Le Monde’s endorsement of the provisions contained in the Caivano Decree did not go unnoticed, especially since the French newspaper has never been tender with Italian governments, especially those presided over by the Berlusconi government. Il Tempo interviewed senator Marcello Pera, president of the Senate in the Berlusconi II and III governments, witness to the “old differences” between the Élysée and Palazzo Chigi.
Senator, what do you think of Le Monde’s gratitude (“It makes the presence of the State felt”) to the Meloni government for the recent approval of some regulations on the suburbs contained in the Caivano Decree?
«Finally, fair and realistic. Fair, because it captures the meaning of the provision, which consists of reestablishing the presence of the State where it is lacking and preventing the creation and spread of lawless areas. Realistic, because Le Monde accepts and recognizes that Meloni has assumed a European stature that cannot be denied. He doesn’t appear with his hat in his hand, but he doesn’t even bang his fists on the table. Simply, he opposes objective reasons (think also of the case of illegal immigration) and political reasons with concrete arguments (and here I am thinking about the financial parameters of stability). In short, Le Monde does not turn up its nose, a frequent French tic towards us, and respects us as equals. After all, they have the same problems as us: they also have the neighborhoods neighboring their homes. I have no illusions that it will always be like this, but today it is.”
Is it possible that the French media have realized that to solve the problem of the degradation of the suburbs, which France has been dealing with for some time (I am thinking of the periodic riots in the suburbs), strong responses from the State are necessary?
“This is certainly the case, especially for the French who love a strong central state that also gives ethical directives (think of the veil for Islamic women). Just like us, they know what degradation means and, even more than us, they know the phenomenon of ghettoization. As throughout Europe, they face difficulties in integration and assimilation. And they fight like everyone else, because these processes require a lot of time, education, investments, school, active policies. I would like to ask you if you don’t start to think that your “secularism” is no longer an obstacle, that the uncontrolled proliferation of individual rights, instead of uniting, disintegrates, that values, if they are not nourished by a unitary framework of faith, become whims and arrogance. Does the “goddess Reason” have any wrinkles? Since my appetite is eating away at me, I’ll stop here, satisfied for now.”
More generally, did you like the rules contained in the Caivano Decree?
“They are necessary. And of course they alone are not enough and should not be a reason for political discord, as happens when the opposition says that prevention is better than repression. It is obvious and banal. Because when degradation reaches fantasy, only a new fantasy can fix it. Criminal law does not replace education. The magistrate cannot act in the place of parents. School cannot replace the family. The State is neither a social entrepreneur nor a benefactor. I recognize- me in what Dom Patriciello says, finally a priest on the front line who avoids apocalyptic tones and does not pretend to be a warrior. We need awareness of the social crisis, firmness in the sense of the State and clear ideas. The government is heading in that direction ”.
An unusual endorsement, from Le Monde, for a newspaper that has never spared criticism of center-right Italian governments, in particular those presided over by Silvio Berlusconi. I remember two articles in particular, one from August 4, 2015 (titled “When Berlusconi reaches an agreement with the octopus”) and one from July 10, 2017 (“When B. negotiated with Cosanostra”) for the who had to “retract” and apologize. In his opinion, how could these attacks be explained at the time?
«They were explained then, and are explained now, by the fact that Europe is not the Boboli Gardens with their wonders. It is a land of fierce disputes, where governments have divergent interests and little spirit of unity, they desire supremacy, beyond the rhetoric of official ceremonies, they want to impose their force. And also teach classes. Sometimes, however, the result is comical: Berlusconi becomes history, Sarkozy still fights with the magistrates.”
You, who were one of the protagonists of those years, do you remember any particular episode that complicated relations between Italy and France?
“Oh yes. I was on an official visit. I opened an exhibition by Rafael. I was a good friend of the president of the Senate. And I also participated in a conference organized for me by a cultural association. I was challenged, not so much by what I said, which it also caused a scandal because I spoke about Christian Europe, but because I represented the Italy of Berlusconi, the ogre, the mafioso, the corrupt. If now they don’t call Giorgia Meloni an authoritarian fascist, it will be a great progress that will be credited to her. Vive la France and even next!
Source: IL Tempo
Emma Fitzgerald is an accomplished political journalist and author at The Nation View. With a background in political science and international relations, she has a deep understanding of the political landscape and the forces that shape it.