The vice president of the Senate has his say on the Sicilian feuds.
ROME – “Forza Italia in Sicily must be unity to honor the broad mandate received from the Sicilians”. The vice president of the Senate, Maurizio Gasparri, is a call for unity. Forza Italia’s national head of Local Authorities calls on the Sicilian Berluscones to put their swords back in their scabbards and wholeheartedly support the government of Renato Schifani.
Senator Gasparri, the split of Forza Italia in Sicily has given rise to two separate groups at the Ars. What is happening?
There is a heated dialectic that I hope will soon be overcome because Forza Italia must also be united to honor the broad mandate received by so many Sicilian voters.
What is the real Forza Italia, that of Pellegrino or that of Mancuso?
Forza Italia is one and only one: the one led by Silvio Berlusconi. Forza Italia is the one that in Sicily expressed the candidacy of Renato Schifani who obtained an excellent result and who therefore must have his internal, total and convinced unity that I hope can be achieved reasonably.
Do you think there will be a party commissioner in the short term?
It is not for me to make assessments of this kind. I hope that the Sicilian leaders who have long histories and have faced many political and electoral trials will be able to autonomously find the reasons for internal unity and serenity in the awareness that the duties in the government of this important and beautiful region must over all other discussions. We express the President of the Region, our friend Renato Schifani, and this commits us even more to an absolutely responsible and constructive conduct in the name of our duties towards Sicilian citizens.
How does Berlusconi assess this rift?
Berlusconi is the man of unity. He would like everyone to be united in the centre-right and he is an advocate of common sense politics even with respect to the opposing sides, let alone if he does not want a united and cohesive Forza Italia, I think he is sorry for what has happened and hopes for a unified conduct on the part of everyone.
Don’t you think that internal struggles within the party could weaken President Schifani?
President Schifani enjoys a solid majority and, moreover, if Forza Italia has forcefully requested and obtained the candidacy of one of its representatives in Sicily, renouncing similar possibilities in other regions for obvious reasons of general balance of the coalition, today it must make the most of Schifani’s presidency by supporting it and not weakening it. And I believe that the government’s action in Sicily will be incisive and effective.
You are the party’s national head of local authorities. In spring there will be votes in Catania, Syracuse and Trapani. How will Forza Italia move?
We must commit ourselves in the next administrations to win in all cities with a united centre-right, I have no doubts about that. Obviously starting from the capitals called to vote such as Catania, Syracuse and Trapani. Forza Italia will have to look for the reasons for the unity of the centre-right. Obviously then there will be local realities, civic movements, but the connotation of the coalition will have to be in Sicily, as in the rest of Italy, clearly oriented towards the centre-right and with the presence of the symbols of centre-right political movements