Turin. «This time the moderate voters will find a party, Forza Italia, in whose symbol there will be a reference to the European People’s Party. A clear and pro-European choice which, with the more patriotic option of the Brothers of Italy, gives life to a homogeneous proposal: to protect the national interest from a European perspective ». The president of Piedmont Alberto Cirio disseminates the chat with reassuring messages: foreign policy, economy, environment, rights. “The center-right will demonstrate great pragmatism and a sense of responsibility, if as I hope and believe it will be in government of the country.”
Yet appeals are sprouting for republican fronts, alliances for the defense of the Constitution, to resist the black wave. Who promotes them shakes ghosts or is a minimum of restlessness justified?
“In this country there is someone who is afraid of democracy, obviously. I would never dream of saying that if my opponent wins, Italy is in danger. Citizens have not chosen the Prime Minister for ten years; the last was Berlusconi in 2011 ».
You were one of Draghi’s supporters, now your party carries with it the responsibility for the fall: in international forums it is not a medal.
«We supported Draghi with a great sense of responsibility, despite certain traveling companions, because the moment required it, even at the cost of paying a price in terms of consent. Then, the Cinquestelle, who for months had been looking for every opportunity to argue, have shown all their unreliability. At that point it was said to Draghi: let’s continue but without them ».
So is he the one who decided to pull the curtains?
“To our proposal he replied that he was not available. But I would like one thing to be clear ».
“Draghi is a great Italian and I like to remember that he became president of the European Central Bank in 2011 at the time of the Berlusconi government. We were the first to enhance his figure. A figure that, I am sure, will be fundamental for Italy also in the years to come, especially on the international level. Draghi brought that rigor and seriousness to Palazzo Chigi that were not so obvious with his predecessor. It is a legacy that we must collect. We worked well with him; I cannot say the same of some ministers ”.
“The technicians have many advantages but sometimes they struggle to understand the political dynamics, the needs of the territories and respect for roles”.
Among the ministers with whom he has worked well there will have been Mariastella Gelmini.
Doesn’t his exit from Forza Italia, with Carfagna, Brunetta and the others alarm a moderate like you?
«When someone abandons a shared path for decades, there is always regret. But political coherence is a value. And leaving on the eve of the elections always leaves the question of whether it is acting for personal interest rather than for ideal reasons. I believe in the values of the center-right and I proudly represent the moderate area. To those who left I wish good luck but no regrets ».
Doesn’t the Third Pole risk drying up Forza Italia?
«Let’s start by saying that Calenda’s ballets have been useful in unmasking what is on the left. We have created a coalition animated by common values, ideas and programs; their only purpose is not to let the opponent win. And I’m sorry, because if we govern we will need an opposition to deal with ».
Okay, but the Third Pole?
“When the time comes, the elector will have to choose: a vote useful to give life to a government or a testimony? I believe the desire to count will prevail ».
Osvaldo Napoli, ex of Forza Italia now in Action, moderate like her, says he left because his father, a Christian Democrat, would have turned in his grave to see him in the company of Salvini and Meloni.
“I’m not only moderate, I’m an anti-fascist from head to toe. And I assure you that I don’t feel uncomfortable, on the contrary ».
Is it wrong who evokes the risk that the center-right will take Italy out of its international position, into the arms of Orban and Putin?
“Forza Italia, as I said, presents itself with the EPP logo in the symbol and with a national coordinator, Antonio Tajani, who has held almost all the top positions in European institutions. And Giorgia Meloni was very clear in saying that this is Italy’s international position and this remains ».
Environmentalists are concerned.
“For years we have been wrong not to put the environment at the center of our political action. But things have changed. Energy, regasifiers, latest generation nuclear: common technologies in countries with a much more consolidated environmental awareness. Ours will be a pragmatic environmentalism; on the other hand there is a purely ideological approach ».
Will civil rights be reversed?
«The center-right has a clear position: to promote and support the traditional family. But this will take place with absolute respect for the rights and freedoms of each one. Supporting the family can and must go hand in hand with recognizing everyone’s right to live their lives as they see fit ”.
Agree with the flat tax?
“Of course. A craftsman cannot work 7 days out of 10 to pay taxes. There is a value of taxation beyond which one cannot go and it is among other things the only real weapon to make competitive wages that have been at a standstill for years ».
Excuse me but with what resources? And above all, is it right?
“I don’t want the rich state and poor Italians. I want a country where everyone can do what they see fit with what they legitimately earn. You say it costs; I reply that if the country grows, the state collects more ”.
Three essential points of the program?
“Less taxes, infrastructure and full implementation of the NRP”.
A month ago you became head of the Italian delegation to the Committee of the Regions in Europe; is the first step towards returning to Brussels?
«I am a practical person: I want to be the president of Piedmont in the best possible way. I never thought that an assignment is the springboard for having another one, then when the time comes with the allies we will evaluate the best solution ».