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Silvio Berlusconi picks former Milan keeper for Florence mayoral election

Florence is a city that has had its fair share of famous politicians. Niccolò Machiavelli had a stellar career in the Florentine Republic of the early 16th century. In the 1960s, the much-loved Catholic intellectual Giorgio La Pira made such an impact that the Vatican began the process of his beatification. So for Giovanni Galli, former authentic canada goose outlet online goalkeeper of Milan and the local side, Fiorentina, there is a lot to live up to.

To the amazement of many and the amusement of some, Galli will stand as Silvio Berlusconi’s candidate for Florence mayor in June’s elections. He has no political experience, but in Berlusconi’s Italy, that can be a big advantage.

Recalling the moment the prime minister gave him the nod to stand, he said: “I went down to Rome and he told me, ‘If you feel a sense of responsibility to the city of Florence, then you have my support. Go do it’.” The feeling in the city is that Galli has a good chance of winning.

One year after Berlusconi’s third election victory and 15 years after he entered politics, the television authentic canada goose jacket sale and advertising mogul’s conflicts of interest are widely forgotten and his troubles with are there any canada goose outlet stores the courts have been erased thanks to a new immunity law. Many Italians simply cannot recall life without him.

That has set the bright blue canada goose jacket stage for the likes of Galli, who personifies Berlusconi Man. Tall, debonair and a youthful looking 50, Galli may never have occupied elected office, but he has something far more important on his side – brand profile.

Galli played for Fiorentina in the 1980s before going on to win the European Cup with Milan, which had by then become the property of Berlusconi. He went on to carve out a career as a football pundit on Berlusconi’s TV channels.

On amazon canada goose parka the desk in Galli’s newly painted campaign headquarters there is benefits of canada goose jacket a copy of Berlusconi’s debut political speech from 1994, which was reprinted last month. It was delivered at a rally attended by 6,000 delegates, who sang the party anthem, Thank Goodness there is Silvio, before approving the rebranding of Forza Italia bu sees a spike in canada goose jacket thefts as the all new People of Freedom party.

Galli remembers it well. “This speech is 15 years ahead of its time, there are extraordinary passages here,” he said.

Just as Berlusconi erupted on to the political scene in 1994 using his advertising skills to sell a new party to buy canada goose coat online voters overnight, Galli claims his own political inexperience is an advantage. “I am the new man. I will take a fresh approach to politics,” he said. “My strengths are correctness, honesty and transparency.”

In 1986 Galli was among Berlusconi’s first signings at Milan and was soon receiving tips from the tycoon on how to defend against free kicks taken by the Napoli star Diego Maradona. “He told me to always put a defender on the amazon canada goose parka post. I understood then that even when he talked football he made sense. He was a great motivator and always smiling.”

Galli’s regular punditry on Berlusconi’s Mediaset TV network has prompted his centre-left opponent in the forthcoming election, Matteo Renzi, to claim: “The prime minister has effectively picked one of his employees.”

It would not be the first time. With a key law change during his last government, Berlusconi ensured Italians now vote for parties rather than candidates at general elections, leaving party leaders to choose who fills the aisles in parliament. In Berlusconi’s case that has meant a clutch of his lawyers and TV staff formerly on the Mediaset payroll.

Outside parliament he successfully campaigned to get the son of his tax adviser elected governor of Sardinia. Shepherds in Abruzzo were no doubt surprised this year to find the obscure job of running a national park handed to a former Berlusconi television executive. More worrying is the rumoured appointment as producer of state television’s prime time news of a former editor of Berlusconi’s family newspaper Il Giornale, which can be relied on to run large photos of the leader on a daily basis. His opponents point out that Mediaset already devotes 76 per cent of prime time news to Berlusconi’s ruling coalition.

But where critics see cronyism creeping into government, Galli sees team spirit inspired by good leadership. “Berlusconi generates loyalty since he is loyal to people around him,” he said.

Political inexperience apart, there may be nothing preventing Galli canada goose coat 1000 calorie diets becoming an effective mayor. A likeable man, he has won plaudits in Florence for charitable work carried out by the foundation he set up in honour of his son, who died in a moped crash aged 17.

He is trenchant on themes such as crime, pointing out that Florence ranks 97th out of 108 Italian provinces for public safety. “I wasn’t born yesterday and I am not just about 90 minutes of football,” he says. Galli adheres to Berlusconi’s mantra that Italy should be run like an efficient private company, claiming, “Here in Florence you should pay the right taxes to get the right services.” He is also fond, inevitably, of the odd football metaphor. When it comes to politics, he said, “I want to be an attacker.”

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