Thursday, 20 January 2011

Time for Italy's European Friends to Intervene

Silvio Berlusconi's impunity rests with the Northern Leagues, whose price is the re-conforming of Italian unity.  Yet in the 150th anniversary year of the foundation of the state of Italy the President is not going to sit quietly by while the country is dismembered.  There is dissent and determined opposition from above.

Nor is there quiet below.  The demands of the Northern Leagues are fiercely resisted by the local authorities who embody the European Union ideal of subsidiarity - power to the lowest possible local level at which it can be exercised.  The parliamentary commission on federalism is facing fierce criticism of the confusion and lack of clarity in terms of proposals and outcomes in the projected changes to the state it is considering.

As if that might not be enough, Berlusconi proposes that in return for delivering an obscure, confused and uncertain federalism opposed by regions and communities alike, he may launch a criminal assault upon the judiciary in order to prevent any further opposition to his personal, populist mandate which has been earned from removing inheritance taxes and various other property imposts and the purchase of client votes (to name the  above-the-surface activities; goodness knows what moves elsewhere).

At the meeting last night of Berlusconi and his henchmen and the Northern Leagues' Bossi and his, this outrageous programme seems to have been furthered.  Both Berlusconi and Bossi are old and sick and Berlusconi at least is deeply compromised, surrounded by placemen, courtiers, office-seekers at any cost, pimps, and prostitutes. 

So far the normal face of Italian political, economic, constitutional and community life has held.  But this tearing at the fabric of the state itself, powered by the impossibility of Berlusconi's position, will soon spill over into Italy's debt relations and into any hope of investment in a country already desperately behind much of the rest of Europe in productivity and innovation.  The collapse not just of the economy but of the state itself by the third biggest  member of the eurozone is in no-one's interest.

1 comment:

Odin's Raven said...

I have heard that the Italian legal system has been infiltrated and corrupted by leftists, even worse than New Labour did in Britain. The media seems to overlook this.

I doubt that any politicians or bureaucrats can be above suspicion in the country where only a couple of decades ago it was found that the government was the public relations front of the mafia, and where the mafia banked with the papacy - and had their money stolen! Even detective fiction about Italy, such as Donna Leon and the Aurelio Zen stories, emphasize the devious corruption of all state organizations and employees, and of those who have to deal with them.

Why seek to perpetuate this monstrosity? 'Cultured but corrupt' would seem a reasonable epitaph for many of those who have run Italy since long before it was politically united.

The EU is already reputed to be very corrupt - some fellow from the audit commission has just admitted that they routinely covered up corruption for decades; and they still can't get a clean audit report after about 16 years!

The peoples of Europe would be better off if they could chase all their corrupt politicians and bureaucrats to Italy and prevent them from escaping!