In Sicily the Schifani-Cuffaro-Lombardo axis, FdL fears the centrist plot on healthcare


By John

«Every now and then a nomination pops up. And it always amazes us”: Giorgio Assenza presents it as a joke. But behind the irony of the Fratelli d’Italia group leader at Ars there is the malaise of the Melonians for the latest moves of an axis that is taking shape within the majority, the one between Forza Italia and Cuffaro’s DC. And to balance this front, the FdI parliamentarians have decided to close ranks to make their strength count in view of the appointments of public health managers.
On Tuesday evening in the semi-deserted halls of the Ars Assenza brought together the FdI parliamentarians. He listened to the protests of his party colleagues and together they planned the medium-term strategy. The one that will lead to choices about hospital and ASP managers within a month. «There are parties that cannot have the same specific weight as the Brothers of Italy» is the summary that Assenza delivers at the end of the meeting.
It must be said that so far the center-right has diplomatically postponed the formal debate on the appointments. This was also the case at the majority summit that Forzista coordinator Marcello Caruso convened just last Monday. But behind the scenes the parties are already in excitement over these appointments, in a climate of mutual distrust.
During the summer it was the League and the Mpa who sent notices to president Schifani demanding guarantees that the choice does not take place only from the list of managers registered in the first tier after the selection ended in July (there is talk of “most suitable »), but should be expanded by also drawing on professionals registered in the second band of eligible candidates (that of those who are simply eligible). They are all aftershocks that signal the moves of the parties and the balances that are maturing. For now Schifani has avoided going too far, but Fratelli d’Italia decided to set some limits in the meeting on Tuesday evening: «There is a group of managers who have passed the selection reaching the judgment of the most suitable – summarizes Assenza again – not we understand why we need to widen the pool of eligible candidates again. At most, a few exceptional cases can be considered.”
Fratelli d’Italia wants to make its role as the majority party in the center-right count. And it aspires to appoint a corresponding number of managers. In this sense he sees the dialogue started in the summer by Schifani and Cuffaro as a red light, culminating in the pact that should lead to common lists for the European elections. In the meantime, however, Forza Italia and DC together would have much greater numbers at Ars (the result of the percentages at the Regionals) than FdI and this could have an impact, Cencelli in hand. Especially since the Mpa could also enter the sphere of Forza Italia. Among other things, many in the Brothers of Italy have noticed that, randomly, for a few months, appointments have been appearing which seem to favor men close to the DC.
The party of the former president, who returned to politics after being sentenced to seven years for aiding and abetting Cosa Nostra, is on a slow and steady rise. There is no province in which Cuffaro does not recruit councilors every week in small, medium and large municipalities, also snatching them from allied parties. The ranks of the DC are swelling from the bottom and this will have an impact in terms of electoral percentages. A strength that the former president is preparing to demonstrate publicly with two official appointments: the first is the DC congress set for Saturday 16th in Palermo, the second is the Friendship Festival which will be held from 5th to 7th October in Ribera.
But for now the game is being played on the sub-government positions. Schifani has maintained a very close relationship with the national leaders of Fratelli d’Italia: contacts and meetings with La Russa are continuous. And the president knows that there are rifts in the Sicilian FdI galaxy. The group’s meeting on Tuesday has the ambition of putting Melonian deputies in the position of being direct and influential interlocutors.
But Forza Italia rejects this reading of the political transition that the Region is preparing to experience. Schifani is silent. While for Caruso «we must avoid conveying the message that the appointments will be the result of squalid negotiations. They will be done with maximum transparency.”