Political talk from outside of the UK
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By satnav
Membership Days Posts
#338541
Can someone explain to me how Berlusconi is still allowed to wield enormous influence on Italian politics even though he has been convicted in court on some extremely serious charges and could be in prison any time soon?
By new puritan
Membership Days Posts
#338600
satnav wrote:Can someone explain to me how Berlusconi is still allowed to wield enormous influence on Italian politics even though he has been convicted in court on some extremely serious charges and could be in prison any time soon?


Because he owns most of the media. Italian politics is on an entirely different plane when it comes to corruption, and the centre-left hasn't been much better than the right over the years. Think I've posted this link before but this Perry Anderson essay is just incredible.

Where the state has led, society has followed. The years since 1993 have, in one area of life after another, been the most calamitous since the fall of Fascism. Of late, they have produced probably the two most scalding inventories of avarice, injustice, dereliction and failure to appear in any European country since the war. The works of a pair of crusading journalists for Corriere della Sera, Gian Antonio Stella and Sergio Rizzo, La Casta and La Deriva, have both been bestsellers – the first ran through 23 editions in six months – and they deserve to be. What do they reveal? To begin with, the greed of the political class running the country. In the Assembly, deputies have raised their salaries virtually six-fold in real terms since 1948, with the result that in the European Parliament an Italian deputy gets some 150,000 euros a year, about double what a German or British member receives, or four times a Spaniard. In Rome, the Chamber of Deputies, Senate and prime minister occupy altogether at least 46 buildings. The Quirinale, where the president of the Republic – currently Giorgio Napolitano, until yesterday a prominent Communist, as impervious as his predecessors – resides, puts at his disposal more than 900 servitors of one kind or another, at the last count. Cost of the presidential establishment, which has tripled since 1986? Twice that of the Elysée, four times that of Buckingham Palace, eight times that of the German president. Takings of its inmates? In 1993 Gaetano Gifuni, the Father Joseph of the palace, at the centre of then President Scalfaro’s operations to protect himself from justice, received 557,000 euros at current values for his services – well above the salary of an American president. Transport? In 2007, Italy had no fewer than 574,215 auto blu – official limousines – for a governing class of 180,000 elected representatives; France has 65,000. Security? Berlusconi set an example: 81 bodyguards, at public expense. By some reckonings, expenditure on political representation in Italy, all found, is equivalent to that of France, Germany, Britain and Spain combined.


http://www.lrb.co.uk/v31/n04/perry-ande ... ded-to-end
 
By Tubby Isaacs
Membership Days Posts
#354765
the result that in the European Parliament an Italian deputy gets some 150,000 euros a year, about double what a German or British member receives, or four times a Spaniard.


The Irish could probably give the Italians a run for their money. Aherne was on over 300,000 Euros in 2007.
 
By mikey mikey
Posts
#473289
Not the best of days. :(
 
By bluebellnutter
Membership Days Posts
#473343
I can imagine, the aftermath looks absolutely horrible. Earthquakes really are among the cruellest of nature's ways of killing us, kills hundreds or thousands in one sitting with virtually no prior warning and no real means of predicting when they might occur.
 
By mikey mikey
Posts
#473349
bluebellnutter wrote:I can imagine, the aftermath looks absolutely horrible. Earthquakes really are among the cruellest of nature's ways of killing us, kills hundreds or thousands in one sitting with virtually no prior warning and no real means of predicting when they might occur.


The mood here is very grim. The death toll is nearly 250 and rising.

Having lived about 170 miles from Fukushima during the spring of 2011, I can 100% agree with you about earthquakes.
 
By Kreuzberger
Membership Days Posts
#473351
Of course, all of these disasters are a compendium of individual tragedies and the cultural loss of such places as Amatrice heaps on the sadness even further.

I have never been to the village itself but I do know the area well. We used to spend a lot of time in Umbria and on a fair few occasions, took the road from just south of Spoleto up to Norcia for a legendary lunch of cured meats. Being Benedictine-country, it is all exquisitely beautiful anyway but the one memory which towers above all others is the plateau just before reaching Norcia, itself.

One spring or early-summer, we were picking our way around the hairpins and between the dark, hewn, craggy passes only to emerge in to brilliant sunshine and a seemingly endless carpet of wild flowers. If death and misery are a constant, so must be these flowers.
 
By mikey mikey
Posts
#473356
Kreuzberger wrote: If death and misery are a constant, so must be these flowers.


A lovely post. Thank you.
 
By youngian
Membership Days Posts
#473368
Cost of the presidential establishment, which has tripled since 1986? Twice that of the Elysée, four times that of Buckingham Palace, eight times that of the German president.
And the Italian presidency is a ceremonial post isn't it?

Not sure this entirely appropriate but my present good lady friend flew out to Italy for a wedding yesterday and I asked her to spread the love in the present circumstances. She's told me she's working on it around the clock
Image
 
By Abernathy
Membership Days Posts
#473371
When's the hamburger shot?
 
By youngian
Membership Days Posts
#486992
I'm not up on this referendum but seeking to accrue executive powers at the expense of the senate and regions sounds like a big ask.
 
By youngian
Membership Days Posts
#487008
Renzi's proposals don't seem unreasonable but Italians of all people should be weary of executive power grabs. He sounds like Cameron; too carried away with his own hubris.
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