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OVER THE HORIZON

From past to future in the political adventure
of Claudio Scajola

(2006)

by Rino Di Stefano

Change Language / Cambia Lingua: English - Italiano

Over The HorizonWhen the publisher Gianfranco De Ferrari asked me to write a book about Honorable Claudio Scajola, I was a little puzzled. Dr. Scajola is not an ordinary personality. First of all we were talking about the most important politician of the Liguria region in the beginning of this century, a leading political figure in the national and international contest, but first of all a point of reference for the voters of Forza Italia (the Silvio Berlusconi's political party), a man of character whose political ups and down fill it up newspapers for years.
About Hon. Scajola, every media wrote a lot. In particular about his mistakes. For his political enemies it was very easy to speak ill of him for some trouble he got, sometimes for overconfidence. But he always paid for his mistakes, without asking for any discount. The books against him very often are made by writers very near at the Italian Left.
I knew that to write about Hon. Scajola, to tell what the man really is, with his good and bad points, was not easy. But I took the chance if be free to choose whatever subject I like about his life. So, for one year I spent all my free time (in that period I was working for the Italian national newspaper Il Giornale) to study the man, the politician and what all he made in his life. Even before he was born, because Claudio Scajola's history can't be understood if you don't know also his father's life, Ferdinando, political exile from Rome by Mussolini's Fascists and first Christiandemocrat major of the Ligurian city of Imperia in the postwar period. And we should know also the political journey of his eldest brother, Alessandro, twice major of Imperia and also twice Member of the Italian Parliament for the Christiandemocrat Party.
But in what contest can we place Claudio Scajola's history? If we like to understand the personality we are talking about, it's much better if we make a little introduction.
It was a long time that Italy didn't face a period so difficult. During the five years (2001-2006) of the first center-right government, international financial unprecedented occurrences seriously damaged the Italian economy. First of all the Euro revolution. The passage between old currency and the new Euro was almost normal in all Europe, but Italy and Greece. In these two countries, but in particular in Italy, all kind of financial speculations in two years doubled any price. Everything was more expensive, but salary and pensions were exactly the same. In other words, people were paid in the value of the old lira, but they buy everything in Euro. Very soon this situation created a new poverty and a very large dissatisfaction.
That's way this economy disease, with a very high national debt and zero economy development, made Romano Prodi a winner in the national political elections of April 2006. For only 25 thousand votes, Prodi defeated Berlusconi.
One of the more leading personalities of the new government of center-right, was Claudio Scajola, Minister of the Production Activities. Scajola was born in 1948 in Imperia, in the western side of the Liguria region. He is married and father of two sons, earned a law degree, was the major of his city, and friends and enemies believed he is an excellent manager. Scajola has been many times in the newspaper news for his adventurous political life. This adjective is not exaggerated at all. When he was the Imperia major, in the first eighty, there was one of the many scandals that from time to time occurred at the Sanremo casino. Scajola didn't have anything to do with that story, but he was investigated, arrested and spent 71 days at the San Vittore prison, in Milan, before he was released and went back home.
Any other politician in that event could continue to be a major until his judicial position was over, but he didn't. He just didn't stand the idea to be wrongly charged with something he never did. So he resigned and retired from public life. The Italian justice made five years to recognize his own mistake and only in 1990 the same judges who arrested Scajola, asked for his complete acquittal from any charge. Only at that point Scajola was back to politics, won city elections and became again the major.
A change in his life occurred in the year 2000, when Silvio Berlusconi asked him to organize his political party, Forza Italia. One year later the new party won the national elections and the first government of center-right coalition got the power.
Scajola became the Minister of Interior and, in that role, he faced the international effects in Italy of the Twin Towers attack and the trouble of the G8 summit in Genoa. From July 20 to 22, 2001 many thousands of no global destroyed the Genoa downtown in a rational and devastating madness, that police only partially restrained. As a matter of fact, the Government tried to talk with the peaceful political dissenters, but nobody knew about those initiatives. And anyhow the situation degenerated when a boy, Carlo Giuliani, was accidentally killed by a policeman who was aboard a jeep attacked by dissenters in Alimonda Square.
Because of that death, a lot of accusations were thrown against Minister Scajola and the Berlusconi government. Reading some news in the papers of that time, it looks like it was the police to attak the dissenters, and not the contrary.
Even when the G8 summit was over, leaving judicial proceedings against the police for violence at the Pertini School in Genoa, another problem hit minister Scajola: the Biagi case.
Professor Marco Biagi, who taught at the University of Modena, was working for the Berlusconi government to reform the work market. Biagi asked many times to be escorted by policemen, because he was threatened by terrorists of the Red Brigades. In that period minister Scajola was studying a project to rationalize police escorts in all Italy, since there were 3.000 people escorted every day by policemen. But officially only 300 were authorized by the local Security County Committees, which denied to professor Biagi the right to be escorted. Minister Scajola has had nothing to do with this decision, since the Committees were absolutely independent. But when the professor was killed by terrorists under his house, in Bologna, all the Italian media accused Scajola.
Few weeks later the situation was normalizing, but then, one evening, dining with two journalists in the Cipro Island, Scajola told something tactless about the killed professor and that news had a disastrous result. Later on, Scajola tried to explain that he didn't mean at all to insult professor Biagi's memory, but he was too late. So he resigned.
After few months, Scajola was called again by premier Berlusconi and became Minister for the Program Accomplishment and then Minister for the Production Activities. He maintained this role until April 2006, when the Berlusconi Government were defeated by the left-handed Union of Romano Prodi in the national political elections.
The book Over The Horizon – From past to future in the political adventure of Claudio Scajola, published on September 2006 by De Ferrari Publisher, is a collection of political essay about the life of Minister Scajola and the recent history of centre-right coalition of Silvio Berlusconi. The preface is by political scientist Gianni Baget Bozzo, who I thank for that.
Anyhow, the political adventure of Scajola was not ended, since he was elected again at the Italian Parliament and on July he has been appointed by unanimity (from majority and minority coalitions) president of the Parliamentary Committee to control the Italian Secret Services (Copaco).
The book was presented Monday, November 20, 2006, at 6 p.m. at Villa Spinola, in Genoa. With me, there were the following speakers: Professor Piergiorgio Alberti of University of Genoa, Doctor Giovanni Berneschi, President of the Carige Bank, Political Scientist Gianni Baget Bozzo, Doctor Giovani Novi, President of the Port Authority of Genoa, Honorable Professor Bruno Orsini, past member of the Italian Parliament, Engineer Davide Viziano, President of the Viziano Group. The meeting was directed by broadcaster Mario Paternostro, Managing editor of the commercial television Primocanale.
Going back to Claudio Scajola, after two years the Prodi Government fell down and on April 2008 the new political elections were widely won by the center-right coalition of premier Silvio Berlusconi. At present, Honorable Claudio Scajola is former Minister for the Economic Development.

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Book Details:

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: De Ferrari (Italy)
Series: Controtempo
Publication Date: June 2006
Language:
Italian
ISBN-10: 8871727339
ISBN-13: 9788871727332
Price: €16.00

 

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