October 12, 2018

The old Breed

The lifelong senator was talking with his own silence. He drew all the Noble prize winers that he knew. I don’t really like the first one, he said. The old lady has wisdom, but once in a while she loses clarity. Zichichi is good, but only in reminding what should not be done, and not what should be done…

But I will send you to one of the most honest men that I have known in my life. He is director in the Ministry of Scientific Research, professor and respected scientist. And also – continued the senator – he is the representative of your old breed. It was the second time in a day that I would meet with people of my old breed. As I was waiting in a small hotel close to the train station in Rome, before meeting with Andreoti, I started to read the newspapers. Two of the largest Italian daily newspapers had dedicated almost 15 pages to the great emperor of the Italian finances, Enrico Cuccia.

I did not know that he was a representative of the old breed.

Two years later, in an interview on an Albanian television, Andreoti stressed that Albanians should be proud with a representative like Enrico Cuccia.

Later, I found the origin of Cuccia in a book by Tamburini. The Italian writer that wrote mostly on economics wrote that Cuccia was of greek-albanian origin from Piana degli Albanesi. In fact all the orthodox Albanians are perceived as greeks, adding also the fact that their church has a more orthodox style. It often happens that many confuse the orthodox religious identity with the greek identity.

As I was reading the newspapers I immediately understood that Cuccia was among the great representatives of the old breed that Balzak had expressed in a wonderful way in ‘Gobseck’. One of the quiet kings that lead their country and the world according to their old and inaccessible style, calm and without saying a word to the world around them.

The waiter that served at the restaurant where Cuccia used to dine said of him: “He used to come always at 5 to 12. He would wait outside both in the cold of winter and the heat of the summer and would enter the restaurant at exactly 12:00. He drank water from the tap and would never speak. He ordered everything with his eyes.”

The elder Cuccia had written in his will that he will that he did not want to be distrurbed in any way after his death. Buried in Switzerland within his wife’s grave, without putting any inscription on it. Almost the same as Balzac’s legendary character. On the day of his death, only one of the great personalities of Italy did not attend the funeral. It was Gianni Agnelli. In 1973, remaining in financial trouble, he approached Cuccia. The pledge was heavy. Agnelli brother had to leave his duties at FIAT.

Ten years later he was again struggling. And again, he had to go to Cuccia. The pledge was even worse. Gianni Agnelli had to retire and leave the FIAT presidency. This was the order of the great patriarch. To understand the influence of Cuccia it is enough to recall Andreoti’s words: “Whenever our matters were not going well, we thought:” Cuccia is wiping out this government too. ”

Cuccia was the incarnation of the main Balzac’s character. Gobseck used to say: “We are ten silent kings in Paris.” For Cuccia one could say that he was the sole king of Italy that ruled it for fifty years. Unlike his compatriot, Enver Hoxha, on the other side of the Adriatic, who destroyed his country, Cuccia strengthened the second homeland that his grandparents had chosen.