In the newfound compactness of the center-right of Forlì, cemented by the reshuffle that saw the entry into the council of the mayor Gian Luca Zattini of Fratelli d’Italia and ‘Centre-right for Forlì’, the discontent of Lauro Biondi, leader of Forza Italy. The most critical position, as is known, was precisely on the reshuffle, which saw Marco Catalano become councilor for the Brothers of Italy, a municipal councilor elected in Forza Italia and then migrated to Giorgia Meloni’s party.
Biondi, does your critical position remain?
“Perhaps it is not clear that Forza Italia in the last 10 years has been the real political force in Forlì that fought for change. Why do we think we can do more and better? Why don’t we forget the time when we have long called for novelty and attention to things to do around the city. Now Covid and war, with their problematic repercussions such as inflation and the energy crisis, have not allowed us to navigate towards the goals of real change that we had set for ourselves, they have been an obstacle to solving certain problems. 2023 will therefore have to be characterized by an agenda of commitments on specific topics”
“Like Forza Italia we offer four. The underground car park in Piazza del Carmine which will be able to kick off an overall plan for the historic center that we have not implemented. And then an infrastructure for development: the connection, via coplanar, from Forlì to the E45, to connect the city to Cesena, to the E45, to the sea and to the port of Ravenna. Then there is bureaucratic simplification: experimenting with new administrative procedures to reduce the time and difficulty of citizens’ approach to public administration. And then, given that I see a certain stagnation in the city from a social point of view, a social housing plan of 300-400 new homes for the 800 or more people who are on the waiting list for social housing”.
The latter looks like a plan of 70s-style public housing. Is it really feasible?
“It can be financed with an acceptable plan. When the citizen has the guarantee of a roof, he is better able to face the difficulties of life. Furthermore, we must take into account that, unlike the other nearby cities, Forlì has a percentage of foreigners in the historic center that is double the average, which reaches 25%, this pressure must be lightened by providing housing solutions distributed throughout the municipal area”.
Did you say there is a lack of a push for novelty in the centre-right administration?
“Put these proposals on the agenda and a sense of change is given that we, as Forza Italia, support”.
The mayor, in the recent interview with ForlìToday, essentially announced his re-nomination. What do you think?
“In the political framework of Forlì we are witnessing a downsizing of the League which must make us reflect, having gone from 30 to 7%…”
If you’re referring to the last general election, it was a national trend. Or do you mean that the people of Forlì, in the last political elections, also wanted to distrust the League in governing the city?
“It’s a national trend, but with a local criticality because the League administers the city with important powers. Similarly, again as a national trend, Fratelli d’Italia has also had a great increase in consensus here. But the only force that hasn’t lost support compared to three years ago is Forza Italia. Going back to the interview with the mayor, perhaps Zattini exaggerates the determining weight of his civic list. The conclusive reasoning is that it is necessary for the majority to find its unity on the projects, and we as Forza Italia lack neither commitment nor loyalty towards the centre-right alliance”.
It can be objected that all this reasoning should not be attributed to Forza Italia, but to Lauro Biondi as an individual citizen, to use an expression used by Mayor Zattini when he raised his dissent to the council reshuffle.
“There have been disagreements, not between Biondi and Forza Italia, but between the advisory group and the party. This may have created some confusion. These contrasts must cease, given that the advisory group works for Forza Italia. We hope that the leaders of the party want to achieve real unity. Regarding the reshuffle, I continue to be convinced that we looked more at political arithmetic than at good administration”.
In your opinion, what should be the next challenges for the centre-right alliance in view of the 2024 administrative vote?
“We are convinced that the current majority should not sit back on itself. In 2019 we won because our opponents missed their political and electoral goals. To win again, at a political level there must be the objective of expanding the centre-right, for example to the Third Pole”.