Monday, 11 March 2013

Berlusconi Still in Hospital Despite Legal Efforts to Force Him to Court

The sometime prime minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi is 76 years old.  The recovery of the political position of his political alliance in the last general election to within 0.4 of a percentage point of Pierluigi Bersani's  'winning' alliance 'Common Good' (or 'Common Purpose', as the Italian Bene Comune could readily be translated, and made up of the Democratic Party plus various leftist and Rainbow Alliance splinter groups) was extraordinary.  Extraordinary too was Berlusconi's input.  Angelo Alfano, the Secretary of the People of Liberty, spoke gracefully and truly when he said  that without Berlusconi their defeat would have been far greater than the difficulties Berlsuconi brings along together with his political abilities and near-victory.

Now Angels watches with increasing distaste and democratic concern the legal hounding of Berlusconi.  Certainly he has been tried and sentenced in the first instance for tax evasion, and has appealed.  But the other crimes of which he is accused fall much closer to the line between criminality and criminalisation.  Enticing members of Parliament to cross the floor, even with large cash bungs, is a standard political act;  entertaining girls one month from their 18th birthday may be inappropriate for a man of his age but hardly deserving of the montatura of criminal behaviour concocted round his 'tasteful' dinner parties.

There are two horrid aspects to what is going on: an old man hospitalised with health difficulties indicative of much more serious problems, following on his political tour de force, is being examined by judicial order when wholly respectable, indeed distinguished clinicians have certified to the Court that he must stay in hospital: shades of USSR medical and judicial practice;  the other horrid aspect is the blind refusal, particularly by sections of the media and so-called intelligentsia, to accept that Silvio Berlusconi is the elected representative of a huge section of the electorate who might reasonably expect their choices to be nurtured at a time of such political tension, rather than the man who carries those choices to be harried by court actions, and even fresh charges that are as tenuously criminal as the older subjects of Berlusconi's trials. 


Caronte said...

Berlusconi is not the victim of a conspiracy by politicised magistrates: on the contrary, he entered politics in order to protect himself from several preceding indictments, as well as from his companies' bankruptcy.

Over a period of twenty years he succeeded in both aims, also thanks to the centre-left governments failure to legislate on conflicts of interest, anti-trust and anti-corruption in the eight years in which they ruled. While in the twelve years of his own governments Berlusconi introduced all kind of ad personam and ad "aziendam" legislation (i.e. friendly both towards his companies as his own person) to reduce statutes of limitation, de-criminalise his own indictments and establish special immunities from appearing in court.

You may be right in regarding political support in exchange for office as just as corrupt as an exchange for cash (though there is a significant line between the two), but this surely does not make the purchase of a Senator for 3 million euro, of which 2 million in cash(Di Gregorio, by his own confession and that of his intermediary Lavitola) less of a serious crime.

And corruption of a nearly eighteen years old may be less or a crime than that of a fifteen year old, but this does not make it less of a crime under Italian law. Not to speak of corruption of judges and witnesses. And of electors, given his pre-election commitment to reimburse a tax on housing which he and his party had voted under Monti's government.

Berlusconi's impunity over twenty years is now coming to its natural end. The credibility of his medical claims is zero, though judges have been so impartial as to grant him a delay. His impunity, as a hardened criminal with mafia associations, is a national outrage. Given his precedents, he deserves everything he will have brought upon himself with his misdeeds.

hatfield girl said...

will take you to the accounts for 2011 of the 'Democratic' Party.

The use of tax-payers' money to finance political parties was overwhelming negated in a national, binding referendum, as you know, C.

Since that referendum the PD has continued to wholly support itself on monies we have specifically stated are not to be made available. Their Bene Comune leaders refuse point blank to stop helping themselves to this money. Worse, they lie about making even a reduction in their thieving in their famous 8 Points for Government.

What difference is there between them and Berlusconi? The law is supposed to be equal for everyone. The leaders of the Bene Comune PD should be under investigation, accused, and tried too.

Or no-one. Bersani is a decrepit old man as well, so perhaps it should be no-one provided they clear off (pace ND for his shock at the Five Stars' more robust encouragement to depart).

Caronte said...

Surely you must see the difference between Bersani taking advantage of the entire Parliament's failure to implement a referendum that abolished financial support to political parties, and Berlusconi's breaking of existing laws.

And in any case Bersani's moral deficit has nothing to do with Berlusconi's juditial ventures.