«This moment of grace in the book warms the heart. I am not speaking only as a publisher and reader, but as a citizen of this country. Because, despite the virus is raising its head, it is one of the signs that authorize trust and optimism in an Italy that in turn is experiencing a moment of grace “.
An Italy that for her, I imagine, would be even more launched if she went up to the Quirinale Silvio Berlusconi… «My father never put forward his candidacy, and so let’s keep to the facts. Then, if you ask a daughter, what do you think she answers? ».
The voice of Marina Berlusconi on the phone from Mondadori she is still. The march of the Draghi government convinces her and speaks of a country that “today is liked and liked more”. But he is keen to emphasize that his point of view is above all that of president of the publishing house and Fininvest. “In 2021 we expect a significantly better margin for Mondadori also in 2019 – he says – and, net of acquisitions, no debt, indeed, cash on hand. The excellent numbers of the first nine months have just been published, as well as those of Mediaset, which in Italy and Spain has grown a lot in terms of revenues and profits, foresees a record year and has managed to launch the pan-European project ». It returns to the “unforgettable year of the book”, which in the spring of 2000 was in fact zero sales, then embarked on an amazing recovery and will close a very strong increase in 2021. A result that «rewards the Mondadori strategy, which is increasingly focused on the core business. Companies are investing and we have invested a lot in the book again this year, starting with the acquisition of De Agostini Scuola that the Antitrust has just approved ». But Marina Berlusconi goes further. “Yes, I believe that this new spring of the book represents something important for everyone. Of course, the numbers must be weighed, some analyzes are contradictory. But in any case, a country that reads more is a country that has more future “.
But in this revival of the book, will the government also have had its part or not?
“A wise incentive policy must be acknowledged, but the push from publishers and booksellers counted a lot. The habit of reading acquired in the lock down at least for now has not been lost. And then it’s not just a matter of data, but also of climate ».
“I was struck by the queues at the Turin Motor Show, the fact that the book is also the protagonist on social networks … But the reasons for optimism, if I look around, certainly do not concern only reading”.
Are you arguing that the Covid tragedy is at least changing us for the better in the end?
«I’m just saying that Italy today seems different to me. It is as if we were trying to show what we are capable of and what we could be: we look like a more responsible, more mature country.In practice, our GDP had not grown more than 6 percent for at least 60 years, even if the topic inflation now should not be underestimated. We are among the very first in the world for anti-Covid vaccinations, and I hope we will face the new wave coming in the same spirit. But also sport, which has always strengthened a sense of belonging and optimism: this year we have won a lot ».
However, it is undeniable that the tenant of Palazzo Chigi is very different from those we were used to.
«I certainly do not underestimate the Draghi effect. He gave the right weight to values such as seriousness, authority, Europeanism. With him we got rid of many sorcerer’s apprentices and returned to the ethics of competence. Draghi played a fundamental role in creating the new climate that I seem to feel, and which goes beyond his own work. Look at justice for example».
I knowTo tell from her that there are improvements even on justice is singular, wasn’t she your beast?
“Let me tell you. No one expected that a denunciation of the judicial subdivision such as Il Sistema di Palamara and Sallusti would sell more than 200,000 copies. I believe that the success of that book, as well as the avalanche of signatures for the referendums on justice or the space that the media dedicate to the disconcerting feuds between robes, may indicate that Italians are beginning to become aware of how much justice affects their lives ” .
Actually, the Italians already had an awareness in terms of slowness, invasions of the field …
«Yes, but they are also beginning to understand how a small but omnipotent group of robes has influenced these last thirty years. Critical and self-critical reflections on events that were taboo until yesterday such as Tangentopoli are increasing. Even if there is still a lot of street to go back to being a normal country, we are seeing it ».
But if her father has just been acquitted in one of the various branches of the Ruby ter trial … At least she’ll be happy with that.
“And God forbid! That is a process that really escapes all logic … The reality is that my father should not only be acquitted, but he would deserve almost incalculable moral compensation for the injustices suffered. And instead certain prosecutors and certain newspapers continue undaunted to conceive of themselves as “executioners”, doomed to annihilate, out of ideological fury or simply by calculation, of the “enemy”. His name is Silvio Berlusconi ».
But the center-right is now ready to nominate him for the Quirinale too …
“I only know that the hypothesis, the hypothesis, of his candidacy was enough for, like the conditioned reflex of Pavlov’s dog, the executioner troops would begin to spread toxic gases again.”
Hadn’t he just finished talking about the “new climate” in the country and about justice?
«Yes, it seems to me, however, that an increasing number of Italians realize how these alleged investigations were born only to splash mud. Can I make a perhaps risky comparison? ».
What is that?
«I feel like saying that, while in other countries the obtuse ideological closure of the cancel culturedemolishes the statues of Christopher Columbus and great authors are censored – because censorship is the right word – on the basis of moralistic judgments completely unrelated to their art, we Italians perhaps, and I stress perhaps ten times, we try to overcome old preconceptions and to evaluate with spirit more open “.
Taking down the statues and censoring is one thing, but the existence of racism is another.
«Of course, but what happens in Anglo-Saxon countries, starting with the United States, is frightening. Racism is fought with another form of racism, it pretends to disfigure history because it is too “white”. Is cancel culture so different from the fundamentalism of the Taliban who destroyed the statues of the Buddha, a world heritage site? Well, it seems to me that in Italy the voices against this gangrene of contemporary thought are more and more numerous. I would say that we seem more resistant to contagion ».
A “moment of grace” still remains a moment. There are also those who, like the no vax, no green pass, will today demonstrate “no” in this Italy.
«In fact I am not under the illusion … I have just said about the Republic of prosecutors. And I also follow the no vax demonstrations. I also see the paucity of a certain policy that claims to avoid any confrontation by slamming the accusation of a “fascist” in the face of the opponent. I am also impressed by the power of certain lobbies which, for example, are holding back even the most timid attempts to stem the overwhelming power of the giants of the web, increasingly looming over our economies and our lives… ».
What happened to his optimism?
«Look, maybe we won’t succeed, but I think that this positive moment should still be tried to grasp it. I learned from my father that optimism can make even the impossible possible, not just for an entrepreneur. What else is the acquisition of Dea Scuola, Mondadori’s largest investment in 15 years, if not an act of trust in a country weakened by the pandemic? Of course, we Italians are more inclined to be pleased with our faults, but we are also capable of reacting to the worst moments. And today I think the best way to do something for our country is to try, at least try, believe it. Despite everythingO».