4 Days of meeting river. Dozens of hours spent discussing, beating fists on the table, reading dossiers, removing proposals, intimidating, threatening, retreating, moving forward.
Sounds like a film about the art of war by Sun Tzu.
That's what happened from last Friday to last night in Brussels.
The scenario was that of the European Commission tables.
The generals ready to shoot or retreat were the heads of state of the EU member states.
The object of the dispute was the aid package that the United Europe should have offered to the countries affected by the covid 19 pandemic, first and foremost Italy.
For those who love politics, these negotiations were a spectacle.
There was a mix of everything you would expect to find when dozens of heads of state face each other on equal terms to decide the fate of a continent and, above all, of an idea, of a concept like that of United Europe.
For the first time Europe was called upon to unite and not divide, to help without conditions and without alternatives.
A scenario unthinkable until 5 months ago and that now, thanks to the renewed credibility of Italy, the Spanish pressing, the Portuguese example and the Franco-German axis finally on the Mediterranean side, has become reality.
We entered the Chamber of Council with a proposal for EURÂ 500Â billion to be allocated, non-repayable and subsidised, for the Member States, in proportion to needs.
Italy would be the one with the most aid, about 170 billion, almost equally divided between grants and loans.
Between this great aid and the real landing of the money in the Italian coffers there was, however, a wall made up of 4 countries, the so-called "frugal", which later became 5 and led by the Dutch Prime Minister Rutte.
In essence, these countries professed austerity, even in such a complex and unique moment.
They would have wanted to zero subsidies and "help" the most affected countries by means of loans (in figures even lower than those proposed by Michel) and with total supervision of the goodness of the reforms implemented by the recipients of aid.
This double taxation is unacceptable, but it is rooted in a very poor credibility that our country has built up over time.
We are the ones who pay bribes everywhere, who manage public funds badly, who invest nothing, who are in a ruthless state of research, who are in a ruthless state of education (the highest functional illiteracy in Europe), who ask Europe for help and then do not spend the funds that Europe gives us.
It is therefore not as foolish to think as a Dutchman or an Austrian would think today when faced with the sight of his own money given to a country like Italy.
Lucky for us we had this government and not a right-wing or sovereign-populist government, otherwise we would have come home with lots of shouting and slogans and zero euros.
Another fortune was to have a serious and credible person like Conte.
Another fortune was to have a leader like Merkel on our side, on the hunt for an historic agreement that would take Europe from being that of austerity to being that of solidarity.
Fortunately for us, we had Gentiloni and Sassoli in strategic positions within the European Commission.
Fortunately for us, we had a decent diplomatic and governmental framework that represented us before the whole of Europe.
Four days of negotiations and in the end the Prime Minister Conte succeeded in the miracle.
Not only will we be helped, but the funds allocated to us will be 40 billion more than we would have received under the original proposal.
For their part, the frugal countries have managed to reduce the funds to be given to countries in need of economic aid from 500 to 390.
For our part, Conte has achieved another important goal, no less important than the economic one.
There will be a committee to oversee the reforms that each country will make and not a single veto from a single country as proposed by the frugal countries.
It is an important principle because it states that the decision will always be collegiate, never unanimous in law and subject to the tantrums and peculiarities of a single country.
The frugal sing victory because now their voice is stronger but we, like Italy, come out very strong, aware that we have regained great credibility, even in the eyes of the richest and most powerful countries, aware that we have built a great axis with France - Spain - Portugal - Germany.
The money will come.
It's a lot of money.
There are no more excuses.
We have a duty, each of us, to use it to the best of our ability, with seriousness and responsibility.
Only then can we talk about the Italian Miracle.
For now, let's settle for the "European miracle".