Underwhelmed by Berlusconi’s misdemeanor December 12, 2007Posted by dorigo in news, personal, politics.
I read today on the italian newspaper “La Repubblica” about an ongoing investigation against Silvio Berlusconi (right), former italian premier and now leader of the coalition opposing the Prodi government.
It appears that the man has recently made several phone calls, offering economical advantages to Agostino Saccà, president of Rai Fiction – a branch of the italian national TV network- in exchange for some favors. Berlusconi also is investigated for offering two million euros plus many other benefits to a few senators of the center-left coalition, in exchange for their vote to force the fall of the Prodi government.
I have nothing against the investigations or the judges that are producing them, but I have to say I feel underwhelmed. Is that all we have to show for three decades of Berlusconi’s alleged systematic violations of italian law ? He owns and controls three major TV networks, several newspapers and magazines, publishing firms. He is the center of the largest conflict of interests ever seen in a “democratic” country. And we discuss his pathetic attempts at buying a few votes in the Senate ?
Come on, we knew he would have done it since day one of the Prodi government. Ever since we saw that at the Senate the center-left majority had a ridiculously small margin (only a few votes) everybody knew Berlusconi would buy a few extra votes from as many avid center-left senators and kill the legislature. Now we know for a fact that he made a few phone calls (we also know he owns Dini’s party votes already, but that is stuff for another post) . If that is all judges have to show, I would really rather see these judges work on organized crime instead -we sorely need more judiciary action in that area.
I have been rooting for judges to demonstrate that the guy is a felon for fourteen years now. He surely is one, but it proved harder than many had predicted to actually frame him and tie him to his responsibilities. He dodged all the bullets -and most were of a larger caliber than these last ones. At this point, I am rather bothered by the ineffective action of the center-left government, which could have finally passed a law to prevent media owners to do politics – effectively putting him in off-side. They could have, in the honeymoon after the electoral victory in May 2006. Now, it is much harder to obtain the result, because of the fragility of the center-left coalition.
Judges… They were a last-ditch hope one day, when it was clear that Berlusconi had violated several laws, and he looked too strong to be defeated politically. In 1994 I was really scared by the radical right-wing turn our country had taken, and I hoped Berlusconi would be tried for corruption, for tax fraud, and for a long list of other illegal activities connected to his many off-shore companies where he distributed the profit of his businesses. Now, I see him more like a depressed clown and less like a dangerous politician. I think wiring phones and taping conversations is a very retrograde, iron-curtain-fashion way of repressing the jolly fraudolent activities that are such a normal practice in today’s Italy. Silvio, I am with you on this one.