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Almost a month after elections overtaken by the centre-right, Italy has no government and Giorgia Meloni is on hot coals. The prime minister in pectore has a “cow in the corridor”, as Pier Luigi Bersani would say. But it’s not Salvini, as we first thought: it’s Silvio Berlusconi.

The Knight first announces an agreement to entrust the Ministry of Justice to Elisabetta Casellati, while Giorgia Meloni’s idea is Carlo Nordio. Then, in an audio from October 18 from La Presse, probably leaked outside by a deputy close to Berlusconi who met the blue “troupe” of Montecitorio, the former prime minister claims to have “rekindled, a bit much, relations with Putin”. Adding that Ukraine’s entry into NATO could mean a “world war”.

What did Berlusconi say

In the “stolen” audio, Berlusconi says he received from Putin on his birthday, September 29, “20 bottles of vodka and a very sweet letter. I replied with 20 bottles of Lambrusco and an equally sweet letter. I was declared by him the first of his five true friends.” Shortly before, he had declared: “Russian ministers have declared that we are already at war with them because we supply arms and financing to the “Ukraine. Personally, I cannot express my opinion, because if it is then told to the press or otherwise, it will lead to a disaster, but I am very, very, very worried.”

Will Tajani be foreign minister?

The Cav therefore enters the scene and triggers an earthquake under the feet of a government that the leader of the FdI is trying to create, risking a very dangerous tear. Also because the new executive should have an openly Atlanticist matrix, embodied precisely by a minister from Forza Italia, Antonio Tajani, until now dedicated to Foreign Affairs. And now there are those who suspect that the audio that would nail Berlusconi not to pro-Atlanticism but to obvious pro-Putinism, is a “poison meatball.” That someone – not necessarily Berlusconi – cut off the would-be Farnesina leader, passing it on to reporters who, doing their job, broke the news.

Antonio Tajani with Marta Fascina, partner of Berlusconi. Photo Ansa / Riccardo Antimiani

Giorgia Meloni’s Frost

Is the majority separating? The opposition pushes the blow. “The only thing Berlusconi can do more to avoid giving birth to this government is to plant a bomb via della Scrofa…”, is the sarcastic synthesis of the head of Action, Carlo Calenda. Inside Forza Italia there are those who live with embarrassment a situation that had already been complicated last week with the case of Licia Ronzulli, outside the government but elected president of the Senate (that of the Chamber is Alessandro Cattaneo ). Tajani deserted a conference yesterday afternoon where he was expected. And the climate is even heavier in the offices where Giorgia Meloni spent the day at work, amazed and worried by the escalation of Berlusconi’s interventions. In front of the Cav, the Prime Minister in pectore hides behind a “cold silence” say her collaborators.

Berlusconi and the ministers

A silence that joins that of Salvini and the Lega. The truce, signed not even 24 hours earlier with the face to face via della Scrofa, begins to creak when, in the early afternoon of October 18, Berlusconi arrives at the Palazzo Madama to meet his senators. “In Forza Italia there is a deep bitterness” he underlines “because, with the number of voters equal to the Lega, the way in which the single-member constituencies were distributed brought us 20 deputies and 10 senators less”.

Carl Nordio. Photo Ansa / Alessandro Di Meo

The request for “equal dignity with the League” was accompanied a few hours later by a follow-up from Berlusconi on Justice: “Will it be Nordio? No, Meloni asked me to meet him, but he there is the former President of the Senate Elisabetta Casellati, on that there is complete agreement”. Then, after the assembly with the deputies, he adds: “Meloni said yes to Casellati”. And a list of ministers forcos begins: “There will be Tajani for Foreign Affairs and the Deputy Prime Minister, Bernini for Public Administration. Then Saccani at the University, Pichetto at the Environment and Ecological Transition and Casellati at Justice”. Meanwhile, from Colle, Sergio Mattarella is silent.Beyond Berlusconi and Meloni, he is the one who has the last word.

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