Silvio Berlusconi, last farewell like a rock star
MILAN – The last farewell to Silvio Berlusconi, ex prime minister, leader of Forza Italia as well as the most successful Italian entrepreneur, will be one of those reserved only for great personalities, with a funeral organized like a rock star concert. 2,000 people inside the Milan Cathedral, 20,000 outside and giant screens to allow the square to follow the funeral of “The Knight”, whose State funeral will be held tomorrow at 3 pm (Italian time), in a day of national mourning. The celebration will be presided over by Monsignor Mario Delpini, Archbishop of the city.
There will be two giant screens positioned in the square. The screens will be placed on the right and left of the square, which – according to what is learned on the sidelines of the ongoing inspection – will be cordoned off starting at 10am tomorrow. The coffin of the president of Forza Italia will rest in the churchyard of the Cathedral, before entering the Cathedral, where the 2,000 people admitted will enter between 2.30 and 3 pm.
The funeral will be attended, among others, by the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella while, at the request of the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, the Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni will represent Europe. At the moment, only Matteo Renzi and Carlo Calenda are among the Italian leaders of the opposition parties who have confirmed their presence in Milan, according to their respective staff. The president of the M5S Giuseppe Conte will not be there, as reported by AdnKronos. On Nicola Fratoianni’s side, however, they let it be known that the leader of the Italian Left will not be present. For now there are still no answers, but they could arrive in the next few hours, on the presence of the secretary of the Democratic Party, Elly Schlein. For the Dems, however, the group leaders of the Chamber and Senate, Chiara Braga and Francesco Boccia should be present.
Obviously, live TV will be scheduled to bid farewell to the president of Forza Italia and patron of Mediaset that will also provide the live signal from inside the Cathedral. For the other broadcasters, commentary and stand-up stations will be provided outside the Cathedral in a place indicated by the Prefecture, while the presence of video operators inside will not be possible.
“We have proposed the system that we usually use for concerts”, which provides for “20,000 people in the square”, said the Councilor for Security of the Municipality of Milan, Marco Granelli, at the end of the committee’s more than two-hour meeting for order and safety in view of the funeral.
About 2,000 people, as we said, will be admitted inside the Cathedral, with the family sitting on the right side of the Cathedral and the authorities on the left. This was learned on the sidelines of the inspection inside the Cathedral in the presence, among others, of delegations from Palazzo Chigi, Prefecture, Police, Carabinieri of Milan, Municipality, Archdiocese and Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo.
For security reasons, the names of the foreign heads of State who will attend the funeral have not yet been released. The hypothesis being studied by the committee is that of two separate entrances for the authorities, both on the south side of the Cathedral. As for the accesses to the “Piazza Duomo area, which will be guarded, we will use – Granelli said – the normal access routes to the city, from Linate on the axis towards the Duomo”. The Italian and foreign authorities, including the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella and the premier Giorgia Meloni, “will arrive from Piazza Fontana, where there are already no parking bans, that will be the access area”, said Granelli.
The area of Piazza Duomo could have “free access, except for the part accessed by the authorities”, he said again, adding: “We will use all the mechanisms already tested for concerts, with attention and quotas and with free access without a pass” As regards the possible presence of giant screens in the square, the commissioner said that “that is being worked on”.
A farewell like a rock star, therefore, for Silvio Berlusconi who surely, as a showman, would have appreciated the event dedicated to him.
In the pic at the top, Silvio Berlusconi in Piazza Duomo in Milan to celebrate a Milan victory, in a photo published by “Il Giornale”; above, the former Italian premier surrounded by fans (photo from Twitter – @forza_italia)