Fake phone call to Meloni, the first head blows: “Too much superficiality”

Talò resigns, for Palazzo Chigi the story ends here but there could be other consequences

The tsunami generated by fake phone call from the Russian comedy duo by Vovan and Lexus ago skip the first ‘head’ at Palazzo Chigi: councilor Francesco Talò “resigned this morning”. The news comes from Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni herself, during the press conference following the Council of Ministers which gave the green light to the “mother reform of all reforms” (copyright Giorgia Meloni). The Prime Minister illustrates the plan of the premiership with which she aims to give “stability to the country”, she focuses on the Mattei Plan, but she knows that questions from reporters await her and that they will lead her to dissect the story of the telephone trap that she was tense.

Something wasn’t right about that phone call

She first wants to do it – talk about it, clarify – to make it clear that yes, she understood that something wasn’t right in that call, so much so that she asked the diplomatic office for clarification. Yet, in the 44 days that passed from the fake call to the release of the audio, her alert received no response, so much so that she took it for granted that her fear was a baseless one. Hence, the lack of involvement of Intelligence. An error within an error therefore, too much to ignore. “I had a doubt towards the end of the phone call – says Meloni -, especially in the part where Ukrainian nationalism is talked about which is a typical theme of Russian propaganda. I reported it to the diplomatic office: I think there was a superficiality in proceeding with a verification”. A superficiality which resulted in Talò’s step backwards while he is already full names for his succession: on the rise for the role discovered Fabrizio Bucci, who is about to end his mandate in Tirana.

However, according to sources within the diplomatic office where the blunder was recorded, Talò’s resignation could now be followed by others: those of Lucia Pasqualini, the diplomat in charge of relations with Africa who should have ‘monitored’ the phone call with the self-styled chair of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki. For Meloni, sources close to the prime minister say, the case is closed in any case: “Talò has resigned, for us it ends here”, he is assured. But they don’t think that way on the third floor of Palazzo Chigi, in the office hit by the prank call where, at the moment, new twists cannot be ruled out. And where there is a strong belief that behind the mistake there was also a communication problem with the prime minister’s private secretariat.

“I reiterated what I also support publicly”

Meanwhile, Talò, who would have retired on February 28th, leaves the scene: his last mission at Bletchley Park yesterday, silent but already aware from the first day of the turn that the story would take. The resignation of the diplomatic advisor was for Meloni “a gesture of responsibility. We made at least 80 of these phone calls and I am sorry that in this stumble what was done is called into question. I thank him and the diplomatic office”. Having said that, if “if I receive a phone call from the diplomatic advisor’s office I have to take it for granted…”. And so it was for a good part of the conversation.

In those 13 minutes released by the ‘diabolical’ duo – there would be 17 more, but ‘scissorsed’ by Vovan and Lexus – “I reiterated the positions that I also support publicly”, claims the prime minister with a decisive attitude, despite the mess in the fake call “the government’s coherence in foreign policy decisions is reaffirmed and confirmed”. On Ukraine, in particular, “we have taken responsibility for a very clear position, and perhaps this is also why they call us. Being aware of the tiredness” that the Ukrainian conflict generates in public opinion “does not mean not believing in victory of Ukraine. We believe in it and continue to do what we can to help”, he assures.

The suspicion of hybrid warfare

“The fact that the fake phone call was first relaunched by channels that feed Russian propaganda should ask some questions” about the nature of the call itself and the risks of a hybrid war “even among those who are acting as a megaphone for these comedians” , the prime minister ‘wand’. “It is obvious that if things were like this, that is, that we were the objects of disinformation due to the positions we have at an international level, “it is obvious” that “I am sorry” if there are those in Italy who lend themselves to acting as a sounding board .

Meanwhile, the pawns are moving for the post-Talò period, despite Palazzo Chigi’s assurances to the contrary, that is, that it is “still premature to talk about it”. But the head of the diplomatic office, who previously served as ambassador to NATO and Israel, would be retiring in 4 months, so some rumors have been bouncing around Piazza Colonna and the Farnesina for some time now. For example, the succession of Luca Ferrari, currently ‘sherpa’ for the G7/G20, appears less obvious, while the prices of Bucci, now close to ending his mandate in Tirana, are rising.