MILAN. The all-Milanese day of the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella begins at Bocconi University, who tonight is expected – as usual – at the Premiere of Modest Musorgsky’s “Boris Godunov” at the Teatro alla Scala. The head of state spoke at the University on the occasion of the “Bocconi. Italy and Europe” for a tribute to the former prime minister and economist Mario Monti. A long round of applause greeted Mattarella as he entered the Aula Magna. The University, which is celebrating its 120th anniversary, wanted to greet President Monti, who handed over the baton to his deputy Andrea Sironi, former rector of the University and president of Generali.
“The Republic is grateful to you,” said Mattarella, greeting Monti and recalling the decision of the president emeritus Giorgio Napolitano to appoint him senator for life. «Mario Monti», added Mattarella «represents an exemplary story of an economic scientist, an Italian and European statesman who has marked the life of our country also in its international dimension. The pro-European sign of the president characterized all his work », added the head of state, also reiterating how fundamental the role of Bocconi University has been for Milan and Italy in an international context.
A moved Mario Monti took the floor after the greetings and compliments of the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, the former president of the Constitutional Court Giuliano Amato, the President of Bocconi who today received the baton from Monti himself: ” I try to speak,” he said, taking all the applause from the great hall. He thanked the family, recalling the commitment and support of his wife Elsa. Then he greeted and thanked «who confirmed me as European commissioner, Massimo D’Alema, and the then president of the European Commission, Romano Prodi. I wanted to invite the people who in my life were responsible for sending me to Europe.” He then added: «He had agreed to be here Silvio Berlusconi, unfortunately he was not able to come. I thank him and I wish him and his health my best wishes.’
«Today Italy is more European and there is more Italy in Europe. Thank you Mario». Ursula von der Leyen says in Italian as she thanks her “friend” Monti, “a great Italian, a great economist and a great European” for having been an “advocate of reforms to modernize the country and strengthen its role as the second industrial power of the ‘Europe”. The president said she was “very lucky to have had you as an adviser to the European Commission in these three years. I benefited from his advice as an academic, but also from his experience as a former Italian prime minister,” she said. “Throughout her career, she has tried to keep Italy at the center of Europe and ensured that Italy’s voice was heard and respected in all European capitals,” she added.
It was indeed the number one in Brussels who thanked Monti also for the legacy he leaves: the Institute for European Policy-Making, presented precisely on the occasion of today’s ceremony. “It represents a certificate of gratitude and esteem towards Mario Monti for his thirty-year leadership of Bocconi and for his commitment to European integration as an economist, European Commissioner and Italian Prime Minister”, reports the University in a note Milanese. To President Ursula von der Leyen “I can say that I still feel very close to the Commission,” said the former prime minister. «It has been a huge pleasure to see that the Commission and the European Union, since his arrival in 2019, while facing the most difficult conditions, have taken those steps for the construction of Europe that have brought the Union to levels of activism really unprecedented well oriented”. Monti then addressed a quick and dutiful institutional greeting to the President of the Senate Ignazio La Russa, and to the ministers Antonio Tajani and Anna Maria Bernini.
A greeting and a tribute to Monti also came from former president Amato, who recalled the shared experience of the premiership «20 years apart from each other. And 20 years later we found ourselves facing the same problem: how to avoid the immediate collapse of Italian credibility, how to create more solid conditions for the future. In those moments – Amato recalled – both drastic measures and longer-term measures were necessary. We were both remembered only for the former, the beneficial effects of the latter were ignored”. But «I have recently seen that, after 30 years, someone has begun to appreciate the measures of my government in ’92. I am therefore confident that the same could happen to you Mario in 2042 », joked Amato.
The University greets and pays homage to the “President in everyone’s heart”, says the new president Andrea Sironi who had formally received the baton last November 1st. Sironi also gave Monti a graphic work dedicated to him by Lorenzo Pierantoni, “which represents the main stages of his life and has the Bocconi symbol in the centre”.