Italy, Europe and remote leadership in Silvio Berlusconi’s interview with Bruno Vespa for Porta a porta. The president of Forza Italia, who spent the closure period of Italy in Provence due to the pandemic, also announced that he will return to Italy shortly.
Berlusconi once again took a decidedly positive position towards Europe: “I have to recognize that the decisions of the European Commission correspond to what we asked for, which I personally asked the fellow leaders in the European People’s Party”. Again: «If Europe this time had abandoned us to ourselves, it would have been the end of the European dream, but for Italy it would have been the catastrophe: just think that the Recovery Fund alone allocates 172 billion to Italy, which are more than double the resources that the Conte government has been able to deploy so far ». He recalled “that there are 37 billion in Mes, practically at no cost, for health expenditure and to prepare for a possible second wave of infections in the autumn, there is the Sure fund for layoffs, there are funds from the bei. That’s a lot more billions. Above all, there is the fundamental guarantee of the European Central Bank for the purchase of our government bonds, without which we would pay very high interest on the debt “.
One of the first topics dealt with was the request for elections by the center-right. «In the spirit invoked by President Mattarella, and a few days ago by the governor of Bankitalia Ignazio Visco, any government will need a climate of national harmony, in which the interest of the country prevails over partisan controversy. I asked for this basic unit of the country many times when we governed. Do you remember Onna’s speech in 2008? I ask for even more today. But the Italians have the right to finally decide who they want to be governed by ».
Berlusconi has avoided entering the internal controversy of the League between the figure of the secretary Matteo Salvini and that of Luca Zaia, president of the Veneto Region, who grew in consensus during the management of the coronavirus emergency: «We are serious people and we respect the rule that we we are given. It is up to the major coalition party to indicate the prime minister to propose to the head of state. If we wanted to change this rule we should all decide it together ». On the judicial troubles of the leader of the League he instead vented with his own: «Not all the judiciary, but a small group of judges, to help the left and the M5s, want to undermine democracy. They did it with me and now with Salvini ».
He then commented on the rise in polls of the president of Fratelli d’Italia, Giorgia Meloni, who overtook Forza Italia: «There is no competition between us, we turn to different electorates. The race however is with the left, not with our allies. It is a good that they grow, the whole coalition benefits from it. Moreover, I am convinced that when we return to vote, the voters will not fail to evaluate the quality and merits of Forza Italia, which is the only movement in Italy that represents the values of the western tradition, the only one with a high-level ruling class and with a special leader like Silvio Berlusconi, who has experience and expertise let me say it without equals, starting with urban planning and construction, communication and sport, which is combined with a ten-year experience in government and of international relations ».
Berlusconi has ruled out a government of national unity: “There are no conditions, Fi is incompatible with the left and is an integral part of the center-right”. However, he has not completely ruled out an institutional transition that brings together part of the 5s, Renzi and Calenda with Forza Italia: «If new scenarios were opened, capable of giving the country a more adequate government, we would first of all reason with our allies. But for now I do not see anything like this on the horizon. On the contrary, it seems to me that Renzi’s choices go in the opposite direction ».
Berlusconi reiterated that the flat tax “is one of the indispensable conditions for restarting the country”. However, he asked not to mix the theme with the Recovery Fund: «Personally I would keep the two issues separate: the flat tax is a tax reform to be implemented. Here it is a question of financing the production system, businesses and work, in an emergency. To fill the market with liquidity, to help those who have been damaged even with grants. “
Asked if it is not time to return to Italy to physically summarize Forza Italia’s leadership, he said that he will return shortly but that physical distance does not call the role into question: «Doctor Vespa, we are in the twenty-first century! Leadership is exercised even remotely, and I have never stopped doing it. Here I worked and I am working 12 hours a day, in continuous contact with Italian and European political leaders. In addition, I participated almost every day in video conferences with our young people, our blue, our regional coordinators and the representatives of many entrepreneurial categories ». Finally: “Anyway, I’ll be going home soon, now that it’s possible to move freely.”