At the end of 2010 Nichi Vendola, leader of the Left, Ecology and Freedom party and governor of the Italian Region of Puglia became a hot topic among the Italian Free Software Community for presenting, almost in the same day, a regional law for promotion of Free Software AND a partnership between Puglia and Microsoft, a company not exactly known for loving Free Software. Very soon both news, though interesting for what they revealed of Vendola’s way to handle communication, were forgotten, for obvious reasons: Italians have plenty of much more urgent and understandable problems to worry about while Vendola is, I presume, much more concerned with what to do at the next political elections (he’s a likely candidate for the Prime Minister post) than with regional regulation of software.
- Last week Nichi Vendola, leader of Italian left party SEL and current president of the italian region of Puglia signed a Berlusconi-like deal with Microsoft. In the same day Vendola announced that, in this very week, the Puglia Regional Council will issue a regional law on Open Source Software. The way this story is evolving is relevant for all citizens (including those who couldn’t care less about software!), both in Puglia and abroad.
- Today, after the initial surprise caused by knowing that Left party leader and president of the italian region of Puglia, Nichi Vendola, has just signed a Berlusconi-like deal with Microsoft offering an explanation that, alas, doesn’t really explain much, we started to know something about the content of the deal (because the bigger, problem in this whole business, much more of the presence of Microsoft, is lack of transparency). The Region of Puglia published a press release titled, more or less, “Protocol of understanding between the Region of Puglia and Microsoft.
- The day after signing a Berlusconi-like deal with Microsoft, Nichi Vendola, president of the Puglia Region, published an explanation on the website of its party. These are my comments to the main parts of that article. Vendola: “Who is the enemy for Puglia and for Italy? Is it Microsoft, or any other software giant?” Stop: The first enemy is lack of competence and interest in ICT by Public Administrators. Is this the case with Vendola?
- Nichi Vendola is president both of south-eastern italian region Puglia and of the Italian left party Sinistra Ecologia Libertà (SEL or “Left, Ecology, Freedom” in English). Free Software is software that can save lots of public money. Even moms like Free Software like Linux, partly because it can be used without problems even by some disabled children. Besides, Free Software is such a good idea that European Parliament representatives of all colors like it !