Silvio Berlusconi, 86, yesterday in Naples with his fiancée Marta Fascina, 32, and Senator Licia Ronzulli, 47
by Ettore Maria Colombo
“To send weapons to Ukraine is to be co-belligerent and we too are at war. We are trying to end it quickly”, first concept, “pacifist”. There follows a corollary of refined realpolitik: “If we sent arms, it would be better not to advertise them so much”. Word of Silvio Berlusconi, who traveled to Naples, accompanied by his girlfriend Marta Fascina, for the convention of FI Italy of the future, the second stage after Rome. The second concept is a diplomatic strategy: “Europe must unite and make a peace proposal to Putin and the Ukrainians, trying to make the Ukrainians accept Putin’s questions”. And here comes the shot at NATO and Britain that “they don’t know how to bring Putin to the table” (i.e. it’s their fault). The third concept is of the affectionate “father” of Italians and their family budgets: the sanctions “have done a lot of harm to the Soviet economy (sic), but they have also done a lot of harm to us”. Rischiamo – è la profezia catastrofica del Cav – “la chiusura di migliaia di aziende, la perdita di tre milioni di posti di lavoro, il dilagare della povertà in Italia, di andare in giro d’inverno col cappotto addosso in casa e la cambiale in hand”.
Perhaps Silvio Berlusconi “has had its day”, as former Forza Italia ideologue Giuliano Urbani puts it. Perhaps “a ‘normal’ centre-right does not exist” as Carlo Calenda provokes. It certainly wasn’t “misunderstood” as Toti hopes. And, of course, every time he goes out in public, people talk about him. Yesterday, the founder of Forza Italia reversed the last year of foreign policy pursued by Draghi and his government which reads: no dialogue with Putin until he withdraws from Ukraine and military support for kyiv, rigid alignment with NATO and EU positions. A “bulky” Berlusconi, therefore, who enters the tackle slipped on the line and the Draghi agenda. Salvini (and Conte…) will be happy, less Meloni, while creating new turbulence and contortions in FI, where the three ministers (Brunetta, Carfagna, Gelmini) are super-dragonians and ultra-Atlanticists. New ruptures are expected, perhaps even splits, after the Gelmini-Ronzulli clash over Lombardy, the annoyance of many at the leading role of Carfagna (who, however, yesterday, from Naples, played down: “He there are problems in all parties”), the divisions with allies in the cities to vote, even if in the FI polls he is inflating his sails (10%).
The rest of the Cavaliere’s Neapolitan day fades in ‘color’: lunch of buffalo mozzarella and fish at the Cicciotto restaurant, accompanied by Fascina (in total blue like him) and Ronzulli, a crowd of onlookers and journalists waiting outside for “the exteriorization of the rite, captatio benevolentiae for the Neapolitans (“I have always been told that I am a Neapolitan born in Milan, a volcano of ideas like Vesuvius”) , bathed in the crowd. Finally, referring to the 1994 field trip (“I had everyone against it, I found the courage to do it”), here is one of those politically incorrect outings that make him an “anti-politics” “I was very popular because I was the Berlusconi winner of Milan and the founder of television who gave Italian women the morning movies they could see while dusting and cooking”.