Christopher Columbus Foundation

Christopher Columbus Foundation
Fondazione Cristoforo Colombo
President Claudio Scajola
Secretary Paolo Russo
Ideology Christian democracy
National affiliation Forza Italia

The Christopher Columbus Foundation, whose complete name is Christopher Columbus Foundation for Freedoms (Fondazione Cristoforo Colombo per le Libertà, FCL) is a faction and think tank within The People of Freedom (PdL), a political party in Italy. Its leader is Claudio Scajola.


Main article: Scajoliani

The group around Claudio Scajola wielded a strong influence within Forza Italia, the main precursor of the PdL. During his five years as national coordinator of the party (1996–2001), Scajola built Forza Italia as a modern mass party and prepared it for several electoral victories. Scajola was minister in all governments of Silvio Berlusconi (2001–2006, 2008–present) until his resignation as minister of Economic Development in early 2010 over a scandal.


After having left active politics for a while in 2010, Scajola soon started to re-organize his faction, whose leading members included Massimo Berruti, Paolo Russo, Maria Teresa Armosino, Ignazio Abrignani, Michele Scandroglio, Salvatore Cicu, Sandro Biasotti, Roberto Cassinelli, Raffaele Lauro, Paolo Tancredi and Giustina Destro.[1][2] Most of them were former Christian Democrats, while others shared with Scajola the regional upbringing, hailing from Liguria, Scajola's power base, or neighbouring Piedmont.

In November 2010 the Christopher Columbus Foundation (FCL) was formed by Scajola in order to re-discover the original spirit of Forza Italia. The association was joined by Scajoliani and also by Antonio Martino, a former Liberal who was number two of Forza Italia in 1994 and minister of Foreign Affairs in Berlusconi's first government, as well as other liberals, such as Gregorio Fontana, and leading Christian democrats of the party, including Mario Baccini and Osvaldo Napoli.[3][4]

In early 2011 Scajola, who had been clared of any wrongdoing, started to prepare a strong comeback. At the beginning of March he declared that he had 62 MPs behind him and asked Berlusconi either a major role in the party organization or a return in government.[5] Soon after Scajola criticized how the fusion between Forza Italia and National Alliance (AN) had been done, demanded a bigger role for those coming from Forza Italia and threatened to form separate parliamentary groups from the PdL.[6][7][8]

The threat was renewed in October 2011, when Scajola and his followers asked for a new government, still led by Berlusconi, but with the Union of the Centre in it.[9][10][11] A vote of confidence on Berlusconi's government was set on 14 October 2011, and Scajola announced that his group would vote for the government.[12] However, he was not able two prevent two Venetian deputies, Giustina Destro and Fabio Gava from voting against the government, which survived the vote anyway.[13]

On 2 November Destro and Gava, along with Roberto Antonione, Giorgio Stracquadanio, Isabella Bertolini and Giancarlo Pittelli, promoted an open letter in which they asked Berlusconi to step down and called for a new executive. Four "moderate" Scajoliani (Paolo Russo, Pietro Testoni, Andrea Orsini and Guglielmo Picchi) were present at the meeting, but did not sign the letter.[14][15] Contextually, Antonione announced that he was leaving the party.[16]



  1. "Scajola, cena con 35 «fedelissimi» «Non vergognatevi di essermi amici»". Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2011-03-19.
  3. "Scajola-Martino, ritorno a Forza Italia ' 94 «Il premier? No, abbiamo fatto da soli»". Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  4. "Cristoforo Colombo per le Libertà - | Organigramma - Direttivo |". Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  5. "Scajola vede il premier e prepara il ritorno «Con me 62 parlamentari, io uomo del fare»". Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  6. "E Scajola lavora a un suo gruppo". Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  7. "Scajola dal premier, tre ore per una tregua". Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  8. "Scajola attacca: Pdl, fusione mai riuscita". Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  9. "Summit di «scajoliani» spunta testo anti Silvio". Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  10. "La fronda di Pisanu e Scajola L' idea di un Berlusconi bis". Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  11. "Scajola-Pdl, sfida sui deputati incerti". Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  12. "«Silvio, ora serve discontinuità» Ma Scajola giura: niente strappi". Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  13. "Il governo incassa la fiducia Fallito il piano «numero legale»". Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  14. "Servono una diversa fase politica e il varo di un nuovo esecutivo". Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  15. "Lettera dei «ribelli»: così non si va avanti". Retrieved 2014-07-18.

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/24/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.