Matteo Renzi was a guest at Tg2Post, where he commented on an article by Filippo Facci published in Libero and concerning the famous scene of the Hotel Raphael and the coins against Bettino Craxi. “I was shocked reading this article – declared the leader of Italia Viva – your colleague reported the thesis of a university professor who was in the square that day. According to him, it was necessary to have the courage to go all the way, to kill Craxi. On Monday I will present a parliamentary question to the minister of the University to understand what measures he intends to take if this professor really said such sentences ”.
Below is the article by Filippo Facci, published in the April 30 edition of Libero
Even the youngest know the scene of the Hotel Raphaël and the coins against Bettino Craxi, but to them it seems a protest like many others, they do not know the connection between a before and an after, it is as if it were the trailer of a film that is not they have seen. There is no documentary on that period that has those images as its epicenter: but how many – one wonders – know that the news of the attempted lynching was not even published on the front pages of the newspapers? Neither the day after nor the following. The symbol of those years: but not a single line. Even the only photo, later seen and reviewed in the years to come, was taken by a freelance who had climbed onto the platform of the Santa Lucia restaurant, next to the hotel. We owe everything to Tg4 and to the Rai cameras of Mixer, grungy and blasted images as if to anticipate youtube. A leap into the future as was the transcription of hundreds of telephone calls or telegrams that arrived in the editorial offices of newspapers and published without filters, the future people of the internet. It had never happened that the private residence of a public figure (Craxi lived in the Hotel) was besieged by a decision passed by Parliament. That day politics ended and the forms of its absence began: technocracy, the illusion of civil society, the pan-penalization of Italian society, neopopulism, the decline, the impoverishment of the country; the squares became virtual and hatred and social envy hid their hand in domestic solitude: the famous lonely crowd. It had to happen anyway, probably: everything has changed, but only here has it changed in this way.
With the disappearance of entire parties, institutions, symbols, reputations, respect for roles, above all what little civic fabric that our young democracy had painstakingly hatched, and that the revolutionary detergent has restored us as white and clean as an useless rag, has been dismembered. We have returned to a mysterious year zero. Who knows, maybe it will get better. In the meantime, we know that ours is the only European country that no longer has a liberal, socialist, green or Christian Democrat party. The public debt has more than tripled, the middle class has proletarianized, economic growth is in last place in Europe, the most important companies have expatriated or have been sold, those that remain have been mistreated by a ruling class to say the least. little neophyte. There are no politicians while “politics” and “politicians” continue to be derogatory terms. Often the recent past is blamed to justify the present. Often, for example, Craxi is blamed. We may have different ideas about when and where the inclined plane from which we began to roll began, but not about one thing: Raphaël’s scene was a “symbolic” lynching only because it failed.
Fabrizio Rondolino, at the time a journalist of the «Unity», was out there: «The climate changed suddenly, I was frightened, I began to retreat, there was more and more people. I saw the Fascists, so many people I had never seen before, certainly also so many militants who came from the Occhetto rally. I had played in the young Communists, we had made many demonstrations even against Craxi, but that was a completely different thing ». An escort officer: “There was a tremendous tension in the air. We under Raphaël waiting for the President to come down; suddenly people began to arrive from Piazza Navona and other alleys in the center, shortly after the manager of the area police station arrived, followed by other colleagues. People were starting to be really big and in a moment some of them started screaming, others spitting and yelling at us ». There were three groups: a pidiessina majority coming from the nearby Achille Occhetto rally, a minority of Missini who arrived from the nearby Via della Scrofa, finally a minority of people passing by, while the Lega Nord supporters were blocked in Piazza Zanardelli. Missino Teodoro Buontempo was holding two small bags changed in the tobacconist’s shop of a dormitory: 10 thousand lire, 100 coins, little stuff compared to the 250 thousand lire that finally remained on the ground.
Meanwhile, no one could dissuade Craxi: “I don’t go out from behind.” “Is the car ready?” “Yup”. “Well”. A break. “Then we go”. Craxi put his blue jacket over his shoulder and kicked the door like a saloon, and he was out. At 20:05 there was a roar, an explosion, a single uninterrupted cry, three plainclothes policemen rushed forward to Craxi who came out immediately after flying stones, cobblestones, coins, lighters, pieces of glass, plastic bottles, an umbrella: “There he is, there he is,” shouts the reporter from Mixer, “they are pulling everything, they are pulling everything.” Three camera spotlights illuminate the scene, Craxi gets into the car first, behind, on the right, then follows the driver Nicola driving alongside Cicconi – who has a bleeding head – and again behind, on the left, there is the I trust Luca Josi, who got something in his eye. The plainclothes policemen move here and there and stop some frantic trying to get to the car, rush forward, then the Thema starts, scrapes and starts the siren, and then there are punches on the glass, kicks, helmet blows and stones on the bodywork, suddenly there is no longer any filter between the car and the demonstrators, the policemen are scattered, overwhelmed, busy blocking the pressure of the demonstrators left and right, Craxi smiles at the window. “Ruble shooters,” he murmurs. “After that,” he asks himself. “What’s up ? Beyond this, what is there? ». The crowd tried in every way to block the cars on the run, many ran after them, but this is not seen in the videos. , because the images stop first.
According to the driver Nicola Mansi, however, “the police did nothing”. According to an escort agent: “They threw coins, cobblestones, bricks, stones, bottles, spit and anything they found in their pockets or at their feet at us.” Rondolino again: “That evening in front of Raphaël I understood what justicialism actually was, what Mani clean was, what was the anti-traxism that Berlinguer had taught us and that Occhetto was cultivating: nothing but an angry crowd that tempts lynching”. Pino Ciocioli from «Avvenire» was also there: «It was violent, very violent. Something probably ended that night, and something else started. Rondolino again: «The policemen were few, too few. I had not feared for Craxi, but for myself. Had we been in America, where guns circulate more easily, perhaps someone would have shot them. I had never seen him, a lynching ». Among the crowd there was also one of the few witnesses who had the courage to admit it even many years later: the historic opportunity to kill Craxi was lost.
He, Piero Vereni, was a recent graduate student in 1993, but today he is a professor of anthropology at the University of Tor Vergata: «The coins were obviously too few, and so were the insults. We had to do more Ritual killing of the ruler is a common practice in all cultures, of all times That evening, to speak briskly, we were killing the king, and there is nothing wrong or bad about that. But I would like to go further and ask myself: what would have happened if we had really taken possession of Bettino’s body? What if we had really torn it to pieces, if we had eaten it in pieces (it was big and fat, there was something for everyone)? I say that some of us would have died in the clashes, others went to jail, life sentences, but the country would have benefited from it: we would have declared, writing it on the body of power, the irrevocability of what was happening Clean Hands was not the Terror they are by peddling our counter-reaction it had to be equally symbolic: you want to give a damn but I sdereno you, I dismantle you, I cancel you. In short, that evening we were doing nothing but our duty as Italians. Our real mistake was not to go through with it. We had to tear Craxi to pieces, we should have killed him in pieces, throw his (I imagine very long) guts on the Raphaël door and drag them to Parliament. Then the police would have (rightly) done their duty, killed the most maddened ones directly on the spot, and taken away a lot of the others. We would therefore have had to go through with it. Sacrificing Craxi and some of us in the name of the town, to make everyone understand that it was over I was there. And like all those who make history, I didn’t understand what opportunity I had on my hands ».