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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

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