Corrado Sforza Fogliani seen up close. Forty days after his disappearance, here is the memory of Emanuel Galbathe journalist former director of The Chroniclewho took the baton from the president of the Bank of Piacenza driving by Bankflash.
The known periodical of the credit institution this month dedicates a special number in Sforza Fogliani. And the editorial signed by the new director, entitled “Dear Lawyer, dear President, dear Corrado”, which we reproduce in full, traces a unique, personal and rich in humanity portrait.
‹‹“Thank you, lawyer.” «Thanks to you. And you always call me that. It’s the title I love the most because it’s what made me a free man». Thus ended an interview that Corrado Sforza Fogliani gave me for The Chronicle (it was 20 July 2010), on the occasion of his first election as vice president of the ABI. A request that for myself represented a natural continuation of a custom: for me he was the lawyer (allow me the capital letter) since the end of the seventies, when I enrolled in the Liberal Youth and I got to know him, I was still a kid, in the headquarters of the PLI in via Cittadella. I never gave him the first name, despite the over forty years of dating, but in 2018 – when I entered the large family of Bank of Piacenza as press officer of the fantastic initiative of the Salita al Pordenone – it was necessary to “disobey him” by starting to call him President. And at that point having always maintained the “she” was an advantage, in the dynamics of her relationship with the one who had become my “boss”.
For this article (the most difficult of my career), however, allow me to speak to you personally.
Dear Corrado, faithful to the motto that you had displayed in every office of the Bank (“Time is value”) you have not wasted any time – not even to leave this life. Which you interpreted with an intensity unattainable for any “human” (I’ve always thought that the good Lord had inserted some supernatural gift into your DNA). I fail to list all the good things you have done and for which you deserve to be remembered. There are those who have already thought about it and from much more authoritative pulpits than this. So mine will be a (very) personal memory.
The memorable electoral campaign of 1990
It was the year 1990, May 3: we were in the center of Piazza Cavalli, at the end of an initiative at the end of the electoral campaign. You were reached by the news that Antonietta had given birth to Maria Paola. I have never seen so much joy in your eyes. Those elections were triumphant for the Liberal Party of Piacenza: more than 6% (at the time the Pli at the national level was attested to 2%), with municipal councilors going from 1 to 3; you were proportionally the most voted, with almost 1,900 preferences, equal to a percentage approaching 39%. I remember it as a memorable electoral campaign, innovative at the time because it had valued all the candidates and with slogans that would still be very topical today (there is no need to specify that it was all your own). For my part, the contribution was of unskilled labor and earned me a gold medal (very welcome, which I still keep) as a thank you. Other times, when politics was enthusiasm for the ideals in which one believed. Ideals that, thanks to your example and your teachings from Einaudi, I had made my own.
Jumping forward 32 years, another electoral campaign to remember is that of the last administrative elections. Taking everyone a bit by surprise, you agreed to run for mayor for the Liberali Piacentini-Terzo Polo. The result obtained was flattering, given that we started from scratch with very little time available. An exhausting period for you, because of course you didn’t give up on any other of your commitments, but in which – I’m sure – you had a lot of fun and in which I once again had the privilege of being a part.
They wrote that you were a philanthropist, a benefactor, a good man. True. I add that you also did good in private, without flaunting it. Giovanni Pastorelli, who passed away several years ago, was a civilian invalid confined to a wheelchair who lived in a small room at the Vittorio Emanuele, although he was not elderly. In 1990, at the age of 45, at the Administrative recalls he got on the list with the Pli. I went to see him for an interview. Speaking of you, he confided in me that every Sunday morning you went to him to have a chat. A gesture that filled his heart with joy.
The great passion for journalism
Journalism has been a great passion of yours. Many years ago, in your studio, you showed me your publicist card which bears the date of when I was born (1960), telling me that it was one of the things you cared most about. You have honored her by collaborating for prestigious national newspapers, for the Freedom dei Prati and taking care of things from Piacenza on our (your) BANKflash. If I did this job, the “fault” is yours: one day – after reading my first articles – you said that you recognized a certain predisposition in me. Unforgettable the years de The Chronicle: your constant contribution in tips and tricks to successfully carry out an editorial adventure that has made Piacenza known as a happy interlude of plural information. Let me also say that only you (with three other friends) then financially supported my attempt (unfortunately short-lived) to bring back The Chronicle on newsstands.
You had time to ask me to carry on two of your creations: this periodical and Confidence news. I am honored and immediately got to work trying to put at least a little of thatacribia (scrupulousness, rigor, precision, pique) that was yours and that I hope – having been by your side for many years – I have minimally absorbed.
Working with you has been very instructive and at the same time complicated, because the severity you demanded of yourself was also applied to others. We met at your home on November 8 to proofread the latest issue of BANKflash before this. As soon as you saw me, you looked me in the eye and said: «Sometimes I’m very hard on you», almost apologizing. I replied that everything was fine for me, but from that sentence I understood that your health problem was very serious. Today I thank you for never giving me discounts since I’ve been at the Bank. Your every behavior was never by chance and your outbursts, apart from the contingent reason, I’m sure they had the aim of protecting and strengthening me when what unfortunately happened happened. Even on the worst days, I never doubted the esteem you had for me. And to reinforce this conviction of mine, I went to re-read the dedication you made to me in your book The law, the property, the bank, which you presented on a memorable evening at Villa San Carlo Borromeo with very prestigious guests. A dedication that I jealously keep. I’m not used to pinning medals on myself, but this time I’ll make an exception: “To Emanuele Galba, journalist not quaquaraquà, champion of non-slavish journalism and indomitable courage, with all the sympathy, friendship and esteem that free men deserve”. Senago, 10.25.2007. Corrado Sforza Fogliani.
You have been a beacon on my journey and the stretch that still remains for me to complete will remain illuminated by your light. I’m not saying that now that you’re gone. So I wrote in the autobiography published in the Unicef volume of 2008 The heart of Piacenza – Black and white portraits of Alessandro Bersani: “… My life teachers: in addition to my father and mother, Corrado Sforza Fogliani…”.
I can already hear your reproach: this piece is too long. You are, as always, right but I can’t help it if you have been so important in my life. As I did on Twitter, I renew to you the three great Thanks: for the good you have loved (and have done) in Piacenza; for the good you wanted (and did) for Italy; and for the good you wanted (and did) for me.
I won’t tell you rest in peace, because resting has never belonged to you. I imagine you in Heaven (because that’s where you went, without making any anteroom), where you will have already taken note, with your impossible handwriting, of the things that – even there – don’t work. The angels will be trying to provide. Don’t overstretch them.››