Berlusconi’s “decadenza”

In English, in French
My American friend wrote me this morning: How does it feel to live, free of Berlusconi? Are the people of Italy rejoicing in the streets?

Here in Turin, the news was hardly noticed, because although it is good news, it is also old news. It was expected, a fully foreseen turn of events, part of the long goodbye of an Italian ruler who came in power in distant 1994 and is still clinging to authority with all his histrionic might.

Italian politics have never lacked for stage histrionics, but Berlusconi is very likely the most ridiculous Italian state leader ever. Beppe Grillo, the leader of the opposition Five Star Movement, is a television comedian, but Grillo is the picture of sobriety and decency compared to Berlusconi. Grillo has found peers such as Dario Fo, the Nobel Prize Winning dramatist, and Gianroberto Casaleggio, a brainy Internet guru in a Milanese suit and tie. So even a professional comedian can find dignity in Italian public life if he looks for it, but not Berlusconi. Berlusconi has been flung out of his Parliamentary senate seat and forbidden to run for office, because he was found guilty of fraud and prostitution with a minor. More

Collective Intelligence

The Italian scientific community was stunned when Italian scientists, seismologists, were recently sentenced to years of prison for manslaughter, for failing to predict the lethal earthquake in Aquila in 2009. Other scientists have resigned to their jobs in protest, and even some relatives of the victims condemned the sentence as ridiculous. The world press was reporting on the dark ages of inquisition in Italian courts and labs. But then, journalistic investigations discovered political scandals that implied a plot to downplay earthquake dangers in Aquila, involving Berlusconi and his cabinet. Silvio Berlusconi can’t control earthquakes any more than seismologists can, but he’s always been keen on controlling media.

It came as a huge relief to many Italians when, on Friday, a brave court of Milan managed to sentence Berlusconi for his tax frauds. He is condemned to 4 years of prison, but of course he will appeal, stall, and agitate demogogically. Nobody is expecting this potentate to serve time in an Italian prison. It is still a significant moral victory for the brave judges, fighting for years on end to legally prove what was already obvious to everybody. More

Bye Bye Bunga Bunga

“I haven’t been so inspired since 1994,” an Italian friend of mine posted on her Facebook page.

Well, I too can remember the year 1994, when I was in Milan, giving a public speech among some so-called intellectuals, soon after Berlusconi was elected. I had come there directly from Serbia, struggling in the thick of the Milosevic reign of terror.

I remember warning my Italian friends, feeling frightened, extremely emotional. I described a ‘soft dictatorship,’ how a small caste of oppressors gets into power legally, because WE vote them in, and then they steal and fake everything that WE, the people, never delegated them to do. And how, finally after waging wars against all the OTHERS in our own name, they finally turn on their ultimate victims and wage their war against US.

How they destroy every aspect of reality that stands in the way of a total exploitation: meaning the destruction, the ruin, of the people, ideas, customs, habits, prosperity, morality, of a nation and its history, of a time and a space. Afterwards, after the dreadful crash, who feels empty and responsible? We, the citizens who voted, we whose states were surrendered to the exploiters and profiteers, we, the participants, we are the ones humiliated in front of our children and the whole world.

Berlusconi Bye Bye

Is this really the final end of the Berlusconi era, or just another pause for the Cavaliere to catch his breath?

Will he return on a fresh horse as the savior of an ever-crumbling Italy, as he has done repeatedly for the past 20 years? Will my Italian friends finally be able to travel abroad without a miasma of shame, and not be forced to explain to all what a bunga bunga orgy means? Will the numerous foreigners living and working in Italy, legal, clandestine, and semiclandestine, be able to face their children and say: we did the right thing to come here? Will they say: a new day dawns on the peninsula, the specter of crisis, gloom and crime has finally lifted! Work hard for your future!

These are open questions, and frightening questions today in Italy after yesterday’s dramatic countdown, and Berlusconi’s declaration that he will step down only after passing an emergency law on the Italian economic crisis. United Europe and its presses have closely followed the saga of the decadent emperor. They know that it was global economics and not his domestic scandals that pried the scepter from his hands. More

Belen and Berlusconi

Belen and Berlusconi
In English, na srpskom

The foreign press is raving about Berlusconi’s escort scandals and his unfortunate declaration that he is the prime minister in his spare time. Sometimes, between important orgies, he finds a spare moment to meet with the Pope, UN officials, financiers and so forth.

The founder of one of the major dailies in Italy, Eugenio Scalfari, wrote that it was impossible for the scandal to continue until the formal elections in 2013. Yet at this point the Italian population seems to be beyond embarrassment.

The “If not now, when” women’ s movement has been protesting for more than six months now in mass public demonstrations. Even world pop stars like Madonna, normally not an icon of sexual rectitude, have expressed their contempt for the premier. More

Sultan Berlusconi on Trial

In English, na srpskom

Silvio Berlusconi will be the first head of a G-7 state to be arraigned in court on charges of paid sex with a minor.

A few days ago, the court from Milan issued a subpoena for the Italian premiere, on a charge that could carry a penalty of 15 years of prison. This April 6, sugar daddy Silvio will face three adult female judges from Milan, the Italian women that the press here in Italy call his “Nemesis.”

A right wing commentator of the TG1, one of the TV channels controlled by Berlusconi himself, said: I believe in his innocence, but by the time he proves that, his reputation will be gone forever. And to tell the truth he worked hard on that himself! What on earth did he think he was doing when he meddled with minors and showgirls? More

Se non ora, quando?

photos by Francesca Ottobelli
boing boing

Berlusconi: Millions of Women ask him to resign!
In English, na srpskom, en francais

“If not now, when?” was a national demonstration of women, to put it bluntly, against Berlusconi and pornocracy. The other names for the same demo were: Resign, Basta, I don’t give up! ADESSO, NOW!
A flash mob in 280 cities of Italy and 50 abroad, millions of people, mostly women but also men and children. It was not a first flash mob in the last few weeks or months since Berlusconi got caught up in the sex scandal vertigo with minors, prostitutes, pimps and orgies at his home.
Only a week ago in Milan, in a big rally the prominent intellectuals from Italian public life such as the distinct professor and writer Umberto Eco, Roberto Saviano the star of antimafia campaign writing, the judges of of the constitutional court, trade union leaders and many others started the campaign: RESIGN. But as one of the speakers, the orchestra director Pollini said : Belrusconi will never step down, Belrusconi didn’t. On the contrary, he speeded up a campaign against the judges in Milan on his case, threatened of suing the state of Italy in the European parliament and organized rallies in his support , claiming an innocent altruistic interest in girls, accusing the investigators of a communist biased campaign against a decent family man and head of a the government. More

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