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HomeLatest NewsDamiano Tommasi, former football player who wrested Verona from the Italian right

Damiano Tommasi, former football player who wrested Verona from the Italian right

Date: August 20, 2022 Time: 04:40:04

Damiano Tommasi won one of the most important matches of his life. The 48-year-old former Italian footballer will become the new mayor of Verona after his civic list, backed by all the centre-left, succeeded in wresting that conservative bastion from the right. The candidate of the Brothers of Italy and the League, hitherto mayor Federico Sboarina, was nominated in the second round.

The second round of municipal elections in Italy brought good news to the centre-left, who also won in Parma, Alessandria and Monza, where Silvio Berlusconi lives. But of all of them, Tommasi’s victory is the most significant. Verona has been largely right-wing since 1994, and in recent years has been known for its infamous anti-abortion crusades and for becoming a national laboratory for the far right.

“The city has been waiting for this moment for a long time,” said the future mayor. The former midfielder did not give a single rally, but built his campaign, walking around Verona and talking to its residents. He confirmed his proposal based on the content, preferring to listen to the attacks of opponents. “I am happy because we were able to talk about politics without being attacked, insulted or humiliated. We won in a different way,” he said during victory celebrations in the city of Romeo and Juliet, and also in the place where Benito Mussolini decided to reform his fascist party in 1943.

Born in a city of less than 15,000 people in the province of Verona, Tommasi began playing football for his local team Hellas Verona, helping them to reach Serie A in the early 2000s by winning the last Scudetto of the Giallorosso team. He was part of the Italian team that played at the World Championships in Korea and Japan in 2002. After leaving Roma, he joined Levante between 2006 and 2008 and ended his years with the ball in China and San Marino. After retiring, he became the representative of the Italian footballers’ union.

This is his first time in politics, but it certainly doesn’t surprise his former teammates. When he played, he was already seen as a dedicated footballer, ready to take on fans for criticizing racism or violence. In fact, Hellas Verona is known for its ultra-fans who sing racist chants and come to praise Hitler. He was dubbed a “working-class footballer” after he offered to continue playing, earning the minimum wage for footballers, when he was 31 years old after a serious injury.

Thanks to a civic list supported by a broad representation of the Italian centre-left parties, the 5 Star Movement (M5E) and centrist forces such as Azione or +Europa Tommasi, he managed to defeat Sboarina with 53.4% ​​of the vote. , which slowed down by 46.6%.

Two candidates presented

Sboarina paid for the internal fracture of the Italian on the right

Sboarina has paid the price for the internal breakdown inflicted by the Italian right, which has not even been able to unite in this city since Berlusconi’s Forza Italia ran its own candidate, Flavio Tosi. In the background is also the intense competition between Matteo Salvini, leader of the League, and Giorgia Meloni of the Brothers of Italy for leadership of a coalition that, if everything goes as expected, could win the next national elections in 2023. Verona This could be a symbol of hope for Enrico Letta, general secretary of the Democratic Party, who wants to replicate this great alliance nationally and try to run in next year’s general elections from the right.

A practicing Catholic and father of six, Damiano, as everyone in his town calls him, refuses to be classified as either left or right. He simmered his victory by organizing debates and meetings throughout the year, talking about the environment and offerings to young people. They celebrated this victory as if it were the World Cup. The miracle of an outsider who engages in politics without insults.



Source: www.lavanguardia.com

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