And suddenly, Silvio Berlusconi. Again. It has happened dozens of times already. They gave him for dead – politically and sometimes also biologically – but he was coming back. His personal physician, Alberto Zangrillo, assures him that he is immortal. But there is something else that always keeps him alive: he has no substitute. Neither he nor the political space he represents in Italy. A moderate and pro-European right which, in times of populist fanfare, once again has a leading role. Tuesday, after the disastrous result of the right-wing coalition in the municipal elections – it lost in the five main Italian cities – and after eight months without setting foot in Rome, Knight He returned to the city from where he led the country with four different cadres (at different stages between 1994 and 2011) to bring order to his party (Forza Italia). At 85, he is the closest person to someone capable of mediating internal disputes between Matteo Salvini (La Liga) and Giorgia Meloni (Brothers of Italy) that the coalition has.
The second round of local elections in Italy caused an earthquake within the right-wing coalition (Brothers of Italy, La Liga and Forza Italia). The candidates chosen by Meloni and Salvini for the big cities were humiliated by their rivals: in Milan, Luca Bernardo did not even reach the second round, and in Rome, Enrico Michetti was almost 20 points behind his rival. Forza Italia, however, wins its particular victory with the results of Calabria and Trieste, the only big city where the right has succeeded in defeating the progressive candidate. Berlusconi puffs up his chest. And on Wednesday he met in his new Roman home –Knight He left the historic Palazzo Grazioli in the city center and now lives in the Via Appia mansion that belonged to director and filmmaker Franco Zeffirelli – along with his partners. Meloni, who now heads the national polls, asked her to do so, but one day she was his Minister for Youth and whom Berlusconi called the spinning top (Péonza).
The owner of Mediaset, after years marred by the stigma of corruption and legal storms, has been morally rehabilitated by much of Italian politics. The populist gale that Italy has known in recent years, the distance from scandals in his time as Prime Minister and the need to find a central space in transalpine politics have now earned him the unexpected praise of his rivals. The leader of the Democratic Party (PD), Enrico Letta, assured a week ago that Knight it was the strength of the center-right and that without it they would not win. Prime Minister Mario Draghi always treats him with deep respect and Giuseppe Conte, leader of the party that built his electoral empire on the ashes of the Berlusconi era, first called him Cavaliere just a year ago. .
Giuliano Urbani, co-founder of Forza Italia and former Minister of Cultural Goods with Berlusconi, believes that the leader can help, but is not the solution for the future. “We are talking about an 85-year-old man, he has a horizon marked by Mother Nature. But it is true that he still has an authority which allows him to mark certain political orientations of his messages, in particular for the voters of Forza Italia, who are numerous. But also on the legacy of his leadership, ”he emphasizes. Urbani believes that the time and age of the former prime minister means that many of the scandals he has been involved in today are no longer seen as decisive “in judging the man and what he proposes” . “In addition, there is a great lack of leaders and even his rivals miss the European Berlusconi and with a strong feeling of love for the country and the defense of national interests,” he points out on the phone.
Berlusconi is convinced that he has the potential to be President of the Republic and succeed Sergio Mattarella in power. Matteo Salvini, they say in La Liga, has allowed me to keep this hope in recent months. Meloni, however, does not make concessions and already speaks openly of “sending” Mario Draghi to the Quirinal Palace (seat of the presidency) and of calling elections as soon as possible. The different visions also have to do with the rush of the leader of the Brothers of Italy to go to the polls and capitalize on the advantage she now has over her partner. The latest poll, published by the Rai channel, places its leading party with an estimated 20% of the vote, followed by the PD (19%) and, at a considerable distance, Salvini’s La Liga (17.9%). Forza Italia continues to rise and holds 7.6% of the vote.
The meeting at Berlusconi’s home on Wednesday, with a careful staging which underlined his return to the political arena, also served to now fix weekly meetings between the three leaders who allow “to agree on shared parliamentary positions “. In addition, the press release from Forza Italia assured that the three parties will move forward in a compact manner to face the next political and electoral commitments. Something difficult to fulfill given that, from the start, not everyone is part of Mario Draghi’s executive – the Brothers of Italy have decided not to enter – and the interests and obligations of each will be different. Including that of the election of the next President of the Republic, the forbidden dream of the rehabilitated Berlusconi.
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