Mayor, Giuseppe Conte spoke on the regional in Calabria. After the retirement of Nicola Irto, the new leader of the 5 Star Movement spoke of a pact between the progressive forces to nominate “an exponent of civil society”. The identikit is that of the former parliamentarian Enzo Ciconte. But could it also be that of de Magistris?
I believe that my candidacy is an unprecedented opportunity for those who, like the Movement, are not compromised with the system, in Calabria in particular. Our proposal does not come from a Roman palace, it was born from the bottom already at the end of January and leads a man who for ten years worked on the front line in this land. And now, in a civic coalition, it puts itself at the service of its citizens with the idea of unhinging the system. Conte must decide, because this is a referendum. Is it for freedom or for subjection? For change or for conservation disguised as change with facade operations?
In short, when Conte hopes for a candidate who is an exponent of civil society, Luigi de Magistris responds “here I am”?
If Conte talks about civil society, it is us. Come and talk to us and think about what they want to do. I say this above all to the Five Stars: their electorate, their activists, many of their Calabrian representatives are watching us carefully. I can’t understand what’s holding them back. I tell them: do you still have something that makes you go back to the origins of meet-ups, to the 2018 vote, or are you now with those who are part of the single party of public spending and political transversalism at the regional level? This is the theme.
Are you really thinking that the M5S can break agreements with the Democratic Party to support it?
I would have expected them to say to me: “Look, Luigi, thank goodness that this strange coincidence has arisen”. The conditions seem ideal to me: Conte and the Five Star Movement would stand alongside people like De Magistris, Mimmo Lucano, Carlo Tanzi, Anna Falcone. Their hesitation is surreal. The Five Star Movement can play a role of renewal and has a duty to clarify.
What is the difference, at this moment, between the Democratic Party and the Five Stars?
Beyond their political pact, which I respect, I understand the difficulties of the Democratic Party: many of his people in Calabria see me as the devil who wants to break a system of power. I am not referring to the whole party, but to those who governed Calabria and had a responsibility in regional political management. The Five Stars, on the other hand, must explain if they are on the side of change, of true civility, of the alternative or if they are on the other side to protect national balances. I understand that they have difficulty finding a candidate and have to find one that is somehow presentable, but the Calabrians are not fooled by the brush that paints the facade.
From his words, Calabria seems like a bargaining chip, sacrificed in dynamics that have nothing to do with the territory.
I say how I think: they don’t really care about Calabria. He never gave a damn, for the Roman leaders this land is exactly a potential bargaining chip. They do not want it to be finally governed by free and autonomous people, who are in the interest of the Calabrians and not that of the system. They do not understand, however, that even within their parties – even in the Democratic Party – there are many who want to change. This is the aspect to be grasped: for the first time, Calabria can transform itself from the periphery of the periphery to a political laboratory. I say this to those who often fill their mouths saying “we must unite against the sovereign right”. Okay, but it’s not just de Magistris here. Here is a very large, very large civic coalition that grows every day and that stands among the people.
Nicola Irto, now a former candidate in pectore of the Democratic Party, slammed the door denouncing the transversalism of a party divided into many small “fiefdoms”. What do you think of your letter?
His words are heavy and not very far from those of Zingaretti. Who, resigning as secretary of the Democratic Party, said: “I’m leaving because my party thinks more about the seats than the general interest of the country.” Irto, who is a young executive who has had important roles and had been a candidate for some time, goes away talking about “struggle between political gangs, between fiefdoms”. Now I understand why, faced with the “de Magistris problem”, they are anxiously looking for a candidacy to clean up a bit. But nobody falls for it.
Are you always talking to the M5s?
For them, joining our project is the only opportunity to demonstrate with facts that they want change, enlargement and civic forces. But not because de Magistris is out today: I repeat, we have been on the pitch for four months among the people. If one does not know this fact, it means that he does not want to change. If I can understand it for the Democratic Party, I don’t understand it for the Five Star Movement. That’s why I ask the question above all to Conte. We would like to understand which side is on, since there is our option should remember many values of their battles. I repeat, today the M5s is facing a crossroads: it is either on one side or on the other. So we understand how important this match is for them.
What do you think of the hypothesis Enzo Ciconte, candidate of the Giallorossi coalition?
I say this without provocation: Ciconte, who is a writer and a connoisseur of the facts of the ‘Ndrangheta, would be a candidate who could very well be combined with the commitment that I have concretely shown, for about ten years, in the fight against the’ Ndrangheta and other forms of criminal deviance. The same commitment with which I do politics today in a generous way and with a lot of passion.
Do you think Ciconte is really thinking of accepting the candidacy?
Yes, I have read some of his statements. I think he’s thinking about it, if they’ve got the name out there.
With these forces in the field we are talking about polls in which the Pd-M5s coalition, if we voted today, would come third. Is that so?
We are working to win the hearts of the Calabrians and to win. I have the feeling that we will win in Calabria.
The hope that it would be more concrete if the Five Star Movement accepted his invitation?
I tell Conte that this is a huge opportunity to show that government alliances, as they say, were needed by the electoral law. First they were with Salvini, then with Renzi and the Democratic Party and now even with Berlusconi. In Calabria they have the opportunity to make us understand what they are really made of.
Is the appeal also addressed to Enzo Ciconte?
Ciconte is a respectable person. But why not get involved in our project, in which, with enthusiasm, we are building alliances, involvement, associations, civic networks? I know Calabria well and I have never seen such enthusiasm. Why not grasp it? What is scary? That we break the single party of public spending, of the control of money, of the management of the Recovery Fund? Or a person who is able with his story to break ties with the ‘Ndrangheta? The center-left was unable to do so. This is the theme.