Gianni Agnelli 20 years after his death, Lapo Elkann: 'He always defended Italy'

The grandson tells his grandfather, twenty years after his death, in an exclusive interview with Walter Veltroni. “He was a magnificent ambassador of our country in the world”. His last words? “I remember them with emotion: you, your brother and your sister remain united. So it was'

  gianni-agnelli-lapo-elkann-launch-today-4 Lapo Elkann with his grandfather Gianni Agnelli who died on January 24, 2003

Twenty years after the death of the lawyer Agnelli, who died on 24 January 2003, his nephew Lapo Elkann recounts it in an extensive interview with Walter Veltroni for Today , on newsstands tomorrow. – Photo | video

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  OG004P001 MAGNIFICENT AMBASSADOR – «He is king of Italy? No. he was a magnificent ambassador of our country in the world. He defended the tricolor everywhere from all attacks… Gianni Agnelli has always protected the national company, not just Fiat. Had it not been for him, Ferrari would have ended up with Henry Ford and Alfa Romeo, Autobianchi and Lancia would have had foreign ownership. My grandfather loved his homeland and defended it from anyone. For this reason, even today, after twenty years, it pains me to think about his suffering in the last few days. He had inherited the company from his family, he had made it grow and projected it on an international scale but at that time, the last time in his life, the fate of Fiat was in danger'.

I PRAISE PER JOHN – A rescue, according to Lapo, «thanks to my brother John, whose work I want to praise. He multiplied the value of our group tenfold by working with wisdom and balance. The history of Fiat continues with him and thanks to him». The young Elkann recalls his last trip with his grandfather: «I was in New York because I was working in Kissinger's office at the time... When he decided to return to Turin, I told him I wanted to stay with him, that I would quit. He replied that I was a fool, that I had a good job and that I had to stay in America… His last words? I remember them with emotion: “You, your brother and your sister must be united. Avoid conflicts, avoid quarrels. Please unite, please.' And so it was, as he wanted. Between difficulties and differences we have never lost affection and collaboration. We are three different people in terms of character, training and talents, but we are united».

Lapo Elkann married Joana Lemos! The secret wedding in Portugal on his birthday – guard

JOHN'S MEMORY – Then he talks about his late cousin Giovannino, president of Piaggio at the age of 29 and who died at the age of 33: «That appointment cost him a lot of pain, because he knew that perhaps his father Umberto would deserve that post. But the grandfather chose him. Giovanni had charisma, a unique gift, and a capacity for inclusion typical of our family. He was a real Agnelli ». And of his uncle Edoardo, who committed suicide in 2000: «Edoardo had problems with substances, as I had them. Today in the Anglo-Saxon world, many successful people make no secret of curing themselves of various forms of addiction: drugs, alcohol, food, gambling. I had the opportunity to fight the demons I had inside and to come out. Edoardo was unable, 25 years ago the discomfort had no citizenship… I think, it's just my opinion, that I first and all our family should have done more, stayed closer to him ». Finally Lapo talks about his grandfather's passions, starting with Ferrari: «His favorite driver was the one who won. I think he loved Michael Schumacher for this. Then he liked Gilles Villeneuve, his way of driving. And Ayrton Senna, who if he hadn't died in such a tragic way, would have joined Ferrari the following year».

Read the full interview on Today on newsstands