Saturday, 12 November 2011

Silvio Berlusconi and his resignation

Saturday, November 8, 2011. Many people are waiting for Silvio Berlusconi's resignation, in the streets, on the Internet, whilst still fearing a last minute trick from the Cavaliere.

Silvio Berlusconi leaving office in 2011
Berlusconi's farewell
Silvio Berlusconi's end has been anticipated since, at least, the 14th of December 2010. Many were convinced that on that day the Italian prime minister would lose the majority in the Parliament, after Gianfranco Fini's Future and Freedom split, and bring to an end his government.

But the Cavaliere's end did not come. He managed to find unexpected allies, and his government carried on, even though it was barely able to pass the deep reforms Italy needed – and needs – in order to get rid of his enormous debt of almost €1.9trn and start to grow again, after a decade of stagnation.
The protest of the responsible Domenico Scilipoti and Antonio Razzi
Scilipoti's protest
The game lasted almost 12 months, but now seems to be definitely over, as last Tuesday some “traitors” (as the Italian Silvio called them) left the sinking boat, paving the way for the “coup d'etat” (as Scilipoti, Berlusconi's ally, put it) of Gianfranco Fini, supported by the banks lobby.

Today the Italian Parliament has approved the financial stability law, and Silvio Berlusconi – a few days ago – stated that will be the final act of the current government, and he will resign.

So today it could be – and should be – the day, as the Italian population is preparing to celebrate. On Twitter and Facebook the tension increases.

Will he go for good, this time?


Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Silvio Berlusconi and the traitors

Sunday, November 8, 2011. A vote on the previous year's public finances review reveals Mr Berlusconi's majority may have gone. For good.

Silvio Berlusconi looking at vote results
In the recent past, any vote in the Chamber of Deputies have became a challenge to the prime minister majority, but Silvio Berlusconi has always managed to sort things out, mainly through late horse-trading sessions, many believe.

Beside this, his closest ally – Northern League's Umberto Bossi – has always kept defending his boss.

Berlusconi tried anything to keep Italian's faith, even promising to change his party's name, to a more intriguing one.

Nothing doing.

And when Umberto Bossi was asked by the journalists whether Berlusconi should step down, he answered: maybe not, just step aside.

Vote in the Italian Parliament
Meanwhile the horse-trading somehow got a reverse stream in the past days, as more and more people realised that without Berlusconi's resignation there was no way out of the current lockout. Pressure ratcheted up on him to resign. And few of his allies decided to flee the sinking boat.

And today – yet again – the parliament had to vote on the “rendiconto” (a financial review) that lead to a tie vote just one month ago (see Silvio Berlusconi and the really, really bad luck).

Well, today things went differenty: instead of a draw, Berlusconi's government reached a win in the vote, but he obtained only 308 votes where the absolute majority is of 316 votes.

There are 8 traitors, and Berlusconi has reviewed the list of voters to reveal (and possibly hunt down) them, but this time no horse-trading seem to work and save his government.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Silvio Berlusconi and the chat among friends

Sunday, October 23, 2011. After meeting Silvio Berlusconi on Italy's commitments, Germany's Merkel and France's Sarkozy are asked about how reassuring was the threesome.

Merkel and Sarkozy, talking about the scoundrel Silvio Berlusconi?
Are they talking about him?

On October 15 Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi won a confidence vote by a very narrow majority.

On October 23, eight days later, he had to inspire some confidence in the Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy, who summoned him (needing a true commitment from Italy, in order to try and solve the euro zone crisis), just before a European Council summit in Brussels.

Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy and a funny Silvio Berlusconi
Merkel, Sarkozy and Berlusconi
«I was convincing», declared afterwards Silvio Berlusconi «I have never failed to make the grade», showing how he considered the whole thing as just getting a reproach from the headmaster.

During the following press conference, a French-speaking journalist asked the duo about their level of trust in the Italian politician by putting a question on how much they have been reassured by him.

«How to put it?» answered Nicolas Sarkozy, «We do have confidence in the sense of responsibility of Italy's political, financial and economic authorities as a whole.» whilst Mrs Merkel underscores that «It was a meeting among friends.». They just couldn't help giggling, revealing how funny they found Silvio Berlusconi.

But the video (in French) about the funny scene is revealing more than the mere words.

For Silvio Berlusconi, exams never end.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Silvio Berlusconi and the confidence vote that doesn’t give much confidence

Friday, October 15, 2011. Silvio Berlusconi's government wins a confidence vote by a narrow majority, amongst horse-trading and fans rooting for the Pirro victor.

Forza Italia!
The Italian Prime Minister survived yesterday a confidence vote, but it really looked like as the fulcrum of the question was a bleak horse-trading instead than a in-depth discussion over the economical situation of the Italian Republic.

Amongst the latest trades, Catia Polidori – formerly one of the heads of Gianfranco Fini's Future and Freedom – became vice-minister for Economical Development.

Out of the 630 members of the Lower Chamber, 316 voted in favour.

Not a lively speech from the usually very funny Berlusconi, Umberto Bossi couldn't help yawning all the time
Not a lively speech from the usually very funny Berlusconi
The opposition main strategy was quite simple: (aiming to prevent the reaching of the quorum of 315 members) the they did not show up. Simple and... ineffective. The leftist would blame the Radical Party, whose members did show up, in order to vote against the confidence (as they probably thought this is how it works in democracy).

«There are not alternatives to this government» is the main point of Silvio Berlusconi, which is quite a gloomy view of the current situation in some people's mind (and quite a boring point, Umberto Bossi might have thought, since he just yawned his head off during the declaration of the Prime Minister).

Today 200 thousand people are awaited in Rome, for a larger Italian “indignados” protest.

After the huge applause that welcomed the vote's results, the finale comments came from Maurizio Lupi (a Chamber of Deputies' vice-president) and Rosy Bindi (who is also a vice-president to the Lower Chamber). Lupi said “Votes are votes”, and Bindi replied: “Assholes are assholes”.

Italian opposition... just isn't there!
Opposition's strategy

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Silvio Berlusconi and the really, really bad luck

Tuesday, October 11, 2011. Silvio Berlusconi's govern loses parlametary vote on 2010 budget, but it's all due to bad luck, isn't it?
Silvio Berlusconi is really, really angry, this time. And it seems that he has right to be so, because he hates to lose (by the way: he can get angry when he wins too, but this is another story).

Berlusconi's anger
Silvio's Anger
The Italian Parliament refused to approve the 2010 budget review, with a vote that tied at 290-290, whilst 291 votes were needed to get the “rendiconto” (a bureaucratic document reviewing last year's public finances) get through.

Only one single vote! That's incredible, should have thought Mr Berlusconi. And it's definitely an “unprecedented case” in Italy, as Gianfranco Fini, speaker of the lower house, put it.

And it was all due just to bad luck.

It would have been sufficient to get the vote of Berlusconi's friend and ally Umberto Bossi, but – quite unluckily – he went out for a cigar, and on his way back the Northern League boss stumbled into a group of journalists, which slowed him down, so that he was not able to cast his vote. Too bad!

It would have been enough to get Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti's endorsement, but he was preparing some documents in his cabinet, and arrived just late...

A few of the Responsibles? (Scilipoti in the middle)
Neither Claudio Scajola, with whom the Prime minister had a “friendly chat” the day before, could not make it.

And the members of “responsible initiative”, a group of twenty MPs that decided to support Berlusconi's cabinet when Fini left the parliament's majority? The majority of them were there, six of them had gone missing (amongst them their leader, Scilipoti).

What a bad luck*!


*, a "Berlusconi-friendly" news site is suggesting that Scajola "stabbed Silvio in the back", but no evidence was brought to light.

Claudio Scajola knives Silvio Berlusconi in the back, according to Libero News's cartoon (Scajola stabbing Silvio in the back)

Friday, 7 October 2011

Silvio Berlusconi and the pussy's party

Thursday, October 6, 2011. Silvio Berlusconi finds the final solution to revamp his political future in Italy: a new party name.

Umberto Bossi – Berlusconi's main political partner – for the first time admitted that it seems “objectively complicated” that the current government carry on until 2013 (the end of the mandate).

But Berlusconi – who is probably feeling that something is not going the right way with the current government – has already a cunning solution, which could reverse any pessimistic forecast of the political developments of his current party (which name – The People of Freedom – proved not to be as catchy as he thought).

Does he have any idea? "We will examine any suggestions," said the Italian prime minister. But reportedly he then joked: "I was told the name that would have the largest success is 'Go Pussy!'.

Some Italians actually think that “Go Pussy” (“Forza Gnocca” in Italian), sounds like an ideal continuation of Berlusconi's strategy (which started back in the 1994 with the foundation of the “Forza Italia” - “Go Italy” - party), which main pillar is packing with “pussies” the Italian parliament and his residences. Politically it's not paying huge dividends, but it's nice to see (he may think). The list of women and alleged girlfriends somehow linked to the Italian tycoon seems to be almost endless.

A few days ago the President of the Italian Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco has denounced "behaviour that is contrary to public dignity" and "difficult to reconcile with institutional decorum", but perhaps Silvio Berlusconi simply didn't understand what he was getting at.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Silvio Berlusconi and his (real?) bride

Monday, September 29, 2011. As Silvio Berlusconi's sex-trial approaches, a new girlfriend comes on stage, and the atmosphere gets pretty hotter.

During the last years, several girls and women were believed or claimed to have had a love story with the Italian prime minister Berlusconi:  German actress of Bosnian descent Sabina Beganovic, Italian model Roberta Bonasia and Italian actress Evelina Manna amongst the others.

Twin sisters - Katarina and Kristina - Knezevic
Twin sisters Knezevic
But now a new pretender to the title of Italy's unofficial First Lady appears: the former Miss Montenegro Katarina Knezevic. The young model is 20 years old, but she claims to have been the 75-year-old tycoon girlfriend since she was 18. She also said that she used to live in Italian prime minister's villa in Arcore, near Milan.

The leaks about this affair came to light through the anti-Berlusconi Repubblica newspaper, just a couple of days ago, 5 days before the new hearings of one of the two parts of the trial regarding Italian prime minister's under-age prostitution charges. And Il Fatto Quotidiano had a interview with her just yesterday (though Katarina's lawyer - few hours ago - denied she realeased any interview at all).
Coincidences? And is it good news or bad news for Silvio Berlusconi? Hard to say.

Diego Della Valle, boss of shoe manufacturer Tod's and soccer team Fiorentina
Shoe manufacturer Tod's Diego Della Valle
Allegedly Berlusconi paid Katarina 750,000 euro (during the interview the Montenegrin replied replied: “So little? And if it was three million?”), and rumours spread that the two elder sisters of Katarina (Slavica e Zorica) might have attempted to blackmail the prime minister. The two were also linked to Montenegrin godfather Ratko Djokic, murdered in Stockholm in 2002.

To prove that something is not kosher in Italy, in the meanwhile – more precisely last Saturday – Diego Della Valle, owner of Tod's shoe maker and Fiorentina football club, decided to appeal to Italian politicians' morality through a newspaper ad calling on them to act in a responsible way to get Italy «out of this very preoccupying moment».

Archbishop of Genoa and President of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco
A hint of accusation from Cardinal Bagnasco
Few days ago it was the time of Italian cardinal Bagnasco to condemn “life styles not easily compatible with personal dignity, institutional decorum and public life”.

The whole story might appear funny to Berlusconi, but other people might think otherwise. and it looks like there's a few men in Italy that would like somebody else than Silvio Berlusconi to play the role of prime minister, isn't it?

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Silvio Berlusconi is never happy with anything

Thursday, 22 September 2011. Silvio Berlusconi is enraged by the fact that only a narrow victory in vote saves his ally from jail.

Marco Mario Milanese
Marco Mario Milanese
Here's the story.

Marco Milanese, lawyer, member of Italian parliament (his party is the PdL – People of Freedom) ally of the Italian prime minister and right arm of Giulio Tremonti (current Italian Minister of Economy and Finance), is accused of corruption, passing on state secrets, interference with appointments within Italy’s law enforcement agency (Guardia di Finanza).

He allegedly accepted inappropriately gifts including a Ferrari sports car, a 15-meter-long boat, free-of-charge travel and accommodation.

And he’s also suspected of being involved in the secret P4 corruption network (here's the Italian Wikipedia page about it).

Friday, 2 September 2011

Silvio Berlusconi doesn't like it

Friday, 1 September 2011 (Saint Giles). Silvio Berlusconi confesses he thinks Italy is a “shitty country” and vows to leave the country “that sickens him”. It might be a mutual feeling.

Though many Italians thinks Italy is not such a hospitable place to live in (and many have already left, for a reason or another), few of them thinks it's a “shitty“ country.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Silvio Berlusconi pleasing the locusts?

Friday, July 15 2011. Silvio Berlusconi and his ministers manage to get an emergency budget approved, hope the “speculator locusts” will like it (certainly none of his allies will).

Another nail in Berlusconi's (political) coffin? It surely is. Italy history's second largest emergency package (and the quickest one) won't make many people happy. If someone thought that Berlusconi was going to get rid of IRAP (a local tax on manufacturing activities), well they will be disappointed, because – so -far – the government decided to increased its rate, instead. Did North League's Umberto Bossi expect an improvement on fiscal federalism? Not this time, the Italian regions will get less money.

Did anybody expect a serious cut in MPs expenses? The topic was amended by Berlusconi's Freedom Party, so there won't be any reductions in their wages or in their multimillion euro perks.

But Berlusconi will say it'a all Giulio Tremonti's fault, the only minister who's lacking "team spirit" (as the prime minister declared in an interview a week ago).

The rules in the package are the same old ones: getting money from the car owners (a surcharge on vehicle excise duty for cars with an engine of 225 kW or more), from the tourists (10 euro tax in Rome), from the sick men (surcharge on health services). Money from the increase of the fuel excise – another evergreen way to (at least try to) balance the books in Italy – was already collected in July to finance the costs of the emergency on immigrants and to fund the show business.

All this, made the Italian way: the package is worth 47 billion euros, but the bulk of 40 billions is going to be “collected” in 2013 and 2014, saying “who knows who will be in charge by then”.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Silvio Berlusconi, the conjurer

Sunday, June 19 2011. 40 thousand supporters of the Northern League gathered in the small town of Pontida to demand tax cuts, whilst Italy's public debt is expected to top 120 per cent of GDP by the end of the year. And Silvio Berlusconi needs to find a way to sort both hassles out: pleasing his ally whilst keeping the commitments taken with the European Union

Northern League's supporters in Pontida
The Northern League (NL) became a crucial ally of Silvio Berlusconi's PdL (People of Freedom party), since former heir apparent Gianfranco Fini left – slamming the door – to form a new party, called Futuro e Libertà per l'Italia (Future and Freedom for Italy).

Umberto bossi mostra il dito indice
Bossi, member of the Senate of Italy
But the recent political defeats both in local elections and in national referendum showed Berlusconi's power waning and – consequently – Northern League enthusiasm and loyalty flagging. A poll indicates that 55% of the league's voters disapproved the performance of the Berlusconi's government.

As the greenish NL supporters crowds gathered in Pontida (it's an annual tradition), singing the praises of the secession (a recurring topic of Northern League popularism), Umberto Bossi – who's still the Commander in Chief of the Northern Italy's party – promised that he will extort at least three things from Berlusconi: substantial tax cuts (as a condition of continued support for the government), the move of three Ministries to Northern Italy (even though Gianni Alemanno, PDL's mayor of Rome, warned of a “hard, serious” tussle to defend the capital's privileges) and the end of the support to the anti-Gaddafi war in Libya.

Tremonti suggerisce nell'orecchio di Berlusconi's
Tremonti and Berlusconi
“Dear Berlusconi,” Bossi barked into the microphone, “your leadership is at risk in the next elections if you don't make some changes.”. But he seemed to be particularly displeased with Giulio Tremonti, the Minister of Economy and Finance, who has done “shameful things”, according to senator Bossi. A scandal. The thing is that Tremonti insists on fiscal rigour, saying he doesn't want to end up like the Greeks did, and he is soon expected to present a three-year austerity plan, which needs to find additional savings of some €40bn (£35.7bn) to reach the goal of balancing the government’s budget by 2014.

Possibly another “shameful thing”, in the eyes of the Northern League's boss, but there remains the danger of Mr Tremonti resigning if his hand is forced, a loss that would be likely to alarm markets.

Rome's mayor Alemanno (left)
In a nutshell: Berlusconi has to give the Northern League a bone, but that would mean to increase Italian deficit and debt (which is the second biggest in Europe, after Greece's troublesome one) and/or quarrel with Rome's mayor Alemanno and/or renounce to Giulio Tremonti's services and/or...

In the past Berlusconi managed to get out of any kind of situation, but this time it seems only a conjurer can sort this mess out.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Silvio Berlusconi, the European Central Bank and Thomas More

Tuesday, June 16 2011. Silvio Berlusconi's game to assure Mario Draghi post as governor of the ECB is not is not progressing as the Italian prime minister planned.

Sarkozy and Berlusconi
The rules of the game are easy. Mario Draghi – former governor of Banca d'Italia – goes to Frankfurt, and takes his place as governor of the European Central Bank, replacing the Frenchman Jean-Claude Trichet. Berlusconi managed to get Sarkozy's endorsement (even though he'd prefer a Frenchman in that post), but – in exchange – the Italian prime minister has to make sure that there be no more than one Italian in the board and France should maintain one, replacing Jean-Claude Trichet.

That means that incumbent European Central Bank Executive Board member Lorenzo Bini Smaghi must go. Berlusconi had a 10-minute chat with Bini Smaghi, at Palazzo Chigi, the government’s headquarters in Rome, explaining him these very simple directions.

But Italian Silvio's mojo – as most of us already know – is not at his best, and Bini Smaghi has decided to dig in his heels. After the (one-way) discussion with the Italian prime minister, the board member went to the Vatican and “spoke of Thomas More” who “followed his conscience, even at the cost of displeasing the sovereign”. Saint Thomas More is the patron saint of central bankers.

Battling with Thomas More will be a tough task for the declining Silvio.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Silvio Berlusconi and his allies got "slapped in the face", again

Tuesday, June 13 2011. Italian Northern League's Roberto Calderoli states he's fed up with getting slapped in the face, as Silvio Berlusconi suffers the umpteenth defeat in a referendum.

Left-wingers celebrate victory in referendum
It's not a favourable period for Silvio Berlusconi. And it's not a favourable period for his allies. After the crushing local election defeat at the end of May – when both PdL (The People of Freedom) and Northern League reckoned a huge loss in votes – in last weekend Italians mass participation represented another overwhelming setback for the prime minister.

Calderoli (right) with Northern League's leader Umberto Bossi
Even though Berlusconi has downplayed the significance of the vote, Roberto Calderoli, member of the Senate of Italy and Minister for Legislative Simplification, is the one to speak out for his party: they are tired of being involved in Silvio's defeats.

In 2009 Silvio Berlusconi picked as one of his favourite pieces the resumption of nuclear power programme. Unluckily for him, just three months before the referendum, a huge earthquake – and an even more devastating tsunami – stroke Japan, creating one of the most serious incidents in the history of nuclear power in Fukushima. The final outcome of the incident still needs to be fully evaluated.

It's been relatively easy for the anti-nuclear movement – particularly strong in Italy – to reach (and exceed) the legal number of 50% of the voters plus one (indications shows that around 57% of the electorate took part in the referendum). Greenpeace called it a historic result, it comes few weeks after German chancellor Angela Merkel declared that Germany will cast nuclear power plants by 2022.

Actually Berlusconi tried anything in order to undermine the referendum results. Amongst his moves, he temporarily shelved his initiative for new power plants, then appealed against the referendum, saying that it was no longer needed (and hoping to avoid the defeat in the other three questions). But he did not succeed. Few days before the referendum – on June 7 – the Constitutional Court unanimously voted to let the referendum go ahead.

Bossi and Berlusconi: a friendship coming to an end?
And – as the prime minister knew already – it tuned out top become a major defeat for the forces of the Italian cabinet. The overwhelming majority (almost 95% of the voters) voted in favour of the four questions, related to the nuclear power, to the privatisation of water (two questions, voting “yes” meant saying rejecting it), and abrogation of the “legitimate impediment” (which allows the prime minister and cabinet ministers to avoid criminal trial's hearings).

Today the Rubygate trial will resume: other slaps in the offing?

Video from our YouTube Channel: Berluschannel 

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Silvio Berlusconi and the mother of all defeats

Wednesday, June 1 2011. Unpredictable happens: Letizia Morattti hands over mayor post to Giuliano Pisapia as Silvio Berlusconi loses Milan and his crusade against gypsies and Italian left-wingers.

Foto di Letizia Moratti prima di perdere la rielezione a sindaco di Milano
Letizia Moratti (BEFORE the elections)
Actually nobody could have predicted such an ending, Silvio Berlusconi said a defeat in his stronghold was “unthinkable”.

Silvio Berlusconi vota per il sindaco di Milano
Berlusconi casting his vote
The far left-wingers thinks Giuliano Pisapia – the new mayor of Milan – is just another representative of the bourgeoisie of Lombardy capital, whilst the right-wingers thinks he's an extremist, friend of extremists. And everybody (especially the prime minister) tried to depict him as the wrong candidate.

Silvio Berlusconi and his coalition did everything they could do in order to hold the financial capital of Italy (and the prime minister birthplace) in their hands, turning the local election into a referendum, where the voter could only choose between handing the city over to gypsies and islamists, or vote for the PdL (The People of Freedom party) candidate, Letizia Moratti, a powerful woman, sister-in-law of the president of Inter Milan Football Club, Massimo Moratti, arch-enemy of Berlusconi's AC Milan.

Giuliano Pisapia,
the new mayor
And Silvio used all his power to communicate this simple message, appearing on TV in almost any news service (which – by the way – have been fined because of the lack of fairness, see our blog).

"If Pisapia wins," Berlusconi said, "Milan will become a Muslim town, a Gypsyville of Roma camps, a city besieged by foreigners." He did not manage to persuade the majority of the voters, since Pisapia won with 315,862 votes (55,01 per cent).

After losing Milan (not to mention Turin and Naples) to the leftists, June will be a difficult month for the prime minister, full of unpleasant appointments (apart from dealing with the anger of his ally, the Northern League). Among the others: the referendum on nuclear energy, which he tried to avoid with a legerdemain that did not work and has became quite a risky game (his enemies will try hard to beat him on that occasion too) and the resume of the Rubygate trial.

Is the fortune of the man who – for good or ill – has dominated Italian politics and society turning?

Video from our YouTube Channel: Berluschannel 

Friday, 27 May 2011

Silvio Berlusconi seeking International Community's support in his struggle against “dictatorship of left-wing prosecutors”

Monday, May 26 2011. In Deauville, during a pause of the G8 meeting, Silvio Berlusconi reports to Barack Obama about the “dictatorship of left-wing prosecutors” in Italy, hoping to get some kind of relief.

In three day Italy will face the local elections final run-off, where Mr Berlusconi and his allies could risk a major defeat, specially in key cities like the prime minister stronghold Milan and troubled Naples.

Approaching a surprised Obama
The Italian tycoon is fighting a personal war against Italy's left-wing, and he would resort to any means, even asking for foreign powers' help, in order to avoid such a blow.

Furthermore Mr Berlusconi is facing four trials at the same time, three of them related to fraud and corruption charges, and the infamous "Rubygate" case where he is charged with paying for sex with an under-age Moroccan belly dancer and then using his position to cover it up. Another good reason to warn the international community about the lack of freedom in Italy, due to the dictatorship of the left-winged judicial system.

The occasion to seek assistance was the meeting of G8 governments in Normandy's Deauville, where – with the aide of an interpreter – the Italian prime minister approached the president of the USA, Barack Obama.

Silvio was possibly inspired by Barack Obama's words when – in his recent visit to the UK – he has stated that the United States would be there for any people struggling for freedom.

Anyhow, though the whole 2-minute conversation was not disclosed, it is clear the Berlusconi said "We have presented a justice reform that is fundamental to us, in Italy we have almost a dictatorship of leftist judges," to a surprised-looking Obama, before world leaders began discussion of nuclear issues.

The news awestruck a large part of Italians, not knowing what to expect: NATO bombing or just a pizza and mozzarella embargo?

Video from our YouTube Channel: Berluschannel 

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Silvio Berlusconi and the biased journalists

Monday, May 23 2011. Looks like too many Italian journalists have a soft spot for Silvio Berlusconi, as the Italian Authority for Communications Guarantees fines 5 news service on different TV broadcasters for sympathising a bit too much with the prime minister.

RAI TG1's head: Minzolini
As everyone knows, Silvio Berlusconi is the ultimate defender of democracy and democratic rights, so you would think he would not approve a biased TV service.

On the other hand, after a Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party and its Northern League (Lega Nord) ally suffered setbacks in the first turn of local election in several Italian cities (including the financial capital Milan, Berlusconi's home town), he needs all the possible support in order to fight back the communist hordes flooding his beloved country (before final run-off of local voting will take place on May 29-30).

To start his counter-offensive against the reddish enemy, Silvio Berlusconi delivered a string of interviews on several TV channels, last Friday, in order to warn Italian citizens about the extremists' threat and trying to gather in votes from the right-wingers.

But the visibility Silvio Berlusconi is receiving is not fair, according to Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni (Authority for Communications Guarantees, commonly known with the acronym AGCM). That's why Agcom has fined the involved broadcaster, totalling 800,000 euro (approx £700,000).

The involved TV broadcasters are – more or less – under Berlusconi's control, belonging to state-owned RAI or Berlusconi's Mediaset: RAI TG1 (is lead by Augusto Minzolini, one of the most loyal journalist around), RAI TG2, Canale5 TG5, Rete4 TG4 (lead by most loyal and greatest Berlusconi-worshipper ever, Emilio Fede) and Studio Aperto (Italia1 news service, who's head is Mario Giordano, another long-time partisan).

Mediaset has already stated that they will appeal against Agcom's decision, and it's hard to think that Berlusconi would keep silent: the battle will linger on, until the end of the month.
Berlusconi's interview on Studio Aperto

Video from our YouTube Channel: Berluschannel

Friday, 20 May 2011

Silvio Berlusconi and the survey on sex

Wednesday, March 30 2011. While visiting the island of Lampedusa (Sicily) Berlusconi cracks one of his jokes with local women about his reputation of womaniser.

Silvio Berlusconi was visiting the island of Lampedusa, seeking a solution to the invasion of immigrants, a problem that had increased in the previous months.

At the aeronautical base of the tiny island, he met a group of local mothers, came to protest against the wave of migrants and ask their prime minister to grant his help.

And what do they get from the jolly hearted politician?
A joke, of course. More precisely a sex-related joke, in these time of bunga bunga scandals, as he use to bestow to anybody he gets in touch with.

“During a survey” told a high-spirited Berlusconi “a sample of the Italian women is asked whether they would make love to Mr Berlusconi. «And how!» is the answer from the 30 per cent of them, whilst 70 per cent of Italian women would reply «What, again?»”.

Another woman was more lucky, since Berlusconi recited a poem to her, dedicated to her eyes.

Video from our YouTube Channel: Berluschannel

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Silvio Berlusconi and the Queen

Friday, 3 April 2009. Buckingham Palace, Throne Room. Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi can't behave whilst G20 official photographs are being taken, and Her Majesty has to tell him to pipe down.

Happy faces. but where is Berlusconi?

A (quite blurry) footage has emerged about the Queen of England appearing to express annoyance at Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for being too noisy, whilst trying to draw Mr Obama's attention.

The Italian tycoon-politician is believed to have shouted “Mr Obamaaaa! This is Mr Berlusconi!” across the Throne Room, prompting Her Majesty to turn around in irritation at the blare.

Though Buckingham Palace have denied that any offence was taken by the Queen, the Reuters' footage has – of course! – been placed on the YouTube website and has quickly proved to be a popular video, reaching more than half million views since.
Mr Berlusconi never lose an occasion to gain some visibility.

Any kind of visibility for that matters.

Video from our YouTube Channel: Berluschannel 

Friday, 22 April 2011

Silvio Berlusconi and the censored joke

Saturday, April 2 2011. The aftermath of Milan's football derby. Berlusconi jokes about his bad memory. And women, of course.

On the night of April 2 AC Milan – Berlusconi's football team – beat its rival Inter Milan 3-0. AC Milan is leading the table, Inter is trailing. After this victory the probabilities that AC Milan will win the Italian Championship rise considerably. Therefore the Italian Silvio is in really high spirits, when the journalists gets to interview him.

Berlusconi loves to tell jokes
One of the reporters asks the Prime Minister about AC Milan's coach: “Does he resemble [former AC Milan coach] Capello or any of the great trainers of the past?”. AC Milan President Silvio Berlusconi replies “I don't know. I'm old. My memory is getting bad”. And then he goes on “This morning I was chasing my secretary, because I wanted to lay her on my desk, and she said to me «Mr President, we did it already, two hours ago». And I said to her «You see, the problem is my memory». If you write about this, you are a bunch of...”. He does not end the sentence, but everybody (reporters from sports shows on channels the media tycoon owns) understands that this time they are requested to keep the funny story for ourselves.

Actually the journalists, who usually are craving for spicy jokes of Berlusconi, almost managed to censore this one. One of them, a woman says to Berlusconi: “Cut! This one not, this one has to be cut” and, in the end “No, no! Not this one! Don't worry, President”.

Video from our YouTube Channel: Berluschannel

And it almost worked, until April 21, when somehow the joke appeared in TV, on the Michele Santoro's AnnoZero, not exactly Berlusconi's favourite. And the "Fatto Quotidiano" (The Daily Fact, a Internet magazine) loaded the video onto YouTube. Looks like somebody wanted to make sure most of Italian population can laugh about the amusing anecdote.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Silvio Berlusconi and the magistrates

Saturday, April 16 2011. Congresses Palace's Auditorium, EUR (Rome). Silvio Berlusconi admits not being immortal and vows not to quit his war against the judicial power.

The Rome's EUR District is hardly the right place for predicting the future. It was planned in 1938, when Benito Mussolini foresaw the World Fair to be held in Rome in 1942, and therefore decided to create the Esposizione Universale Roma (or E42). It never happened, and it was partially due to his own behaviour.

Silvio Berlusconi a Roma
Silvio Berlusconi in Rome
Though, yesterday the president of the Freedom People Party (PdL, Popolo delle Libertà), Silvio Berlusconi, told the crowd of his party supporters about his premonition: "I'll make it to 120 years, even though I'm still a mortal being". Actually the real surprise was that he admitted not being immortal (a sign of great modesty).

The main message he delivered was: “I won't quit” and that he'll keep on fighting against the subversive judiciary power. (yet, a few days before, during a dinner with foreign correspondents, he said that he has designated Angelino Alfano, current justice minister as his political heir...). Anyhow.

Poster "via le BR dalle procure"
"Red Brigades out of the Public Prosecutors' offices"
says this billboard in Milan
Yes, the magistrates are the real problem. It's a kind of war of good against evil. “They've been trying to get rid of me for 17 years” said Berlusconi. And carried on explaining how they cut down did five parties, back in 1993. “The did in a leader called Bettino Craxi” by accusing him of having amassed a fortune, which wasn't true.

They bumped off Berlusconi's government in 1994. And so one. They are the real problem in Italy. But they have not succeed to prove anything against him (so far). That's also the reason why he needs to cut the length of trials with a new bill which “maybe, maybe can shorten a trial of mine”. He was referring to the conviction of the English commercial solicitor David Mills, which was due only to the fact that “he's a loser”.

Michela Brambilla e Daniela Santanchè al ristorante
Michela Brambilla and Daniela Santanchè
The meeting in Rome was part of a tour titled “Al Servizio degli Italiani” (“At service of Italians”), supported by an Internet siteand organised by Michela Vitotria Brambilla (another woman who might be held as a potential political heir to Silvio, she previously organised the Freedom Circles), Minister and MP.

What would be of Silvio Berlusconi without his women?

What's the goal of this Flying Circus Circuit? Create a new network of PdL offices and support the fight against the crusade against the subversive powers.

At the service of all Italian people
At the service of friends only
Video from our YouTube Channel: Berluschannel

Friday, 15 April 2011

Silvio Berlusconi and other celebrities

Sunday, February 12, 2006. Ancona. Silvio Berlusconi compares himself to the Lamb of God, and denies being like Napoleon (or second to none but him).

It was during a dinner in a aesthetic centre in Ancona, preparing the campaign for the general election (to be held the next 9 April), that Mr Berlusconi stated "I am the Jesus Christ of politics. I am a patient victim, I put up with anyone and I sacrifice myself for everybody.".

At the same time, he admitted that he was joking about Napoleon the day before, when he framed “Only Napoleon achieved more than I did. It's true, it's true, and I'm even taller than he was”. Actually one thing turns out to be true: Berlusconi seems to exceed the Corsican leader in height. Bonaparte was said to be 155 cm (or 5 ft 1 in), whilst the Italian prime minister seems to be 160 cm (or 5 ft 2 in), even if it's claiming he's 10 cm taller (3 inches).

On the same dinner, he also said he was sure his party – it was still called Forza Italia, at that time, before merging into the People of Liberty (PdL) with other political forces – could win the general election (but he didn't win, Romano Prodi's coalition won, though with a very narrow victory, of about 24,000 votes out of 38 million) and – when talking about women – said that he was “generally” loyal to his wife.

On the same event, Silvio would also tell one of his famous jokes: "If a man, who turns out to be a supporter of Forza Italy, sticks his hand in the cage of a lion and then withdraws it straight out, you know how would the newspapers headlines look like?" Follower of Berlusconi nicks meal from African immigrant.". If you like Silvio's witty remarks and wisecracks, you might like our page Berlusconi's Quotes.

Video from our YouTube Channel: Berluschannel

Monday, 11 April 2011

Silvio Berlusconi and the Barbarous Act of Left-wing Journalists

Thursday, June 21, 2007. Silvio Berlusconi receives a phone call from Agostino Saccà, a national TV broadcaster RAI director. An example of how an Italian-way exchange of favours happens.

The reason of the call is simple: Agostino Saccà needs political help from the head of the the opposition (actually Mr Urbani, a man of the PdL - People of Liberty party - is “acting like an ass-hole”) and Silvio Berlusconi – as usual, since he's “torn by the requests” – needs to fix a couple of acquaintances up with a television role.

Video from our YouTube Channel: Berluschannel

The acquaintances are two nice looking and young women (how strange!), the Neapolitan actress Elena Russo and Evelina Manna, a would-be actress and alleged Silvio Berlusconi's girlfriend.

Evelina Manna, is a (would-be) actress and one of the subjects of the centre of the Berlusconi-Saccà deal
Evelina Manna, (would-be) actress

Elena Russo's case would get a little boost later on, as Berlusconi will become the Prime Minister. Elena in fact became the protagonist of a TV spot boasting about how the right-wing government solved the problem of waste in Naples.

Here's the script:

Narrator: “Naples had a problem, let's not talk about that again. We know what was that. Than the Government intervened. And when the Government, the State, does something it's just like all the Italian did it.

But now we need the commitment of everybody, who lives there and comes to visit. Let's keep it clean. It's more beautiful”.

Elena Russo: “Thank you. Naples. Beautiful yesterday, beautiful today, beautiful tomorrow”.

Elena Russo, playing a role on Italian TV (RAI2), as Silvio Berlusconi asked from RAI's Agostino Saccà
Elena Russo, in a role on Italian TV

The transcripts of the interceptions leaked in December 2007 (most of the media published it on 20 December) and led to a corruption investigation, dismissed by Mr Berlusconi's fans as another barbarous act of left-wing journalism by Mr Berlusconi's fans.