Florence, 15 September 2020 – Mr Salvini, for this electoral campaign you have actually pitched your tents in Tuscany. If Susanna Ceccardi wins on Monday, it will be said: it is Salvini’s victory. But if it were to lose again, as happened in Emilia Romagna, can it be said that its star has faded?
“It is not a referendum on Salvini but a vote to decide the future of Tuscany. There is no talk of ideologies but of health care and waiting lists to be reduced, infrastructures that are lacking, regional taxes to be lowered. The Tuscans pay the tax waste among the most expensive in Italy. Susanna Ceccardi is very good and the mayor did well, I am confident that on Monday we will have a nice surprise “.
After the attack the other day in Pontassieve Il Giornale headlined: “The left made it: Salvini beaten”. What do you think?
“I say that it is not normal for a mayor to define me as an” unwelcome person “in a beautiful and free city like Pontassieve. And it is not normal for a restaurateur to have been forced to cancel a lunch already organized with dozens of people because he was threatened with death. Bagno a Ripoli as elsewhere. But I prefer to talk about something else, about school and work, avoiding answering. Even if just yesterday a candidate of the Democratic Party in Turin (in Venaria Reale) spread the message “Salvini hanging” via social media. unpleasant episodes, but Tuscany is much more than two threats “.
The fact is that, compared to the more or less recent past, she seems to have changed her strategy: low tones, no effective intercoms, the topic of migrants almost disappeared from her radar. Is it a repentance?
“After the virus and the months of closure, citizens are asking for concrete answers. The priorities are above all work and the economic crisis. And then school, health, social housing, infrastructure, the environment. All issues on which this government is doing too little, despite the many proposals of the League, of the artisans, of the entrepreneurs and also of the trade unions. The landings have almost quadrupled. And on October 3 I will be on trial, in Catania, where I risk up to 15 years in prison for defending Italy. 150,000 Tuscans risk to lose their jobs: they are the priority, not who lands tomorrow morning “.
The criticism that is always made of the Tuscan center-right is: there is no leadership class up to par. If Susanna Ceccardi were to win, have you already thought about how to choose the government team that will have to face the health and economic emergency caused by Covid?
“It is an unfounded criticism: we govern well in six out of ten capitals. We already have clear ideas on how to revive this splendid land. Tuscany does not need to import other models from outside, it just needs to put development and infrastructure back at the center. , the merit”.
He toured Tuscany a lot, but not only Tuscany, in this post lockdown summer. What do you think is the category of people most suffering?
“Lots of merchants, artisans, entrepreneurs and VAT numbers who did not receive the promised aid. We think of the historic center of Florence and the fact that, incredibly, the Region has not granted any discount to merchants renting in its spaces. Then thousands of workers employees who are still waiting for layoffs since April, the hoteliers who have touched the flop of the tourism bonus, the street vendors “.
Giorgia Meloni seems to continue her rise in consensus. Now you will say that this represents an additional asset for the center-right coalition. But isn’t it true that Fratelli d’Italia is partly gnawing on a space that was his until a year ago?
“It’s healthy competition. The League remains firmly the first party, and even if I don’t believe in the polls, from August to today it has grown more than anyone, in Tuscany as in every part of Italy. The contact with people, the presence in the factories and among the people, for us they are beautiful, they are fundamental “.
In the center-right, you recently signed an anti-mess pact. Do you continue to fear that Forza Italia could somehow disengage itself to act as a crutch for the Conte government?
“Absolutely not. Pd and 5Stelle have been fighting for a year, about everything. Look at the school: thousands of kids at home and thousands of teachers without a chair. How can you support a government like this?”.
Giorgetti declared that voting Yes in the referendum means doing the government a favor. Do you think so too?
“I make another reasoning: in Parliament we voted Yes four times and I do not change my mind at the last and for shop interests, like any Renzi. Clearly, the cut alone does not solve Italy’s problems, but Parliament can work well even with fewer parliamentarians “.
Giorgetti’s words on the one hand, Zaia’s steady growth in consensus on the other, the investigation into the League’s funds which is becoming more and more pressing. Do you feel your leadership less solid than it used to be?
“I am very calm. If someone expresses different opinions about the referendum, which is an exercise in democracy, it does not offend me. Zaia is from the League and I am happy to know that it is popular, alone we will get triple the votes of Pd and 5Stelle combined. On the investigation, yet another, I remember that for years they have been looking for money all over the world without finding it. That money is simply not there.
You recently stood up for the arrested accountants. Do you still feel like doing it?
“I know Di Rubba and Manzoni, and I have no reason to doubt them, I have always considered them correct”.
Let’s assume this scenario: on the evening of September 21, Tuscany passes to the center-right. Will he ask for Conte’s resignation?
“No, I won’t. On the evening of September 21, if the Tuscans choose us and change, Susanna and her team will already be at work. And I also hope to enjoy a few hours with my children.”
So let’s not think about tomorrow, or even the day after tomorrow, but let’s look a little further ahead: does Salvini feel ready to be prime minister?
“I am fortunate to have a team of prepared people, the League has opened up to the world of professions, business, culture and volunteering, so I answer yes: I hope to be able to lead the government to achieve what was promised, exactly as I did at the time of the Interior Ministry. Closed ports, hiring thousands of women and men from the police and firefighters, security decrees. All without forgetting the many good reforms carried out by the League: 100 and stop the unjust Fornero law, flat tax at 15% up to 65 thousand euros for VAT, red code against violence against women, self-defense, Genoa decree with the reconstruction of the bridge in record time “.
Yet for a year he has been in opposition …
“I like to talk with facts and work with a smile, then the citizens decide in serenity and freedom. That freedom with a capital L of which Oriana Fallaci, a great Florentine and a great Italian, deserves a special memory: today it is the anniversary of his death, a death that happened really too soon “.
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