«It seemed to me a nice event, organized among other things, as I had recommended, in full compliance with the health regulations to avoid infections. I saw a square that did not limit itself to providing a plastic representation of the dissent of the center-right and therefore of millions of Italians towards this government, but from which proposals emerged and, above all, a common point of view. Forza Italia, Lega and Fratelli d’Italia are different parties, but close in a very solid alliance based on shared values and a great – and modern – government project. A relationship of friendship and affection binds me to Matteo Salvini and Giorgia Meloni and I thank them for showing once again in their speeches from the stage their closeness to the dramatic persecution I was subjected to and their disdain for what happened ».
That headline on the Republic the other day “Berlusconi: we are ready to give our votes to a new government” has irritated his center-right allies. All cleared up?
«Newspaper publishers often resort to simplifications that can create misunderstandings. I would not say, however, that there have been misunderstandings with the allies: they too have read my declarations and have acknowledged that they were profoundly different from the title of Republic. The center-right, I have often repeated in recent months, is a coalition whose richness lies precisely in diversity: compared to our allies, we speak a different language because we have a different political culture. We are liberals, Christians, Europeanists, guarantors, we are the only political force in Italy to make its own and to fully express the values of the West, we are the only representatives of the great family of democracy and freedom in Europe, the European People, the largest political force in Europe, which is located in the center as an alternative to the left. This is why we are an essential part of a modern, winning, credible world center, capable of governing. Every attempt to divide us is destined to fail, because – beyond the different sensitivities – we are united by mutual loyalty and a common valid project for Italy ».
But it is undeniable that behind the scenes something is moving to look for an alternative to this government …
«The main road, we have all said it for some time, remains to give the word back to the Italians so that there will finally be a government that expresses the will of the voters, after almost ten years since our government was brought down by a conspiracy of the Palazzo. However, I realize that the road to the elections is particularly difficult, both for the obvious resistance of the political class and for objective reasons linked to the health and economic emergency. If therefore it was not possible to go to the polls in a short time, the problem of changing an objectively inadequate government and majority would remain. I want to be very explicit: I do not believe that in this Parliament there are the conditions for creating a government appropriate to the seriousness of the country’s situation. However, if many parliamentarians realized the need to put the collective good before the personal interest or party membership, if some political forces were available to give life to a different and better government than this, perhaps it would be appropriate to talk about it. Between the hypothesis of holding the Conte government for another two or three years, with the Five Stars as reference shareholders and that of having a different, more authoritative, more credible government in Europe and in the world, which makes an adequate policy to exit from the crisis, which is more in tune with the majority of Italians, I say that it is worth at least thinking about it. The center-right could reason together – if ever there was a concrete possibility – and together decide how to behave ».
We read of great maneuvers in the Senate to steal from each other senators. Is it clear?
«This is a Parliament in which precarious majorities were born, never wanted by the voters. It is not surprising that in such an anomalous situation many parliamentarians also make anomalous choices. Although as regards Forza Italia, I find the group very compact and enthusiastic ».
In recent days it has been written that you have a good personal relationship with Prime Minister Conte, who never misses the opportunity to praise Forza Italia’s sense of responsibility …
«We are responsible towards the institutions and towards the Italians, we would be responsible towards any executive who governed the country in an emergency. The emergency is the moment of collaboration, not of controversy. I am glad that President Conte appreciates it, but I would like his majority to go beyond a personal courtesy following a relationship of true and not only formal collaboration with the opposition. So far, perhaps because of the veto of the Five Stars, they have wanted to do everything themselves. It could be said that this majority is too weak to accept our collaboration. But this is how the Italians hurt themselves ».
In the unlikely event of a crisis of this majority, do you rule out that we can go back to the polls?
“I do not exclude it at all, indeed I hope so.”
After the revelation of the famous audio by Judge Amedeo Franco, the “firing squad” to which the judge referred seems to have put it back in the viewfinder, at least in the media. It seems that she likes her opponents only if she remains good and silent …
«I am 26 years ago that I, my family, my friends, my collaborators, the companies I founded, the political force I gave birth to, are in the sights of a gigantic media-judicial operation which perhaps they are finally experiencing today the outlines and the sensational dimensions emerge. So I really am not surprised at all. What interests me is that the Italians realize that the democratic representation in these 26 years has been continually and severely altered by anomalous, politically oriented judicial interventions. In a quarter of a century, some judicial offices have acted systematically and constantly with the sole purpose of destroying a leader who had prevented the left from taking power, after Mani Pulite had cleaned up the parties of the first Republic. He is not forgiven for having dared to build a mass liberal party, for having placed himself as champion of the bourgeoisie, for having tried to transform Italy into a truly western, free and liberal country, for having sincerely believed, as the American Constitution says, that all men are endowed by their Creator with some inalienable Rights, which among them are Life, Freedom and the pursuit of Happiness and that they have tried to implement these principles in Italian politics. In short, a truly unacceptable leader from the left, and moreover chosen three times as President of the Council by the majority of voters. They did not succeed because despite everything, many Italians believed in me, they gave me tangible signs of their closeness, their esteem, their affection even in the most difficult moments. This on the human level has amply compensated me, but on the political level the problem remains open: it is a huge problem, which concerns the usurped popular sovereignty, the subverted democratic rules, the freedom of citizens violated. All things unacceptable and that I would never have believed possible in a great democracy in the West ».
Does that audio close the conspiracy circle against you or do you think the truth is still missing some pieces?
“We asked for a commission of inquiry to clarify it. You see, one of the champions of the worst justicialism, the mayor of Palermo Leoluca Orlando, claimed that suspicion is the antechamber of truth. I reply with the words of Giovanni Falcone: Suspicion is the antechamber of Khomeinism. Our guarantee culture prevents us from being like them: we do not use the weapon of insinuation, slander, gossip, indisputable accusation against our opponents. We say that something serious has certainly happened and that deserves to be clarified, in the interest of all Italians and of the honest, correct, courageous judiciary, which is the great part of the judicial order and which does not deserve to be united to seriously incorrect behavior of some of its members. The clarification must take place in the highest public institution possible, a parliamentary commission of inquiry, because it was not only me and my political part that was hurt, it was hurt to the representative democracy and popular sovereignty that is at the basis of the Constitution “.
Did you get an idea of what Franco meant when he said that certain things had been decided “high”?
«I have an idea, but – I repeat – I will only talk about it in the competent judicial and institutional offices. It is not my habit to make general accusations in newspapers. Keep in mind that those documents have been available to a supranational judge for almost five years. We have made strictly procedural use of it and I am surprised that part of the Italian judiciary intervenes on a topic, in recourse to the ECHR, trying to negatively influence the ongoing process. The incredible thing is that it is precisely those magistrates who accused me, instrumentally and erroneously, of wanting to defend me outside the trials and today complain about a clearly procedural affair. The ECHR will decide the relevance in terms of the right of a document whose content and meaning are in any case incontrovertible “.
Do you think that judge Palamara, by his admission at the center of the judicial intrigues of the last twenty years, could be useful in the search for truth?
«The statements of Judge Palamara have been very important because they have removed the veil on the very serious practices that determined the choices at the top of the self-government of the judiciary. These are practices that harm first of all good, serious and fair judges. They see privileged in careers and destinations that minority component of the judiciary which instead pursues a political, ideological or simply careeristic design, bending to this the rules and needs of doing justice, which should be exclusively in the name of the Italian people. It has been seen that for this reason one does not hesitate to have a persecutory attitude towards political opponents, in this case Salvini, in many other circumstances Berlusconi and the people closest to him. I hope that Palamara will go on fully in revealing the truth ».
His party and people are clamoring for his rehabilitation. Will the judicial one be enough or will it also fight for the political one?
«From a legal point of view, as you certainly know, I have already been rehabilitated. Political rehabilitation has never been necessary and in any case it has already taken place for some time. I have the privilege of representing Italy in the European Parliament, where I have found the esteem and affection of fellow leaders from all over Europe, many of whom are heads of states and governments. I have an absolute record: in twenty-six years, the Italians have voted my name in total more than 200 million times. Even in the last European elections I am the leader who has obtained the most preference votes in proportion to his party’s list votes. So I have no need for political, and even moral, rehabilitations. That of the European Court is a duty towards the truth, rather than towards me ».
Yesterday the Corriere wrote: “Berlusconi returns to the center of the political scene …”. The cards are usually dealt in the center: Does Forza Italia have a good deck?
«He has a good bunch of ideas, certainly, to get the country out of this dramatic situation. A tax shock with the flat tax and a significant lowering of rates for all, a real tax peace for Italians in difficulty, a white six-month tax period in which any payment by citizens and businesses to the public administration is interrupted, a great infrastructure plan and a great plan for the home to restart the economy, cuts to bureaucracy with the abolition of the system of preventive licenses and the suspension of the procurement code, a real justice reform that makes the judicial system efficient and reliable for businesses and investors and at the same time truly guarantees the freedoms and rights of citizens, including political rights. We made these ideas available to everyone with a constructive spirit and a sense of responsibility. Our position is on the side of the Italians, on the side of productive Italy, of work and of the company, which today is in serious suffering ».
Remaining in the metaphor, can the joker be Europe, that is, be the balance between sovereigns and pro-Europeans?
«We are Europeanists not because Europe as it is is good for us, but because we believe in the dream of the founding fathers of Europe, De Gasperi, Adenauer, Schuman, Gaetano Martino: a Europe truly united by common values, by a common vision of the open and free societies of the West, solidarity within it, capable of an active role in the world, based on these values, thanks to a common foreign and defense policy. In the 21st century, the world faces new challenges, the most serious and most immediate of which today seems to be that of China, communist and imperialist together. It is an economic, geo-political and even military perspective. It is a challenge that concerns us directly, both because China looks to Europe and the Mediterranean, as shown by the Silk Road project, and because Chinese expansionism in Africa could provoke a new and more formidable migratory wave, perhaps not spontaneous , towards our coasts. In the United States there is awareness of the scale of this challenge, but there is also the illusion of being able to face it bilaterally, only in the Pacific. If this happened, Europe would find itself left to itself. What could our individual countries, even the wealthiest or most powerful like Germany and France, do in the face of a conflict – even unarmed – of such dimensions? And what about Italy? As our greatest writer, Alessandro Manzoni would say, we would be like a terracotta pot in the midst of so many iron pots. We would simply end up shattered. This is why Europe is important for Italy, because only by joining will the Europeans have the political and military strength to face these challenges. For these same reasons it is also important that Europe knows how to play its role in the world, becoming an element of aggregation of the West, of those who share its values, therefore in addition to the Old Continent, the United States and other NATO countries, but also Russia, which in this global challenge must be seen as an ally and not as a competitor ».
In addition to seeing your Monza in the stands, do you imagine where it will be in 2021?
“At my desk, as always, working for the Italians and the liberal ideas I believe in.”