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ShareJuly 14, 2020 The President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, received in the afternoon at the Quirinale the commander of the Diamond Princess ship, Gennaro Arma, to whom he awarded the honor of Commander of Merit of the Italian Republic conferred on him last March 6.
Leaving the Quirinale, the captain commented thus: "I feel like a normal person who has done his duty in a difficult situation, like so many others. This honor was a surprise and it is an honor, President Mattarella gave me compliments for emergency management. We also made parallels about what happened in Italy ". Arma spoke of 'unique emotion' and 'difficult but formative experience'.
Arma had been the last to abandon the Diamond Princess ship last March, stationed off the coast of Japan - exactly in Yokohama - with 3,700 people on board for almost a month, due to the quarantine and spread on board of the coronavirus.
"I hope to get back on board as soon as possible. I have kept in touch with some crew members and some passengers," he said to those who asked him if he was interested in a future candidacy in politics. "I'll go back to being the commander." "Me the anti-Schettino? If there was a need for an image recovery, I hope it served, but I don't find the comparison between myself and other people appropriate," he added.
Mattarella also wanted to award an honor to the crew and the company.