There's been quite the political earthquake
in Italy this weekend: the latest national elections
, with Silvio Berlusconi's populist right bouncing back to a photo-finish against the forecasted favourite center-left coalition, headed by Pier Luigi Bersani. But it's neither of their results that will cause the real aftershocks - those are the sole honour (and, now, onus) of the most meteoric
of political entities Europe has ever witnessed
: former comic Beppe Grillo
's 5-Star MoVement, formally founded just three years ago, have crowned their national electoral debut by earning over 25% of the popular vote, becoming Italy's leading political force. [more inside]
Italy's PM: can I privatize water supply, guarantee private investors a minimum 7% ROI on investments in water supply infrastructure, avoid showing up at scheduled court hearings and build a few nuclear plants, please? NO, you can't
, answered nearly 30 million italians (95%
of the voters, 57% of the people that held the right to vote) in the latest italian national referendum, whose final results are just about to be published (italian)
. [more inside]
Thank God Silvio Exists! A beautiful blond woman, standing in a grocery store beside a pile of bananas, sings, “There’s a big dream that lives in all of us.” A throng of women belt out the chorus together under a cloudless sky: “Menomale che Silvio c’è”— “Thank God there’s Silvio.” Other women in various settings pick up the tune: a young mother in a pediatrician’s office, surrounded by nurses; a brunette in a beauty parlor, dressed for work in a camisole that barely covers her breasts. To American eyes, the ad looks like a parody, or perhaps some new kind of musical pornography that’s just about to erupt into carnality.
(from a New Yorker blog post
) [more inside]
extradite an Italian writer convicted for political murders in the 1970s
, so a Venetian official wants his books out of libraries. Not only Cesare Battisti
's works, but also those written by Italians who supported him through petitions.
The Wu Ming group
is on the case (English translation)
, fearing this will worsen and spread to the rest of Italy. [more inside]
Italy’s government teeters on the brink:
tomorrow (Tuesday) a no-confidence vote should decide whether we have another three years of bunga-bunga partying
, "escort" (= prostitute) scandals
and international gaffes
from the leader of this NATO partner and founding EU member
, or whether Silvio Berlusconi will be sent home. Some think it’s a hilariously stupid
(SLYT) to suggest he might step down. [more inside]
Maria Laura Rodotà an Italian journalist
bemoans Berlusconi´s philandering
and the culture of machismo that celebrates his habitual womanising.
- the latest of many scandals involving teenage girls is shrugged off by the 70 year old as
My Passion for women is better than being gay
How much longer can he cling
to power? (previously
Berlusconi in Tehran
by Slavoj Žižek in the London Review of Books
You may not miss George W. Bush, but these five world leaders
The Guardian has taken the unusual step of publishing the same article in English
& in Italian
because the Italian media will not tell the truth about Berlusconi.
clown that heads Italy
has accused newspapers and television stations of slandering him and damaging the country’s reputation by highlighting his alleged faux pas
an interesting article from the Colombia Journal of Review cached archives shows how Berlusconi uses Journalism as a political weapon. [more inside]
I don't know if this is more troubling than any of the other anti-immigrant movements that have been cropping up in Europe, or whether it's just that Italy has Silvio Berlusconi (previously on MeFi
), but with the fingerprinting of Roma, including their children
, the destruction of Roma camps
and the blase attitude towards two Roma girls found dead
on an Italian beach, one wonders whether comparisons to the 1930's may become justified. Now, in an act that, while not violent, is perhaps even more indicative of the country's views on race the city of Lucca
and the region of Lombardy have banned the opening of new "foreign" restaurants,
as, one newspaper put it "a new Lombard Crusade against the Saracens." [more inside]
Berlusconi allies with Italian fascists.
Declaring the opposition party as a threat to democracy, Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi did the obvious thing... he allied with the fascists
. After all, what did they ever do to harm anyone
? They look like a friendly, patriotic group. Cleancut
... and they sound kinda cheery too
. Their websites feature familiar faces
. I'm sure the knifings
and the bombings
-- yes, plural
-- were just a matter of youthful overexuberance
So, where's Bush
on this issue
In the Muslim world, the major argument against punishing European governments for the cartoon scandal is that it was not caused by those governments, but by private newspapers. Italy's Reform Minister tries to put things right.
"I am the Jesus Christ of politics,"
says this controversial leader. He's also Napoleon, but taller,
and recently told people: "Mussolini never killed anyone. Mussolini used to send people on vacation in internal exile."
Think we're the only country whose leader makes planetary gaffes?
Think again--and elections are coming. You've got to admire the balls on a guy who owns much of his country's media, yet says: "If I, taking care of everyone's interests, also take care of my own, you can't talk about a conflict of interest."
Berlusconi calls Godwin. Berlusconi lost his cool in response to criticism of an alleged conflict of interest between his political office and his extensive Italian media interests by German Socialist MEP Martin Schulz.
"Mr. Schulz, I know there is in Italy a man producing a film on the Nazi concentration camps. I would like to suggest you for the role of leader. You'd be perfect,'' Berlusconi exclaimed to jeers in the chamber.
i can't believe country leaders keep doing very stupid things
what do you think of the attitude of silvio berlusconi, italy's ultra right prime minister? i don't give a damn about his decision, but he (and also other silly country leaders: bush, fox, blair, etc.) should try to prevent this going public! there's also an incredible fact about poverty… and you thought aids was a problem?!
also… are really so desperate the communists (a.k.a. left wing)?
it's a shame they did this!
Food summit 'waste of time'
and a shame for many first world countries. Berlusconi and Spain’s prime minister Aznar were the only leaders of wealthy countries present during the summit. And Silvio Berlusconi made the summit end two hours early in order to watch his country's crucial World Cup game with México. I wish the War Against Hunger woukd receive the same attention than the War Against Terror…