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?