While Europe is facing its toughest challenge since 1929, it seems that priorities are not the same for all countries. Instead of fighting tax evasion to heal the national economy, the Italian government decided to focus on Berlusconi’s problems. Protests have spread across Italy but apparently Mr. Berlusconi knows best: privacy is what the Italians need.
Next Wednesday the Italian Parliament will debate a law that puts several limits on freedom of communication in Italy. The law, which has been proposed by the government, aims to shut bloggers up and prevent newspapers from publishing the content of tapped phone calls (read full text here). Continue reading
What is happening in Italy?”, the Guardian journalist John Foot asked himself in a great piece. Nothing new, I would say. While France and Germany are struggling to find a solution for the international economic crisis, Italy confirms itself as a millstone around the European Union’s neck because of its politicians’ incompetence.
The austerity measures passed by Berlusconi’s government in July didn’t satisfy the European Central Bank. Most of the cuts were planned to come into force only in 2013, which is the year when Berlusconi’s government ceases to exist: too late for Italy and Europe. Despite Berlusconi’s claims (until last July he had been denying the existence of the international economic crisis) Italy’s economy is terribly weak and the markets know it. Last week the European Central Bank bought a part of the Italian debt (22 billion euros) but nothing lasts forever: Italy’s markets continue falling and the country is closer than ever to default. Continue reading
Protests in London - Pizza Politics - click on the picture to see other photos of the protests
After success of pro-women manifestation “Se non ora quando?”, one million Italians took the streets to protest in favour of the Italian Constitution last Saturday.
According to Articolo 21 website, which promoted the event, about one million Italians in 100 Italian cities and abroad protested against the way in which Berlusconi’s government is threatening the Italian Constitution (see London’s protests photos). Continue reading
Berlusconi and Gaddafi - Wikimedia Commons
In a moment when the whole West was calling for sanctions against Gaddafi’s regime, Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi finally took a position yesterday, saying that “Europe and the West can’t be spectators anymore”.
After calling Libya conditions a “threat for our economy and security”, Berlusconi said yesterday in a statement that “Gaddafi has lost control of the situation” and that Italy could be ready for sanctions against Libya. However, the only spectator in the European scenario over the last week had been Berlusconi himself, who last Tuesday said that the situation was under control as “the people of Libya are granting stability and national security”. Continue reading
Ethereal Shadows cover - Pizza Politics
There was a time when the State controlled Italian TV and private companies had no say in it. Then liberal reforms came and apparently in a fit of absence of mind, TV monopoly shifted from the public to the private sphere. But why such an accumulation of media in one’s hands? In other words, how did Berlusconi manage to establish his media regime? Also, what the scenario of Italian media in the future? These and other questions find an answer in Ethereal Shadows, an outstanding study of the Italian media and an extraordinary effort to find a way out to a desolating situation that has no equal in the whole civilized world. Continue reading
There are nights when, after a long and tiring day spent studying on my desk, I close the eyes and start thinking of the future of my country. I think of an era with no Bunga Bunga, no corruption, no conflict of interests, no Berlusconi. I think of an Italy led by a strong and honest political coalition. But the dream doesn’t last long. As I realize I can’t visualize that country, I get my feet back on the ground and restart my readings. However, it seems somebody else can see that country. That’s Bill Emmott, former editor of The Economist, who has recently published a book about post-Berlusconi Italy: Forza, Italia: Come Ripartire dopo Berlusconi ( Come on Italy, how to restart after Berlusconi). Continue reading
Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi - Wikimedia Commons
Silvio Berlusconi is back on trial as yesterday afternoon Milan’s court announced restart of a fraud trial that had been suspended last April.
Mr Berlusconi is accused of fraud in a trial concerning illegal purchase of TV rights by his family’s company Mediaset. The first session is scheduled for 28 February.
According to prosecutors, Berlusconi’s company has illegally purchased TV rights from the USA. Financial transactions were carried out through several off-shore companies controlled by Mr Berlusconi. Continue reading