Monday, 25 February 2013

Berlusconi and the topless menace

Sunday, February 24, 2013. Three half naked women try to prevent Silvio Berlusconi from reaching the polling station, supporting rumours that females “just throw themselves at him”.

The sudden attack of three topless Ukrainian women caused some concern amongst the law enforcement officers escorting Silvio Berlusconi to the polling station (general election take place on Sunday 24 and Monday 25 February in Italy), but the former prime minister of Italy surely did not find himself in a totally unusual situation (having dealt with an entire bunga-bunga army for quite a while), and he did not budge.

FEMEN activist grabbed by Berlusconi's escort
After the first puzzlement, the half-nude women were quickly pinned down in the falling snow, detained by police and then hastily dragged away screaming, creating quite a chaotic scene (you can see it on the video on our YouTube channel) as people stood in queue to cast their vote at Milan's school building.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Berlusconi, the Italian Judiciary and the Sicilian Mafia

Saturday, February 23, 2013. Silvio Berlusconi breaches the electoral silence just to declare that he reckons Sicilian Mafia is less dangerous than Italian Judiciary. Or the other way around.

«The Italian Judiciary is a Mafia, they are more dangerous than the Sicilian Mafia,» says Silvio Berlusconi, on a day when political issues are banned from the media by the “Electoral Silence Rule”. Another quip destined to find a place amongst Berlusconi's quotes.

Silvio Berlusconi arrives to AC Milan's training camp in Milanello on his helicopter
Berlusconi greets Galliani, as he arrives to Milanello on his helicopter,
in order to spur AC Milan and slam Italian Judiciary
Actually it looks like a “premeditated scoop”, as usual, since a friendly journalist put the right question to the former Italian prime minister, totally out of context (Silvio was in “Milanello”, where he arrived on a helicopter, in order to greet AC Milan's player, on the eve of the Milan's derby against FC Internazionale).

«And I say it» will follow on the ineffable Silvio «knowing to say something huge». Result: Silvio get headlines everywhere (starting from our blog, sigh! :-( ).

Some might wonder about the ranking within Silvio Berlusconi's scales of values, where Italian Judiciary seem to score less than Sicilian Mafia, and dictator Benito Mussolini seems to enjoy quite some credit, from the right-wing politician.

Here's the script of the interview... pardon, the monologue of Silvio Berlusconi in Milanello (you can find the video on our YouTube channel):

«...because here in Italy, I have been attacked in connection with the bunga-bunga, which is an operation of deception, defamation, which is supported by nothing. In fact nothing came out of it. They made 150,000 telephone interceptions. Without discovering a single crime. And continue with the proceedings, which have been reported by all foreign newspapers, where the judiciary is a serious matter whereas here in Italy it's a Mafia, more dangerous than the Sicilian Mafia. And I say it knowing to say a big thing.». A big thing, and not really a funny one, Mr Berlusconi!


Thursday, 21 February 2013

Silvio Berlusconi and the property tax refund

Wednesday, February 20, 2013. A massive mailshot of letters with the words "Important notice: reimbursement of [propriety tax] IMU 2012" printed on the envelope was sent to Italian voters by Silvio Berlusconi People of Freedom party, triggering queues of inquiring at Post Offices and revenue services' agency.

Silvio Berlusconi promising to abolish IMU (and refund the tax paid in 2012)
Silvio Berlusconi promising to abolish IMU (and refund the tax paid in 2012)
How and when to obtain in 2013 the refund the [property tax] IMU paid in 2012 on the first house and land and farm buildings” recites the object of the letter – sent to millions of households and duly signed by Silvio Berlusconi – who addresses the recipients with a warm “Dear Maria” or “Dear Giovanni”, depending if the addressed person  is a man or a woman.

The letter goes on detailing that the payment can be carried out "to your current bank account or, for pensioners and others who prefer this method, in cash at the Post Office counter". In a country like Italy were almost 40 per cent of inhabitants never used Internet and the main source of information is the television, it might be easy to take it for granted that the tax will be paid back. Especially if you are a pensioner, and somebody is showing you the colour of money...

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Silvio Berlusconi and the man-marking of Lionel Messi

Monday, February 18, 2013. Silvio Berlusconi suggests that AC Milan's coach Massimiliano Allegri should take care of Barcelona's striker Lionel Messi man-marking him, making clear that presidents (like him) don't meddle with tactics, but they do fire managers.

Lionel Messi scoring for FC Barcelona
Lionel Messi, the menace
While giving an interview to Italian radio RTL 102.5, Silvio Berlusconi – AC Milan's president and owner – talked about the tough game his team will face on Wednesday, when they will play Barcelona UEFA Champions League in San Siro (recently signed Mario “Bad apple”Balotelli will not play, not being on the EUFA list for the competition), and said that “It will be very difficult to beat them” and “my suggestion is that [Lionel] Messi is man-marked.”. You cannot let your hair down, with players like him.

In the following day the former Italian prime minister also suggested the name of the defender who should take care of the Barça's (nickname of the Catalan side) Argentine Ballon D'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year, the midfielder Sulley Muntari.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Silvio Berlusconi and the necessity of bribery

Thursday, February 14, 2013 (Valentine's Day). Silvio Berlusconi commented the recent corruption scandals inItaly slamming as "moralising" and stating that bribes are just a "necessary part of the business".

If you have been wondering why Italy is the last Western European country in the corruption ranking (according to the non-governmental organization Transparency International), well Silvio Berlusconi has answer to that, by declaring that bribery is not a crime, but just a “commission” to be paid (by the way, Silvio has been condemned for fraud in the past...), as he was interviewed on Rai3 television programme “Agorà”.

Silvio Berlusconi bewitching people on the radio
How to bewitch people on the radio?
«Stop moralising» said the former Italian prime minister, «one cannot be an entrepreneur on a global scale without bribes». Berlusconi himself has been accused of bribery, for instance in the Mills case.

Once again, the former Italian prime minister tried to please some of his potential voters, by saying something with his foot in the mouth (“if anything, the media will talk about me”, he thinks, and he is rarely wrong, and quite ubiquitously present on almost any Italian headlines), in a moment when – due to the recent scandals involving Italian conglomerate Finmeccanica and Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the oldest bank in the world – some observers (and prime minister Mario Monti) reckon Italy is in a worse situation than during the Mani Pulite era, in the beginning of the 90s.

Silvio Berlusconi and Francesca Pascale at Valentine's Day 2013
Sweethearts on Valentine's Day
So Transparency International became a bit  wary the the concept perhaps wasn't so clear   and decided to publish a reminder to Italy (not only to Mr Berlusconi) that bribery is against the law, just in case.

Most probably the guy that provoke the statement didn't even realised it, when finished creating his usual share of turmoil, Silvio relaxed and went out for dinner with his girlfriend and would-be First Lady Francesca Pascale. Jokes (as usual) and prayers were served by the former premier.


Monday, 4 February 2013

Silvio Berlusconi and the shock proposal to make Swiss bankers fund Italian property tax reimbursement

Sunday, February 3, 2013. “Even imbeciles are able to invent new taxes” says Silvio Berlusconi, explaining that he is an intelligent one who will make the Swiss pay for it.

Silvio Berlusconi had a vision: in the first meeting of the new ministers' cabinet – where the newly elected Silvio will play the role of the Economy and Finance Minister – there will be decided the scrapping of the unpopular property tax called IMU, and the reimbursement of the tax the Italians paid during 2012 (the media tycoon called it a «shock proposal», his rival Gianfranco Fini, the chair of the house of representatives, has another idea, he replied on Twitter that in his second cabinet meeting, Berlusconi would «decree that everybody wins the lottery»).

Berlusconi with a handful of promises
Promises, promises!
How? In a previous attempt to convince the Italians how he would abolish the propriety tax (when the former prime minister faced his long-term enemy Michele Santoro on his TV show) Silvio Berlusconi declared he would raise new taxes on tobaccos, spirits and gambling.

Then the ex-premier of Italy realised that he needs to be (even) smarter. «Even imbeciles are able to invent news taxes», declared the billionaire to his supporters yesterday, on a speech in Milan, then he pledged to convince the Swiss banks to help him to tax Italian assets and activities in Switzerland. Not only they have to pay a one off tribute of 25 billion euro (about £21.7bn or $33.9bn), but – in Silvio's mind – they will be keeping on paying €5bn every year.

Doesn't it sound as a tax, Silvio? Are you an imbecile?

Anyhow, the problem isn't exactly there - someone would argue – but in the fact that nobody ever convinced the Swiss bankers to do so

Never mind, thinks Silvio, they (the new government made up by the People of Liberty party and friends) will do it, they will convince them.

And in the meanwhile, they take – as a loan – the money from the postal savings system (CDP).

Simple, isn't it?