“Silvio Berlusconi came into politics in 1993. An opinion poll found he topped the poll of people most loved by the Italians. The second was Arnold Schwarzenegger, the third, Jesus Christ. Berlusconi came onto the scene in the same way as a great plague, because the time was right, because famine had prepared the ground.
The more I think about the years that saw him prosper as a businessman and then a politician, the more solid my convictions become. They are consolidated by the texts I read, the archives I consult, by everything about him that was kept hidden and which, by its very absence, is an obvious explanation for glaring omissions. Our family history is punctuated by what we called mysteries. We’ve been traumatised by unanswered questions, questions we don’t even dare ask, because we can now see just how much we were treated like meat to be sold off on the cheap, the whole country would drown in a bloodbath. It’s so easy to accept the official versions. We don’t have time to dig deeper. That’s not our job, say the good citizens who sleep the sleep of the just. Our sickness is called corruption, the gangrene of civilised society. It is also called the Mafia.
I’m fascinated by the way power is built up, because only reason and ethics can de-legitimise power that has been put to bad use. Berlusconi was deemed ineligible in 2014. But he’s not dead yet, the crocodile’s eggs haven’t all opened…”
Simonetta Greggio is Italian but writes in French. She is the author of several novels including La douceur des hommes (2005), Col de l’ange (2007), Les mains nues (2009) and L’homme qui aimait ma femme (2012).