Meloni pays tribute to Borsellino, a heroic judge assassinated by the mafia

Among the Italians the memory of two magistrates who are heroes for their fight against the mafia remains alive: Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino. On 19 July 1993 Borsellino died together with five agents of his escort in a car bomb attack. Italy recalled the magistrate who, together with his friend Falcone – killed two months earlier in another attack – put the state in a position to successfully confront the mafia, at the cost of paying with his life. The commemoration in Palermo was attended by the Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, who has always considered Borsellino a model, his death was decisive for entering politics.

The presence of Meloni in the Sicilian capital has become a political case, apart from the commemoration of Borsellino, to which the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, paid homage with these words: «On the anniversary of the Via D’Amelio massacre, the Republic bows down to the memory of Paolo Borsellino. That attack affected the entire Italian people and remains indelible.

In his autobiography ‘I am Giorgia’, the Prime Minister explains that the “trigger” of his decision to enter politics was the attack by Borsellino which shocked the country: “Seeing the shocking images of that devastation on the news (…) I had to do something and I turned to the Youth Front and the Italian Social Movement “. Meloni, who was 15 years old, joined that post-fascist party.

Today Paolo Borsellino is an icon of the right. Meloni’s presence in Palermo has become a political case, because in recent days a strong controversy has arisen over the justice reform planned by the head of that ministry, Carlos Nordio. Among other things, the intention was to cancel the crime of “external bankruptcy in a mafia association”, which was opposed by the magistrates, especially those who fight the mafia. Precisely, the former senator Marcello Dell’Utri, a friend of Silvio Berlusconi and co-founder of Forza Italia, was sentenced in 2014 to seven years’ imprisonment, with that definition of “external bankruptcy in a mafia association”. And it is still being investigated today.

Political compromise

To ease the strong tensions between the government and the judiciary, Giorgia Meloni made her Minister of Justice take a step back in her reform, telling her: “I would concentrate on other priorities”. With her presence in Palermo, Meloni wanted to erase any doubts about the will of the Executive not to back down in the fight against the mafia.

The Prime Minister said it very clearly, in a letter published this Wednesday by ‘Corriere della Sera’, in which he explains how with the death of Paolo Borsellino her political commitment was born which led her to the Head of Government: « I remember, as if it were yesterday, the deep and visceral rejection of the mafia that, as a young man, I felt in front of the images of the massacre. From that refusal was born the long and convinced political commitment that brought me here, from a simple militant of a youth movement to the presidency of the Council of Ministers.

After 31 years, the truth about the attack is still unknown, nor who was behind it. The Borsellino family defines it as “a state massacre, with deviations in the investigations by the state apparatuses, to maintain enormous political and economic interests”.

It is not surprising that President Mattarella has asked to “fight the gray areas of complicity” with the mafia. In 2019, Giorgia Meloni asked for a parliamentary commission of inquiry to find out the truth. Today in Palermo you said: “I will always be there to fight the mafia, convinced that this battle can be won”.