the main popular Triestine Movement that struggles for the recognition of the rights of the citizens of the FTT.



The Movimento Trieste Libera – Free Trieste Movement (from now on, FTM) is the main Triestine political group. It struggles for the recognition of the legal status of the Free Territory of Trieste, set with the Treaty of Peace of 1947 as independent State, currently under temporary, civil administration entrusted, as for Zone A, to the Italian Government under the Memorandum of Understanding of London of October 5th, 1954 and extended to the Free Port at Trieste, recognised with UNSC Resolution S/RES/16 (1947).

The FTM has based its interventions on complaints addressed to either Italian Authorities or to the United Nations, requesting the re-establishment of the regime of temporary, civil administration that Italy has substituted with a self-proclaimed sovereignty as early as in year 1963, with the aggregation of Zone A of the FTT to the territory of the Republic of Italy (following from the constitution of Autonomous Region Friuli Venezia Giulia).

According to Italian authorities, in 1977 Zone A of the FTT finally becomes Italian territory under the sovereignty of the State of Italy following the ratification of the bilateral Treaty of Osimo with Yugoslavia.

The FTM denies the validity of the Treaty of Osimo and the sovereignty of the Republic over Zone A of the FTT. The requests of the FTM do only concern Zone A of the FTT with the Free Port of Trieste, without involving former Zone B due to the change of this areas’ s legal status that occurred in 1992, when it became part of the new Republics of Slovenia and Croatia.

FTM has obtained increasing results denying Italian sovereignty and having hundreds of citizens  presenting exceptions of the lack of jurisdiction before Italian judges. On 15 September, 2013, FTM has gained the participation of thousand of people (about 8,000) to the parade for the anniversary of the proclamation of the FTT’s independence.

The State of Italy considers the action of FTM a matter of destabilisation. The Movement is constantly kept under control and, after 15 September 2013, the controls are intensified in order to block or obstacle its activities.

The most effective contrast actions were essentially conduced from the inside of the Movement, taking advantage of its weakest points identified before and using, for this purpose, persons that occupied various positions and roles in this group. Infiltrations had begun as early as at the time of the creation of the FTM, only to increase as the Movement grew.

Taking advantage of those elements, a crisis was triggered in order to seriously demage the public image of the Movement on one side and, on the other side, to pave the way to enter Italian, administrative elections in 2016. A double goal that, in facts, can be translated in the attempt to dismember the Movement that stands for independence, transforming it in a softer, pro-autonomy group similar to former party Lista per Trieste.

FTM results connected to a charity regulated by British law, TRIEST NGO which has the same founders as FTM itself. Following the scission, TRIEST NGO has cut out the members of FTM who call themselves “loyalists” for their support to the cause for the independence of the present-day FTT without compromises with Italy.

TRIEST NGO, registered in London, should have carried out the legal actions in defense of the citizens of  the present-day FTT on an international level but, right now, it is legitimate doubting that. Because, right after the scission, TRIEST NGO appears to be controlled by the dissident group that, supported by a new organization, created after the scission from MTL and named “Movimento Territorio Libero 3” aims to open once again the question of former Zone B, even organizing destabilising actions against Slovenia and Croatia.

The scissionists dissociate themselves from FTM’s position to not take action on former Zone B (since the international community has solved it recognising the sovereignty of Slovenia and Croatia over it) and they adopted a policy that closely resembles that of nationalist groups funded by Italy.

Translated from blog “Ambiente e legalità” – “Environment and Legality” by Roberto Giurastante