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Tag Archive politics

Italy’s Big Day: the Gran Finale in Rome which nobody knows about

Walking around the biggest city in Sardinia, I stumbled across a group of people handing out flyers and maps of the city centre underneath a gazebo which had a massive sign ‘Information Point’. Nothing strange about it, if it wasn’t for the fact that a particular logo and name were etched on the flyers, t-shirts and flags that surround it. I soon find out it was a group of volunteers who had organised it, activists in ‘Popolo delle Liberta’ (translated literally ‘the people of liberty’), the political party led by Silvio Berlusconi which currently has a stronghold on both regional and national government.

No better occasion to ask some questions about the political situation in Italy and their opinions to those who would bare the heat in order to support him.

As not many of them spoke English I spoke to a young guy who was fluent and patiently explained and answered all my questions on Sardinia, Italy and the political situation which I pretended  not to understand properly. Whilst I was asking questions others of the group, including the leader of the ‘PDL Youth section for Cagliari’, were wary about the fact I could have been a journalist who could damage their image (see the Youtube video to watch reactions to an interview previously recorded on the same morning by a local newsblog). When I asked them if I could take a picture with them, upload it on my blog and in a newspaper article on Manchester’s student newspaper, however,  they sounded more than happy.

Infopoind PDL in Cagliari

PDL run ‘tourist Information Point’ in Piazza Costitzione, Cagliari (25/07/2013)


When I asked about their affiliation with Mr Berlusconi they  universally defended him as if he was ‘victim of a plot’. Today (30th of July) Italy’s highest court will pronounce the final verdict on the former prime-minister who recently declared ‘he had faith in the Italian juridical system’ and that if guilty he would go to jail, something which astounded many who were accustomed to hearing him attack the ‘communist judges’ (toghe rosse) and the conspiracy against him.

‘It has all been decided’ says one of his young supporters, ‘we know they have had it in for him for years now and they are going to continue condemning him’. Most people in Italy would agree with his supporters as on the one hand,  there are those  who believe it has been fixed for  Berlusconi to get charged and on the other, those who believe Mr Berlusconi’s revolutionary vow  of trust  in ‘the juridical system’ is a clear sign of the game being fixed by bigger centres of power.

When I asked if they believed in the need for a younger and more innovative leader, mixed feelings were expressed. ‘Some people would say that’, confessed one, ‘although currently there is nobody with the same amount of charisma and capability as him’. ‘He is very powerful’ another one said ‘he knows Bush, Putin and many other world leaders’.  A rather peculiar choice to sustain the ‘Presidente’ (title with which all media and most Italians on either side of the political spectrum still address him today) as he has only recently been under fire for some of the deals he did with Gheddafi and in more recent scandal surrounding the arrest of two political asylum seekers who were handed over  to the Kazakh president/dictator.

Berlusconi - Italian Newspaper

Corriere della Sera. Page which talks about Berlusconi’s upcoming promotional film (bellow). The top half reports comments on the ‘Alfano situation’ connected to the Kazakh dictator scandal and the way he needed support for his trials

By quoting one of the most obsessive slogans of his supporters ‘People are just jealous of Berlusconi because of his success and the fact that aged 76 he can still have a great sex life with hot girls, wouldn’t you like to be like that when you’re old?’. This brought the topic to my all-time favourite ‘sex, orgies and prostitutes’ and things became even more interesting. Mixed thoughts on the right to have orgies or not was the first hurdle. The lady who had been listening to my conversation (and occasionally suggesting a good come back to my questions) was startled when I defended Berlusconi’s right to have orgies in his house immediately clarifying that there were ‘parties not orgies’. The younger guys were more critical towards the Catholic moral stronghold on the country, and agreed that if he wanted to, nobody should stop him from doing what he wanted in his private life (as one can imagine the ins and outs of the circumstances in which he held the parties were not explored as I feared they would refuse to keep going with the interview). When it came to talking about prostitutes however the lady refused categorically to accept it. ‘Berlusconi did not have prostitutes; they were just having parties’. This is one of the key points in the whole Berlusconi dream. According to his supporters Berlusconi is an experienced 74 year old man, great politician and also a party-goer that would never need to pay for sex as his charisma did it all. The eye-watering story of a young boy who used to sing songs on cruise ships and who thanks to his ability became one of the most powerful men on earth is a great story to tell which enforces his image as a ‘hard worker’. The fact that he jokes and has an active sex life makes him, sadly, even more of a hero.

Speaking to his supporters makes one realise the importance of Silvio Berlusoni within his political party which, for the sake of unity, vow loyalty to the leader although often sharing completely political and moral standpoints. On the other side, the Democratic Party also has the same problem and if it wasn’t for their adversity to Berlusconi they too would be divided. Now with the current coalition government things have changed radically and there is a stronger Catholic current within the parliament which together with the massive media bombardment carried out by the Vatican who, as my Nonna would put it, “carries his own briefcase going on the plane” leads me to believe in the possible re-formation of Democrazia Cristiana, one of the longer lasting ruling parties in Italy which dissolved in 1992 when its connections with free-masons and Mafia were uncovered.

Today is an important day for the history of Italy’s second Republic and whether it’s the effect of the heat wave taking its toll on the 76 year-old, or a rational bet based on bigger centres of power that stretch far beyond the Italian borders, Berlusconi has decided to play all his chips Vegas style whilst he awaits for an answer from the Cassazione on the ‘Mediaset trial’.

Not many people are talking about this in the Italian press, yet anything could happen today. No doubt it will be interesting to see once the men in black have made their decisions both in Rome and Sicily and consequentially in the high-court.

Interview done by local news-blog ‘Cagliari Pad’ a few hours before I reached the stand.



Studying Italian Constitutional Law

Following a module in Italian constitutional law is probably the most annoying, pointless and frustrating thing one could do. It’s almost as counterproductive as calling your sibling a ‘son of a bitch’.

A. M.

The Italian Republic has an old yet AMAZING constitution yet it is not applied and most likely never will be. Why? Money, Power, greed, EU and US influences, Cardinals, Mafia, bigots and the list goes on.. A bit like the ‘no sex’ rule for Roman Catholic priests..

Pope Factor: Jorge is crowned the winner

I realise that some people may be offended or consider blasphemous part of what I say in this post and to avoid that from happening just don’t read this. Click here for links to other articles.

White smoke and bells ringing = the presenter announces: ‘voting is shut and all votes have been counted…’

Abemus Papam = the Winner Is…

Jorge Mario Bergoglio know as Francis I

Argentina's Jorge Mario Bergoglio at the window of the balcony at St Peter's Basilica after being elected Pope

Massive cheers, applause, excitement, anticipation in the audience people go crazy…

The crowd erupts when he finally appears on the balcony and takes to the mike. Nobody expected him to sing, because that is not the requirement for this kind of talent show.

How did they choose the Pope?

They were led by the Holy Spirit. 

Not the Holy Wine but they went for spirits?!

I can imagine the range of drinking games that must have been taking place inside the Sistine chapel. And after a few rounds of ‘ring of fire’ (‘never have I ever’ must have been hilarious)  everyone was in the right spirit to start deciding who would be the new Pope.

But still, what did they discuss? What are the criteria to become a Pope? Did you have to be..

..the most drunk or sober after the drinking games?

..the winner of a round of musical chairs?

..the one with the most money at the end of a few Poker rounds?

..could it be like a lad competition on how many people they slept with?

..the one with the biggest dick? No that would be stupid, if not we most likely would have had a black pope at some stage.. Possibly the opposite?

Or maybe it’s something more sinister such as global political and powerful connections? Out of all the criteria I hope they did not use this last one but I have a nasty feeling they might have.

All these are just guesses but I honestly do not have a clue.

 After the elections all the media talk about the winner, life, gossip and so on is splattered across the front pages globally  Just as the British press does in the aftermath of the ‘X-factor Final’.

A reader looks at the first edition of the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano after the election of Pope Francis

The first series of the program started back in the 1276 when Innocent V won the title and has been highly popular ever since.

Different from the normal X-Factor: you don’t get a contract with a record company and you will not be number 1 on the Christmas Top 40, but you still get quite a lot.

The following are a few examples:

  • Free rent of a massive luxury apartment in the centre of Rome (bills included).
  • Absolute Power over the Vatican’s kingdom.
  • Strong political influence on Italian politics and on the other Catholic States across the world.
  • World fame.
  • A life long multi million euro contract.
  • Millions of followers on Twitter.
  • Devoted by many people on earth, almost as much as Justin Bieber, but to be fair, who can beat that boy?
  • The responsibility of being a ‘spiritual leader’, an ‘inspiration’ for thousands of people.
  • Has unlimited access to the Vatican Library and historical archives (any historians’ dream).
  • The realistic chance to change the world for the better (no easy but achievable).
  • More chances of becoming a saint than the average priest.
Beyond the ‘media craze’, that is typical of the modern era, the bishop of Rome has now been elected and the 76 year-old man has a lot to deal with.
The fact he chose ‘Francis’ as a name is a sign of hope that maybe he will do what the saint did and leave all his wealth to devote himself to loving nature and helping others. We shall see if the new pope will be this radical and if he is, how long will he last before he suddenly dies of a heart attack in his sleep?
Useful Links:
Vatican Bank Reformation (New York Times)
Pope John Paul I (Wikipedia)