Un nuovo rapporto dell’ambasciatore USA a Roma Thorne è stato pubblicato giovedì sera dal sito del Guardian: riguarda la visita di Thorne a un Berlusconi convalescente dopo l’aggressione in piazza del Duomo a Milano. Lo riproduciamo in originale, intanto.
Friday, 01 January 2010, 15:02 C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ROME 000001 SIPDIS EO 12958 DECL: 01/01/2020 TAGS PREL, PGOV, PINR, IT SUBJECT: VISITING WITH A RECUPERATING BERLUSCONI ROME 00000001 001.2 OF 003 Classified By: Ambassador David H. Thorne. Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
1. C) Summary: The Ambassador visited recuperating Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at his Lombardy estate for a private luncheon December 30. The Ambassador had suggested he visit Berlusconi after the Prime Minister was assaulted at a Milan rally in mid-December. Accompanied by Gianni Letta, the Undersecretary in the Prime Minister’s office and effectively Berlusconi’s second in command, Ambassador flew up for the meeting on the Prime Minister’s plane. Bandaged and bruised from the December attack, Berlusconi was nonetheless upbeat and eager to show off his new project for training Italy’s elite and share his thoughts on European leaders and domestic politics. Berlusconi was effusive about U.S.-Italian relations and Letta promised action on roping in ENI operations in Iran and pushing ahead on Megaports. End Summary The Recuperating Prime Minister ——————————-
2. C) Following the Ambassador’s call to Gianni Letta suggesting the Ambassador visit the Prime Minister during his recuperation, Letta, the Undersecretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, invited Ambassador Thorne to accompanied him to Milan on December 30 for a private afternoon with the Prime Minister. The three hour session, held in Italian, involved only the Prime Minister, Letta and the Ambassador, and included a visit to Berlusconi’s latest endeavor, a private training school for Italy’s elite, and a wide-ranging lunch with the two top decision makers in the Italian government.
3. C) Berlusconi was still bandaged and scarred from the assault in early December where a mentally unstable man hurled a die cast model of Milan’s cathedral at his head. Berlusconi noted that the missile had struck a glancing blow to his cheek, cutting him, breaking his nose and some of his teeth, but if it had hit him straight on “it would have killed” him. Letta recounted separately that Berlusconi had slumped into a depression following the attack – “he’s an impresario, he wants everyone to love him ” – but that had snapped out of it and was on the mend. Letta also noted that their tour of Berlusconi’s new project site was the Prime Minister’s first excursion outdoors since his release from the hospital. U.S.-Italy: A Prized Relationship ———————————
4. C) In luncheon discussions, Berlusconi unabashedly stated that he prized Italy’s relationship with the U.S. and that his government stood ready to help us, whatever the issue. He noted that Italy owed the United States a debt of gratitude for salvation during World War II, and for protection throughout the Cold War. On Afghanistan, basing issues, and other tough problems, Italy was committed to helping the U.S. get to the right solution. He noted that he hoped that the Italian increase in Afghanistan would help President Obama and address the situation on the ground.
Berlusconi on European Leaders ——————————
5. C) The Prime Minister and Letta also gave their run down of current European political leadership. Berlusconi assessed that Sarkozy’s star was clearly waning in European circles and that the French President did not command the same influence he did a year ago. Letta was less convinced, noting to the Ambassador that both Berlusconi and Sarkozy were “big dogs angling for the same spotlight.” Berlusconi recounted how he had played an instrumental role in the Spring in persuading a reluctant Erdogan to accept Danish PM Rasmussen as the new NATO Secretary General, overcoming the Turkish President’s profound irritation at Rasmussen for not silencing Kurdish language radio stations despite numerous requests. On Russia, Berlusconi felt that Putin and Medvedev got along well, respected each other, and had an effective relationship. In fact, farewells after lunch were unexpectedly cut short by an incoming call from Putin.
Iran: Appalled by violence, Will try to rope in ENI ——————————————— ——
6. C) On Iran, Berlusconi noted that he was appalled by the Iranian crackdown. He offered the capabilities of the Italian intelligence services and assured full sharing of information gathered on the internal dynamics in Tehran. Letta, as the supervising authority over Italy’s intelligence services, assured the Ambassador of a continuation of our already excellent bilateral cooperation on the issue. Letta also promised that he would talk to ENI CEO Scaroni about the energy giant’s ongoing operations in Iran and, if he could, persuade them to halt activities.
Megaports – GOI to determine POC ——————————–
7. C) In response to the U.S. request to move forward on Megaports, Letta told the Ambassador that the issue would be discussed at the Council of Ministers meeting on January 8 and that they would be in contact soon thereafter to convey which ministry would have lead in the GOI for implementing the project and as such be the primary interlocutor for our Embassy.
Italy’s Courts – Problem Number One ———————————–
8. C) Berlusconi forthrightly identified the magistratura – Italy’s judiciary and courts — as Italy’s “biggest problem” and told the Ambassador that he was ready to forge an alliance with the center left opposition to implement judicial reform. He noted that a legal system where issues were never definitively resolved — where you can be absolved of a crime and yet have the case resurrected later – sapped Italy’s political and economic system. He argued that this is what has happened in his own case, where he has been cleared in the past but the same charges keep on returning repeatedly. He said that he had allies in the opposition on the need for reform, including PD Leader Bersani. Letta cautioned the government won’t know if it has the clout to deliver on such an idea unless it secures a decent showing in regional elections in March 2010.
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