Emotion and passion at the Salone delle Fontane dell’Eur in Rome, where Silvio Berlusconi’s historic speech was remembered when he announced, 30 years ago, his entry into the field and the birth of Forza Italia. The audience, sold out in every row of seats, gathers around Antonio Tajani. Without ifs and buts.

Blue lights and tricolor flags, the anthem of Italy and Europe in the background. In the parliamentary room, ministers and old and new members. The voice of Cav bursts out with the speech given on 26 January 1994 in a video of a few minutes, a means and message of a new way of doing politics.

“A speech that made history and that retains its strength and extraordinary relevance after 30 years. There lies the future and success of Forza Italia, of the next 30 years and of the next 30 again”, says the historic arm Berlusconi’s right, Gianni Letta, who breaks the silence for the occasion. For the first time on a party stage, Letta brings a message from Berlusconi’s children: “Continue like this in the name of Silvio’s ideals.” The former undersecretary of the presidency recalls the thoughts of Cav dal San Raffaele: “In the many years that I had Tajani at my side he never made a mistake in an intervention or a statement”. An endorsement towards the leadership of the ‘ferryman’, the only candidate for the National Congress which will be held on 23 and 24 February.


Gianni Letta and Antonio Tajani

In Rome, there is no Berlusconi family but they will continue to support the party. “The children asked me to bring their good wishes, the testimony of their support, as their father wanted”, says Letta: “The behavior of the children after 12 June” the day of Silvio Berlusconi’s death was exemplary, “united, attentive towards Marta and available towards Silvio’s friends. Attentive to the empire, to everything that Silvio had achieved and that, they knew, he loved. Including his political creation”.

This is not a nostalgic event. We are a political force that is proud of its 30 years, but determined to move towards tomorrow”, warms up the audience Antonio Tajani. And tomorrow – it is his bet – “will be rosier than what someone wrote saying that we were destined for the political end”. So, looking forward to the next electoral appointments: “We want to be at the top of the table, this is what Berlusconi has always said: we participate to win. We need a force that appears serious, credible, reliable, responsible and that is consistent with what it says. We don’t need storytellers, people who promise things they won’t be able to keep. Italians are looking for people with a good head on their shoulders and capable of governing the country.” And at the end he quotes the secretary of the Democratic Party, Elly Schlein: “I am convinced that the objective of 10% at the European elections is absolutely achievable. Some will not notice that we are arriving”.

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