Full speed ahead with Come on Italy and he doesn’t even think about the successor: he will be there to guide it, other than pretenders to the throne. Silvio Berlusconi he is ready and relaunches the party’s challenge: “A great future awaits us.” Institutional reforms and justice reform are the polar stars. The South is indicated “as an absolute priority that must not be penalized” by the choices on autonomy. And the gaze turned to Puglia of the G7 capable of carving out a new leading role for himself «with the greats of the Earth who will know how to appreciate his industriousness». She sums up, weaves the threads and looks ahead. Like a new beginning.
President Berlusconi, how are you? Is he ready to restart as a political protagonist?
“I’m better thanks. I’m gradually regaining my strength. Everything went well, thanks to Heaven’s help, to the expertise of the health workers, but also to the unconditional love of my wife Marta and the deep affection of my children and my brother. However, I don’t have to “start over” at all: I’ve never stopped. Even during my hospitalization I worked every day for the administration and the reorganization of Forza Italia».
Forza Italia awaits you: what is the future of the party?
«It is a great future, because it is the future of liberals, Catholics, guarantors, pro-Europeans, Atlanticists. It is the central political area of the country, which we proudly represent. It is the center of the EPP, the largest European political family. It will be decisive, in the ambit of the centre-right, for the future of Italy».
You spoke of renewal: have you already identified your successor? And is the dialogue with the Third Pole and with Renzi a boutade or the next turning point in Italian politics?
“Yes, I spotted it. He is a young entrepreneur from Lombardy, who built garden cities admired by urban architects from all over the world, who built commercial televisions, who won, at the helm of a football team, what no one else has won in the world. who founded the centre-right and the political house of the moderates in Italy. I won’t reveal his surname, but his name is Silvio. As far as the Third Pole is concerned, I believe that he implements his coherent centrist vocation when, as happens in Brindisi, he chooses sides with us. If Matteo Renzi drew the logical conclusions of a series of his statements, he would also make the same choice at the national level ».
The parties are called to a key step on institutional reforms: do you promote presidentialism or the premiership? The axis of discussion seems to have shifted towards the latter option.
“We were the first to propose the presidential system in Italy, but we are absolutely willing to identify the solution that brings together the broadest convergences, provided that the fundamental principle is safeguarded: the right of citizens to directly choose the person by whom they want to be governed”.
The debate on differentiated autonomy holds the ground: how much is the South at risk of emerging even more penalized in the gap with the North? And what role will Forza Italia play for national unity?
«First of all, I want to remind you that, for a large national party like us, the enhancement of the South is an absolute priority and that our governments have been the ones that have allocated the most resources to the South in the history of the Republic. Differentiated autonomy must in no case be a criterion that penalizes the weaker regions. It is a question, and it is not impossible, of combining the autonomous valorisation of the best characteristics of each Region with the dutiful solidarity with the citizens of a great European nation».
There is a lot of talk about justice reform. Prescription, separation of careers, reform of abuse of office: where would you start from?
«The justice reform is an indispensable act of civility to guarantee citizens, to restore the rule of law, to enhance the work of the majority of magistrates who operate with commitment and balance. An organic reform is needed, according to the guaranteed lines indicated by Minister Carlo Nordio. It doesn’t matter where you start from, because what is necessary is to arrive at an organic reform that embraces all the subjects you have indicated, and others as well”.
The next G7 will take place in 2024 in Puglia by virtue of its vocation as a place of dialogue between East and West and in its role as a hinge region between different worlds. How to exploit this unique and unrepeatable opportunity? You who have led international summits, what advice do you feel you can give to the Apulians?
«Puglia is such a beautiful Region and so rich in history and culture that it constitutes, as you recalled, the gateway of Italy, therefore of Europe, towards the Mediterranean and the East. Major events such as the Fiera del Levante are expressions of this vocation known throughout the world. I shared Puglia’s choice to host the G7, because your Region presents itself, with the splendid visiting card of its sky, its sea, its countryside and its cities of art. Added to this is the industrious industriousness of the Apulians, which certainly the greats of the world will have the opportunity to appreciate».
Puglia assumes a crucial role, in Italy and in Europe, in the energy transition process between the gas pipeline, the conversion of Enel and the former Ilva and the new hydrogen industry: on which future do you feel like aiming?
«The future of energy can only be a mix between traditional sources and alternative ones with a lower environmental impact. So both gas pipelines and also wind, solar and every source of clean energy, in the perspective of the energy transition. Decarbonization is a just goal that Europe has set itself, but it must be achieved without putting large production systems in difficulty. In this sense Puglia is a very interesting laboratory».
In a few days there will be ballots, a new exam for the balance of power between sides. In Puglia the only capital to vote is Brindisi, with the duel between the center-right – ahead after the first round – and the M5s-Pd alliance. What’s your prediction?
«My prediction, and also my hope, is a clear success for our candidate Pino Marchionna. It is a question of resuming in Brindisi the path of good governance of the centre-right, linked among other things to the memory of my friend Domenico Mennitti. Pino, whom I have known and respected for many years, had already been a brilliant young mayor of Brindisi in the 1990s. His season in leading the city is linked, among other things, to a page of great moral significance, when under his leadership Brindisi was able to welcome 25,000 unfortunate people fleeing Albania and risking their lives with little or no help from the state. at sea. It is a tragedy that I am well aware of: I will never forget when years later, as prime minister, I myself, together with Minister Martino, welcomed the unfortunate people from Albania, survivors of another sea tragedy. That day, in front of that show of pain, I couldn’t hold back the tears”.
One last question: on Sunday Lecce are asking their Monza for the road to stay in Serie A. What match will it be? Will the Giallorossi save themselves with a good draw?
«Lecce is a good team, which deserves to continue playing in Serie A. I expect an exciting match, in which Monza, like Lecce, will do their utmost to honor the great sporting tradition of both teams».
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