Tag Archives: Italy

Berlusconi Gaffe On Gaddafi Meeting

The two Romeos of the Mediterranean met in Rome most probably to discuss important issues such as which one has the most contact with women. Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi arrived with his all female body guard, dressed in khaki uniforms and red berets, while Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi gave them a good look over. The Italian leader has been beset with newspaper controversy over photos showing wild parties at the estate of Berlusconi including naked women. Gaddafi also had issues with photographs because on his chest was a photo of the Libyan hero Omar Mukhtar, the “Lion of the Desert” on the day before the Italians hung him. The Libyan lion of the night has arranged to meet with 700 Italian women in a gesture most probably designed to show Berlusconi he can win the the female game.

Berlusconi has apologized for the Italian era of being a colonial power and turned over about $5 billion to Libya. However, many members of parliament will boycott the Gaddafi speech because they do not wish to honor a man who imprisons the opposition and has been known to use torture or executions of those who oppose. There is considerable anger among some Italians of the latest Berlusconi agreement with Libya which allows the Italian navy to intercept asylum seekers and return them to Libya.

Is There A Silver Lining For Silvio?

I have always believed one should accept another person’s right to enjoy a private life away from the scrutiny of the press. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi insists his frequent interactions with a seventeen year old girl and attending her 18th birthday party where he gave her a $10,000 necklace are just the way he enjoys the company of teenagers. Of course, some of us in our seventies get weary listening to the music and voices of teenagers, but Silvio is a man for all seasons and all girls. Silvio told reporters there was no truth to their stories he has a steamy relationship with Noemi Letizia. She is an attractive young woman, and he simply likes to be in the presence of attractive young women. After all, a man worth billions does not consider giving young girls expensive necklaces as anything other than an ordinary man buying a coke for a teenager.

Ordinarily, the Catholic Church in Italy has been a strong supporter of Silvio but now they are making comments about the model he presents to young people. I think Silvio offers a wonderful model to youth. Get a billion, buy your way to power, and you can fool around with teenagers to your heart’s content. What the heck is wrong with that model?

Now, please don’t get me wrong. I don’t know if Silvio has done anything other than give little Noemi anything other than a peck on her cheek. I just think it is wonderful that a man in his seventies has the energy to keep up with the antics of a teenager. God Bless him. I wish I had his energy.

Silvio Is At It Again With Female Issues!

Italy has many issues confronting the nation ranging from the world wide economic crisis to policies in dealing with immigrants, but to the prime minister, Silvio Belusconi, a high priority is the truth concerning his relationship with a beautiful young woman, Noemi Litizia. Is there something symbolic in a European leader bogged down with did he or did he not have a personal relation with a young woman? Silvio’s wife apparently believes there was something not quite kosher in her husband attending a party for the young beauty, but is this mere spite or is it founded in any factual data?

Noemi’s former boy friend, Gino Flaminio insists there was fire and not just smoke in the relationship between his ex-girl friend and the leader of Italy. There are scandals with the British parliament and the prime minister of Italy says he was “tempted” to brief parliament about his personal affairs. When will European leaders get their heads out of the muck of personal vanity and concentrate on the needs of society?

Much Ado About Nothing According To Berlusconi

War in Iraq and Afghanistan, hurricanes, drought, thousands of refugees entering Italy from North Africa but Silvio Berlusconi, the nation’s prime minister, wants to focus on the really important crisis confronting his society –his relations with women! “Now, it’s my turn to speak,” he told reporters and then went on a rambling tirade about left wing critics who were trying to smear his name and his wife who was duped by unscrupulous politicians into believing he was having affairs with young girls and the trials and tribulations of a man who enjoys looking at young girls which he is certain will meet with approval by the Vatican and the Pope. After all, Pope Benedict can’t turn down a young attractive lady who wants to take confession so why can’t Berlusconi offer advice and comfort to the young and afflicted of his nation? For some reason, he appears to be more interested in tales of woe by beautiful young women than those told by Roma men. But, please don’t get the wrong idea, he does love his wife.

The political world needs more leaders such as Silvio Berlusconi, men who are ready at the drop of a slip to plunge into the lives of beautiful women instead of wasting his time dealing with problems created by earthquakes. After all, if George Bush had only spent time with beautiful young girls he never would have run into problems by making remarks concerning Hurricane Katrina.

Ms. Englaro Dies In Peace

The ongoing mantra of conservatives is their opposition to government intervention in the lives of citizens. According to conservative philosophy, government has no right to interfere in the daily decisions of humans. Of course, when it comes to issues of abortion or the right to die, conservatives switch their line and become advocates of government interference in making decisions for individuals and their families. Eluana Englaro died peacefully in her bed even as the Italian parliament debated taking action to over turn a decision by the Italian Supreme Court to grant her father’s request to allow a peaceful death for his daughter who has been in a coma for seventeen years.

The Vatican issued a statement asking God to “forgive” those who had implemented the father’s decision to end life support for his daughter. The president of Italy refused to go along with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi who wanted to ignore the court ruling. Neurologist Giorgio Napolitano said it eloquently: “I am helping a person achieve her own wish, a defenseless person who was betrayed by everyone except her father and a few other people.”

African Migrants Head North To Italy

The exodus from Africa to Europe continues to accelerate as thousands of Africans are crossing the Mediterranean in order to reach Italy and the prospect of work. The number of migrants hitting Italy’s southern shores has soared by more than 50% this years and at 33,000 is already 13,000 more than arrived in 2007. At least 500 people never reached Italy because they drowned at sea. Since December 24, at least 2,400 additional people reached the Pelagic islands between Libya and Sicily. Experts on migration believe the large number coming during the midst of winter suggests they are being driven by economic factors which allows smugglers to pile them into aged vessels for the perilous voyage. Italy’s Interior Minister, Roberto Maroni, threatened to fly the migrants back to their homelands, but this seems doubtful in terms of the sheer number arriving and seeking asylum.

Ironically, the Berlusconi government rode to power on the promise of being tough toward migrants and now faces the prospect of dealing with thousands of additional migrants. Many are coming from Libya despite promises by its dictator Gaddafi’s promises to crack down on the smugglers. In the meantime while Berlusconi’s followers denounce newly arrived immigrants, thousands sit in camps or wherever space can be found awaiting news of their futures.

Romanian Actress And Italian Racism

Italy is in the grip of xenophobia and hatred toward Romas which now has impacted those of Romanian background who have migrated to the country. There are about 1.2 million Romanians in Italy and many believe they are being lumped in with the Roma immigrants. Rome’s right wing mayor, Gianni Alemanno, who has no love for Romas, has appointed Romano Badescu, an actress and singer to become his point person in reaching out to the Romanian population. “I hope to become a bridge between the Romanians and the mayor,” she said. Her first task is setting up a free phone service in both Italian and Romanian to assist immigrants obtain information such as residence permits.

Some Italians are furious at the appointment which they deride in no uncertain terms. “What does this bird know about what the Romanians in Italy are up to,” said one web comment while another derided the mayor by commenting, “it’s scandalous to give this job to a ‘lady’ who has no qualifications for the job.” Ms. Badescu has a degree in commerce and economics and argues she is an immigrant and understands issues faced by newcomers.

It is interesting that Ms. Badescu made clear to differentiate between Roma and Romanian immigrants. “The Romas and the Romanians are two completely different peoples. The crime reports have created this prejudice against an entire people.” Of course, in her view, the prejudice created by a few Roma criminals is unfair to Romanians, but she fails to note it is equally unfair to the overwhelming majority of Romas who have never committed a crime. Ms. Badescu sings like the bigot she is–in nuanced tones.

The government of Silvio Berlusconi ran for election on a platform that was blatantly anti-immigrant, anti-Roma and anti-Muslim. It is not surprising that hatred of minorities is rather commonplace in Italy. Two recent riots highlighted how Berlusconi and the right wing have transformed their society into a hotbed of prejudice. At Caserta, a seaside resort north of Napeles, African demonstrators overturned cars and burned rubbish in anger over recent gangland killings of six African immigrants. A day later, thousands demonstrated their frustration in Milan over the killing of a young boy who stole a biscuit from a restaurant. The police claim that drug lords in Naples killed six African drug dealers who would not pay the increase required of them by dominant gang leaders.

These demonstrations reflect frustration and bitterness at being in a society in which if one’s skin is black or if one is identified as a Roma, authorities will treat the individual as someone who is inferior and not due respect as a “real Italian.” If a nation’s leader sanctions prejudice, it is not surprising that thugs and neo-Nazis will come to believe they have carte blanche to attack and murder.

Italy Blasted For Anti-Roma Policies!

Billionaire George Soros, speaking at the first “European Roma Summit” sharply condemned Italy’s blatant government sponsored prejudice against Romas. “Certainly, fingerprinting, racial profiling, and so on is unacceptable,” he said, “and I believe illegal, and I hope the European Court of Justice will take up the case and declare it illegal.” Mr. Soros fears if Italy gets away with its fight to destroy the rights of Romas, “this could b ecome a de facto European standard.” Earlier this week the government of Silvio Berlusconi declared a national emergency in response to an increase in crime which he blamed solely on Romas. His action has been attacked by human rights groups throughout Europe who compared the bombastic prime minister to Benito Mussolini who was dictator of Italy prior to World War II.

The summit meeting brought together a wide range of government officials as well as representatives from Roma communities. It is clear many European Union leaders dislike the actions of Berlusconi but as of yet are unable to devise an approach that will protect Roma rights in Italy. The EU is still struggling with defining which rights belong to a nation and when does a national decision impact the entire European Union?

Italian Right Wing Aims At Restricting Muslims

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been promoting a hate Muslim campaign in order to stir fears of those who are different in order to gain political popularity. He now intends to limit the growth of Islam in a nation that has long been regarded as a center of Catholicism by blocking the construction of mosques by imposing strict new building regulations. The anti immigrant Northern League is pushing for a bill which will make difficult construction of new mosques. Berlusconi and the Northern League are counting on growing fear among Christian Italians over newly arrived Muslims. Abdel Hamid Aha’ari, president of the Islamic Cultural Institute of Milan, said “there are still situations where I feel uncomfortable or strange because they(Italians) don’t see me as someone who is integrated” despite the fact of having lived in Italy for seventeen years.

The Northern League has employed childish methods of displaying anti-Muslim feeling such as having Roberto Calderoli, who later became a member of the cabinet, walk his pet pig over a proposed site for a mosque. Northern League MP Andrea Gibelli insists mosques discourage integration and are places of cultural indoctrination and spread terrorism. The proposed bill would ban construction of mosques within a kilometer of a church and oblige imams to speak Italian.

One can only wonder if Rabbis are allowed to serve in a synagogue who do not speak Italian.