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Political situation in Italy, as seen by a foreigner 
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Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 9:01 am
Posts: 1445
Location: Ottawa, Canada
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Well, a sorte of a similiar stagnation in fact occured here, if we somehow close our eyes upon some of the lucky path-dependent policies that were set at the time by a neo-liberal government that ruled here for something less than the 4 years that's the normal period. There's barely any reasonably intelligent left and the right has troubles in redefining itself without the few people that brought it to the peak nad the later bottom. In fact I really despise those populists, hiding their lack of ideas behind the usual "higher salaries, less work, higher standards" rhetoric, though I kinda identify myself with a more leftist intellectual movement. This kind of situation seems to be stigmatizing most of at least Central Europe at the moment anyway. I think Europe needs some new kind of social revolution as almost always when the problems started to cumulate.

A funny story with those emos. In fact today I've been re-reading some parts of Foucault's "History of Sexuality" volumes and the whole thing really makes me feel these christian democrats come from the second half of 18th century, stuck to the biologization of homo economicus...

Sonic terrorism is too important to be left to ideological amateurs.

Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:47 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:51 am
Posts: 456
Location: Milan O))), Italy
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I re-read what I wrote two days ago and I'm not that sure whether I wrote it in English or in some lovecraftian language. I got a little bit carried away I guess :D

Anyway, you wanted to know what's so horrily wrong in our country nowadays, politically speaking?
Here's a nice article by The Economist which pretty much sums up most of my thoughts on the party which got my vote last April...


Italy's centre-left


Jun 12th 2008 | ROME

Walter Veltroni risks being too nice to Silvio Berlusconi

IN HIS first speech to Italy's new parliament, Silvio Berlusconi declared that he and his colleagues were “breathing in deep this new air”. The prime minister was not talking of his big majority, but of the constructive engagement of the opposition leader, Walter Veltroni.

The legislature that emerged from the election in April has a tidier, British look. On the right is Mr Berlusconi's People of Freedom alliance, linked to the Northern League and a smaller Sicilian party. On the left is Mr Veltroni's Democratic Party (PD), yoked to a small anti-corruption party. In place of Britain's Liberal Democrats stands the Catholic Union of Christian and Centre Democrats. Mr Veltroni even has a Westminster-style “shadow cabinet”.

Yet Mr Veltroni's idea of opposition does not appear British at all. He has passed up a string of opportunities to embarrass the government, thereby helping to boost Mr Berlusconi's popularity, which has risen since the election. One chance came when a journalist, Marco Travaglio, reminded television viewers that Mr Berlusconi's choice for Senate speaker, Renato Schifani, was once a business partner of people later convicted of Mafia involvement. Far from demanding more details, the PD's Senate leader, Anna Finocchiaro, called the remark “unacceptable”.

Then there is Alitalia. Mr Berlusconi promised to find an all-Italian consortium to save the airline. More than two months later—and €300m ($465m) poorer after a state loan to Alitalia—the country is still waiting. Yet this has scarcely been mentioned by the PD. The party has been just as restrained in attacking the government's harsh measures to deal with immigration and security, which have raised eyebrows in Brussels (and in the Vatican). Nor has it fussed about Mr Berlusconi's plan to ban most police phone-taps.

What is going on? Mr Veltroni says he is keen on “dialogue”. The advantages for Mr Berlusconi are clear: he can slough off his partisan image and re-emerge as a consensus man, perhaps a candidate for the presidency. But the benefits for the left are less evident. Even before the election, Mr Veltroni said he wanted to co-operate with Mr Berlusconi on electoral and constitutional reforms to make Italy easier to govern. A noble aim, except that it has been tried before, with disastrous consequences.

In the 1990s, at the insistence of Massimo D'Alema, leader of the biggest left-wing party, the centre-left government held off passing laws to break Mr Berlusconi's virtual monopoly on private television. Mr D'Alema hoped to win Mr Berlusconi's support for political reform. But Mr Berlusconi then torpedoed the project—and returned to power in 2001 with his media empire intact.

Yet appeasement has a strong appeal to Mr Veltroni, who is in a vulnerable position. One reason why the centre-left government of Romano Prodi began to flounder was that the PD's leader sought to distance himself from it after being chosen last autumn. His election strategy largely failed: he rejected an alliance with parties to the left, insisting that the PD must run alone. And his choice of candidate for mayor of Rome proved woefully wrong. Francesco Rutelli, who had already run the city twice, managed to reduce the centre-left's vote from 62% to 46%.

Dialogue, with its promised role in building a new Italy, precludes the tortured post-mortem that a defeated party might otherwise hold. Yet that may be what the left needs. Rooted in a discredited creed, Eurocommunism, and a discredited movement, Christian democracy, its main leaders—Mr Veltroni, Mr Rutelli and Mr D'Alema—have been rejected by voters, outwitted by Mr Berlusconi or both. The risk is that Italy may get not a shadow government, but a phantom opposition.[/i] ... d=11541286

And the world outside this room has also assumed a familiar shape, the same events shuffled in a slightly different order each day. Just like a modern shopping centre.

Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:11 am
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