the 4 gladiators of Rome (children of forced choices) – Corriere.it

From the rear of every bus in the capital, a Calenda from the waist up, a «slim-fit» version, looks at us and says: «Rome, seriously». If he refers to himself (usually it is so with Calenda) it will mean that he is serious and the others are not, or that he really believes in it otherwise he would not have spent all this money on the electoral campaign. But if it refers to Rome we must disassociate ourselves: the situation of the city is so serious, but not serious, to paraphrase the motto of one who knew it well, Ennio Flaiano.

And in fact, apart from Calenda who applied for himself, the other three potential mayors of the capital of Italy are forced choices, or not chosen ones, of the parties that support them. The management team of the M5S, it is known, the Raggi would have gladly kept her at home, also because her race belies the sacred rule of the double mandate. Gualtieri is also there for the renunciation of the winning name, Zingaretti, who did not want to break the honeymoon with Conte by challenging the mayor. The almost unknown Enrico Michetti, then, came out of the hat of Meloni, the “wizard” of the center-right convinced that she could transform the “tribune” of the Roman radios into a king, but to make it digestible he had to accept the escort: alongside a deputy candidate mayor, Simonetta Matone, and behind him a councilor candidate for culture, Sgarbi.


Ironies on the modesty of names are not accepted. The history of Rome is full of homines novi. On the other hand, if it is true that Paris had Chirac, London Boris Johnson and Berlin Willy Brandt as mayor, none of these great European capitals can boast either Caesars or Popes. And it is in fact on this great past that Michetti modestly wants to build his future. Questioned by Corriere about the program, he honestly admitted that he is still working on it, but he has no doubts about the inspiration: to follow in the footsteps of emperors and popes, who “built bridges, roads, aqueducts, amphitheaters for the well-being of citizens”. If he also makes a couple of triumphal arches, the “centurions” will be happy, who will have more backdrops for photos with tourists while they do the Roman salute (sorry, “hygienic”, as the new candidate defined it in a nostalgic mood ).

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A mayor who wants to build the Colosseum of the twenty-first century it would be a really nice retaliation for the Romans, just out of the five years of a mayor who has not even managed to build the new stadium of Rome, even if she wanted to, without saying the landfills and the plants that would serve to not send out most of the ‘garbage of the Romans, which now the others are tired of taking and in fact remains in the streets, without mentioning the refused candidacy for the Olympics, without mentioning the manholes that remain clogged and flood the neighborhoods, without mentioning mice, wild boars and pantegane, without saying… you add. On the other hand, the mayor herself gave the judgment on the functioning of the capital’s essential services, changing sixteen councilors in five years, five administrators of the waste company, three of the water company and six of the transport company.

However, the Raggi legacy must be read carefully. The test of governance of the Cinquestelle began in fact with an understandable obsession: o-ne-stà. Except that in order to eliminate the malfeasance that existed, Raggi also stopped current affairs for years. He put the city in a pharmacological coma, he suspended all the vital functions of the city, so that no organ could get sick. Like a sleeping beauty, the Eternal City slipped into a deep sleep, plastically evident during the months of the lockdown, when without more people, traffic, transport, work, tourists, nightlife, life, it was beautiful.

This style of government has its admirers in the city. The same people who loved the happy degrowth of the Cinquestelle, the citizenship income, and the shops closed on Sundays. They are not few and in any case they are aggressive. In the ballot boxes they will not disappear. Indeed, it can be said that the electoral competitions that began yesterday are actually two. The first, to use a Ciceronian term, is among the “populares”, today called populists: both Raggi and Michetti seek the same votes, the votes of the people that can be mobilized against the elites. One of the two places will be played in the ballot. The other race is among the “optimates”, those who instead seek the vote of the reflective middle classes, not only in the LTZ, but also in Parioli and Testaccio, in Prati and Roma Nord. One is Gualtieri, an honest person, a reformist with the right schools, but more at ease in the muffled atmosphere of the European Parliament than in the gladiator fight that promises to be the Capitoline electoral campaign. He has behind him the organization of a party that here has always known how to take votes, but has also always known how to make them weigh on the mayor (see Marino). Its competitor is Calenda, golden boy of the centrists, who has a plan for every problem and a problem in believing that this is enough to win, because democracy is not the government of the best, but of those who get the most votes.

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In an ideal world, the champions of the two sides should arrive in the final, and there to play it. On who has the most ability to break through in the second round I have my ideas, but I keep them. Because Rome has been a surprise for 28 centuries, better not to venture. What you can be sure of is that the candidates will win or lose, not the parties. As a compliment, Enrico Michetti said yesterday that “they are like cartilage with the knee”. Here it is.

June 10, 2021 (change June 10, 2021 | 22:48)

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