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Again: it is an enormous pleasure to read ahead of the curve because of you De Gondi.

Something is building in Italy. It'll break one day.

If you'd like to indulge, is Berlusconi targeting any people in particular when he rants against "the Radicals"? Or is it just a consistent stratagem to turn himself into a victim of heinous conspiracies by everyone who does not suck up to him?

In the Netherlands, reporting about Italy comes on and off in NRC Handelsblad, but when it comes, it is blistering:

nrc.nl - International - Italian judges: 'Berlusconi danger to democracy'

The problem is that all these institutions find themselves under constant pressure. Judges and journalists are constantly under fire from government parties. Parliament and government have been infiltrated by the mafia.

According to Massimo Gianni, an analyst who writes for opposition daily La Repubblica, Berlusconi is playing a game of "smoke and mirrors in which appearances have replaced reality". "According to Berlusconi, the rule of law is a pointless obstacle. The reign of confusion is preferable," Gianni said.

Checks and balances like the free press, the judiciary, the president or parliament that become too critical are ridiculed and stripped of their legitimacy. Whoever dares interfere with the leader's business has a price to pay, Gianni said???.

Berlusconi has compared bothersome magistrates to "a subversive gang of Taliban members" who are "different from the rest of the human race, anthropologically speaking".

The prime minister has called journalists "communists" and thinks the president of the republic, Giorgio Napolitano, is little more than a pesky obstacle. Members of parliamen are supposed to obey their leader, as far as Berlusconi is concerned.

by Nomad on Sat Mar 13th, 2010 at 04:02:43 AM EST
It's Massimo Giannini. Here's one of his most recent articles on irresponsible power.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sat Mar 13th, 2010 at 05:47:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Il potere irresponsabile - Repubblica.it
Berlusconi è ancora troppo forte per essere finito, ma è ormai troppo sfinito per essere forte. Giustissimo.

greek tragedy, meet comic opera...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Mar 13th, 2010 at 06:09:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
is Berlusconi targeting any people in particular when he rants against "the Radicals"?

I wondered why he mentioned the Radicals, too. But, note: in the Italian context, the Radicals was the name of a succession of liberal parties from the 19th century, and it is one of the two main roots of the current left-of-centre Democratic Party.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Mar 13th, 2010 at 08:25:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you'd like to indulge, is Berlusconi targeting any people in particular when he rants against "the Radicals"? Or is it just a consistent stratagem to turn himself into a victim of heinous conspiracies by everyone who does not suck up to him?

The center-left candidate for the presidency of Lazio is the Radical Emma Bonino. Beyond that Radicals are known for militant postures in applying laws and rules. Their non-violent Gandhian tactics, such as hunger or thirst strikes, make them a unicum in the Italian political landscape. Although they have never had a solid constituency, they have managed to modernize Italian society through their oft winning focus on specific issues such as divorce, abortion, personal drug use, abolition of military service and euthanasia.

Berlusconi's stale tactics, that alternate between playing the victim and vehement rhetoric, does get his followers to "suck up to him."

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sat Mar 13th, 2010 at 12:44:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let me add that Francesco Rutelli came from the Radicals (though having checked, I find he was about the only Radical in La Margherita... messed that up).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 13th, 2010 at 01:26:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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