I look at the crystal ball and see a great darkness. A largely residual politics of the old, shrouded in a babel of languages, especially in matters of what the new should be. Hence the uncertainty, the confusion, the difficulty of making predictions on the fate of politics, the one with a capital "P", that is, with the will, the ability and the strength necessary to direct and protect the fate of a national community.
A passionate “journey”, a scrupulous research and a work full of precious insights totally centered on the figure of the former Socialist leader and Prime Minister. After "Codename Gladio" (by the same author) it is Craxi's turn.
An essay that, in addition to retracing the salient stages in the life of the statesman, stops on some pungent and - very timely - concluding reflections. The nights of leafleting with zuava trousers for his father Vittorio (candidate in Parliament); the first card (not yet of age) signed at the PSI section of Lambrate; the turbulent university years; the formative experiences in the Lombard administrations; positions within the local PSI (up to the national secretariat dated '76); the conquest of the seat at Montecitorio, the incurable break with the Italian Communists (Hungary '56 and Prague '68); the contribution in the battle for the liberation of Aldo Moro; support for the first Cossiga government for the Euromissili "affair", support for the layman Giovanni Spadolini; the Presidency of the Council of Ministers in 1983 (his was the longest-serving executive of the First Republic), but also Achille Lauro, Sigonella, the modernization of the public apparatus, the fight against terrorism with Dalla Chiesa, the relaunch of Made in Italy, the European semester, the "dream" of the Great Reformation and international prestige.
Italy in the Craxi years was in fourth place among the most industrialized nations in the world, a mirage when seen with today's eyes. A particular in-depth study was inevitably also addressed to the period of "Clean Hands".
An accurate work, written with a direct style, at times compelling and without frills, made possible thanks to the help of documentary material belonging to the Craxi Foundation and to the exclusive and unpublished testimonies (live) - inserted in various points - of illustrious personalities (political and otherwise) who have revolved around the life of the protagonist for decades, twenty years after his death.
Opens with the preface Paolo Pillitteri, journalist, historic mayor of Milan and deputy of the PSI. He is followed by Gennaro Acquaviva, a leading exponent of the party, Ugo Intini (former spokesman and director of Avanti!), Claudio Signorie (Minister of Southern Italy and Transport, deputy secretary and right-hand man of Craxi), Filippo Panseca (visionary genius, creator of the symbol of the carnation), Cinzia Mansi (collaborator of Via del Corso); Stefano Perri (his escort agent for 10 years), Alessandro Zella (curator of the social page “Bettino Craxi”). And again, three generals; Ercolano Annicchiarico, Antonio F. Cornacchia and Paolo Inzerilli, respectively Sigonella, Moro and Gladio; the economist Luca Caselli, Stefano Cagliari (son of the former president of Eni Gabriele, who committed suicide in San Vittore), Dina Nerozzi (wife of Prof. Gaetano Frajese), Stefano Andreotti (son of the pluripremier and head of department Giulio), Enzo Carra (former spokesperson and head of secretariat of Arnaldo Forlani), Tiziana Parenti (magistrate of the “Mani Pulite” pool), but also commentators, writers, essays.
Dr. Crocoli, what was the source of inspiration for your new book?
The idea had been around for 3 years already. Conceived, planned and conceived in 2017, then suspended for other projects in the pipeline. However, the intent was to conclude it by 2020, a particular year for Bettino Craxi (twenty years after his death in Hammamet). The source of inspiration was the "darkness", understood as the void around us. I'll explain. It's called nostalgia, the desire to change your mind, desire for Italianness, love of country and a sense of belonging to something to which we will no longer belong: a GREAT NATION! All lost. I deepen even more.
The disarming political void that surrounds us, the inability of an entire ruling class, the incompetence, the approximation, the carelessness and ruthlessness with which the "Covid19" pandemic (and not only), the death of the industrial, entrepreneurial and commercial sectors, the disastrous attitude towards the uncontrolled phenomenon of immigration, the subjection to an increasingly arrogant Europe, the scandals that have highlighted the true system that lies within the judiciary and the The silence of the leaders of a Quirinale increasingly complicit in such a mammoth massacre (which reduced the great Italian homeland to a global joke) were the real spring that prompted me to remember a statesman of such caliber.
We live in an age in which on the one hand the "accommodated", the bankers, the inciuciari par excellence and the traffickers of the "undergrowth" dominate and on the other, in alliance, there is even "better". It is the squadism of ineptitude, inability, carelessness, inexperience, sloppiness and total inadequacy in dealing with public affairs. There are Libyans in Lebanon, Russia flows into the Mediterranean, Pinochet ruled Venezuela and maybe Syria is on the French Riviera. These are the levels. Once I read somewhere a sentence that struck me. He said: “if we were to measure the difference in cultural preparation between the Craxi era and the current Italian governance, in distance, in kilometers, we would be forced to use light years”. The current ruling class is the one that years ago threw stones at Raphael and the political class is the one that, every other day as well, launched a "Fuck you" from the squares to the Quirinale. The anticastas who are now more chaste than the caste itself.
Do not be surprised, however, if the delicate judicial power is now out of control, if "foreign affairs" are dead and buried, if health care is in a perennial state of neglect and school at the mercy of nothing. On the management of immigration we draw a very pitiful veil! A biblical drama. This is to say that remembering Craxi's Italy today is like taking a wonderful dive into the past, a sleep complete with a dream from which you prefer never to wake up in order not to have to deal with the devastating reality.
Among the various testimonies, I read with great interest those of gen. Annichiarico, Cornacchia, Inzerilli, respectively in the chapters concerning Sigonella, Moro, and Gladio ...
I have bothered half the world. Some I have taken for exhaustion. Former politicians, ministers, important exponents of the PSI of the time and also the military world. General Herculaneum Annicchiarico was fundamental to get me into the night of Sigonella, since we are talking about the commander who was the highest in rank in those hours. He left me a pleasant interview in the chapter “Achille Lauro and the Sigonella Crisis”. I remember a title from those years that quoted: "The Colonel who challenged the American Rambos is from Puglia." Certainly a precious testimony. General Antonio Federico Cornacchia, on the other hand, I heard him on the question of the kidnapping and murder of Aldo Moro. On the other hand, in 1978 he held the position of Commander of the Operations Department of the Carabinieri in Rome. Nothing moved without his approval. In this regard, he claims (as reported on page 109) that: “The PSI Secretary Bettino Craxi took the field to break the front of firmness. At that point Italy split in two: on the one hand the parties (almost all) and those (the intransigents) who excluded the possibility of any negotiations with the Red Brigades, on the other the On Craxi and those (few) who did not disdain a negotiation release so that the impossible could be attempted to save the life of the poor Moro ”.
With Paolo Inzerilli, another officer, commander of the Gladio organization and for decades at the head of our Intelligence, it is something a bit special, perhaps special. I worked with him for years, on the occasion of the 2017 volume dedicated to the Italian Stay-behind. During the writing of "Codename Gladio" we have been confronted for months, if not years. We practically created it together and, over time, a beautiful friendship was born. Moreover, we are not ruling out the idea of coming out within a reasonable time with the second volume, an "encore" with new and exclusive truths that have remained unpublished and / or hidden so far. But this is another story and I hope it will see light soon. I asked General Inzerilli for a reminder of him on Craxi. He was at the top of SISMI for a long period (17 years), in which 11 defense ministers and 17 governments alternated, including Craxi I and Craxi II. When Inzerilli faced the ordeal of the Gladio scandal that emerged in the early 90s, Craxi was about to enter the "perfect storm" called Clean Hands, aka the false revolution. It seemed only right to involve him, since they both had the same misfortune of being overwhelmed by an unusual fate in the gray plots of the Roman palaces. Two true patriots of an immense Italy, two giants (one from politics and the other from the military sphere) treated as sacrificial lambs in the wake of a damned, vulgar and very violent justicialism that barbarously took away what little national sovereignty which still made us a country worthy of calling itself such.
Tiziana Parenti, magistrate of the Mani Pulite pool, argues in her book that: "I still came to the conclusion that the difficult political path of the so-called First Republic, perhaps due to its intrinsic fragility, was easily shattered by a competition of will and internal and foreign interventions which, through a judiciary that has been largely politicized for decades, have had an all too easy game to annihilate the history of the Italian democratic resurrection and to make Italy permanently weak on an economic and institutional level. History has always been written by the winners, even if in the end, in our country, at that time, we were all defeated! "
What does Parenti mean with we have all been defeated?
I'll answer you briefly. At that time the Italians were one against the "caste", even though they were wrong caste. It is said that a people does not die from defeat, but when it forgets that it is a people. The Italians have forgotten about Craxi and the good that Craxi had done for them in the golden years. Short mind and zero gratitude. However, there is repentance, regret, regret but this is not enough. With hindsight, history can no longer be changed. Claudio Signorile, former Minister of Southern Italy and Transport, as reported on p. 375 of the book, laconically confides to me that: “Through him the sins of an entire political class have been paid for. The most serious and absolutely inhuman thing was the fact that he was not even put in a position to cure himself by the Italian Communists. Not only that, they intervened on the French to ensure that they did not host him in France to undergo the necessary interventions which, probably, would have allowed him a more dignified hospitalization ".
More defeated than that !!!
Do we owe something as a country to Bettino Craxi?
I answer you through the words of Piero Sansonetti, director of the Riformista. Left man but intellectually honest (one of the few still left). He - as I also reported in the book on p. 259 - states that: “Craxi was guilty. In the same way in which De Gasperi, Togliatti, Nenni, La Malfa, Moro, Fanfani, Berlinguer, De Mita, Forlani were guilty… Do you know of any of them sentenced to 10 years in a cell and died alone and reviled in exile? ”. And again, he asks: "it is right that a country, and its people, fill with mud an eminent figure of its democratic history, as Craxi was, only for convenience, for cowardice, for" gallows ", disfiguring the true truth , giving up knowing what one's past was in reality? I think no. As an old anticraxian I think we owe something to Bettino Craxi ”.
I don't think there is anything else to add.
Maria Grazia Labellarte