Open letter from Luigi Di Maio to Piero Grasso

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"President Piero Grasso,
in the last few days I’ve been following the discussion of so called “constitutional reforms” in the Senate of the Italian Republic, that you lead. Even more serious than the danger of having a non-elected Senate or a suppressed Senate, yesterday evening my heart was filled with fear as I witnessed the definitive disappearance of the country’s supervisory bodies.
The opinion of the 5 Star MoVement in relation to the fading impartiality and authority of Laura Boldrini and of Giorgio Napolitano, is no mystery. But I did still have a tiny bit of confidence in you.
I’m aware that these are complicated issues. What needs to be explained right now to the people of Italy that – quite rightly - want to rest after a year of work (or of infinitely looking for work), is what is the added value of the impartiality of the President of the Senate in the debate between the Majority and the Opposition. What needs to be explained to an Italy that is made up of entrepreneurs taxed at 55% and with 10 million people in poverty, is that the presidents of both Houses of Parliament and the President of the Republic are people playing fundamental roles that are essential for the survival of our democracy, people that above all have to guarantee the rights of the weaker part of the political scene, those who represent millions of people but who have not won the elections and are thus not in the majority. I know that it is difficult to explain the importance of democracy to an Italy that has seen it trodden all over in all manner by phenomena like corruption, cheating, “scilipotismo” {politics of transformation following Domenico Scilipoti} and so on. I know that it is difficult, after the disgraceful spectacle of this political class, but I will try all the same. Because in recent days, you, President Grasso, are showing me the extent to which our constitutional system could be in serious danger.
I am reminding myself that the leaders of each House of Parliament are managing a sort of “reserve” according to which the principle of “let the majority decide” is not valid, but in certain cases things cannot be put to the vote because they are not admissible.

...

I believe that you still have time to make sure that this act of destruction doesn’t happen. Have a think about it. If you want to help yourself, I advise you to look into the eyes of those senators that are seated slightly to your right when you are presiding over proceedings in the Chamber. They are citizens that have chosen to spend their nights in the Senate to defend our system of democracy, to modify the reforms that (as we well know) even you yourself do not believe in. Those fifty people do not represent power groups, lobbies or economic potentates and they demand the respect and the guarantee of a truly democratic procedure in the Chambers of the Senate. They are people that are halving their salaries and they have chosen not be politicians for life. Each of them has work that they’ll return to after they’ve served their term of office as a senator and they are committed to respecting the rule of two terms of office that we observe as 5 Star MoVement elected representatives. They want the world of politics to be at the service of the people and not aiming to subdue the will of the people to the short-sighted plan of a part of the country that is racing towards democratic disaster. Look into the eyes of those free citizens with unblemished records. Try and see in their faces the extent to which they believe in what they are saying. And then decide if its worthwhile ensuring that their rights are respected.
Cordial greetings".
Luigi Di Maio

Posted on July 31, 2014 at 02:25 PM in | Post a comment | ListenListen
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The perfect storm

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While Renzie is amusing himself with the abolition of the Senate and in exchange Berlusconi is saving his “cash", the only thing he cares about, thanks to the “Pact of Nazareno” that citizens know nothing about, Italy is undergoing economic collapse. And anyone raising this issue is considered to be bringing bad luck. But facts are facts and not slogans and they cannot be contradicted with quips befitting a silly child. Anyway, it’s better to have bad luck than to have   profiteering.

“Figures are figures. And you cannot even accuse them of bring bad luck or of hindering things or of being pessimistic as is done with internal dissidents and with the Opposition in Parliament. “Facts are stubborn things”, as John Adams said. For more than a year now, ever since we came into Parliament, the M5S has been observing and denouncing these facts, and we have seen how these government make laws relating to the economy. Renzi is still having a struggle to remove his jacket of optimism. But the accounting storm is already on the horizon and people in the government have understood that a mischievous grin from a guy looking like the character Fonzie from "Happy Days”, will not be enough to stay the arrival of the flood.
In 2015, the premier will need at least 10 billion to fund the 80 euro electoral promise.

...

In fact, these last few governments have just been throwing money where it’s not needed or where it’s only needed by their friends (who remembers that Letta tucked into the Stability Law 400 million for the Mose project and just 20 million for broadband ?).
We have even put forward a resolution laying down that the money from the privatisation (if it really has to go ahead) has to be used for growth, to improve the denominator and to provide us with a broader monetary base. Let there be no more selling off the family silver as these items are turning into little buckets used to try and empty out the sea of debt.
According to the M5S there’s a healthy way of using the deficit and the debt. The only deficit that truly worries us is that deficit in understanding the reality that is affecting Renzie and his government".
M5S Budget Committee

We can expect a perfect storm in the autumn. Predictions vary between an optimistic(?) finance law worth 24 billion to a catastrophic one worth 40 billion. Where will Renzie find the money? In our pockets.
What are the options? Take part in the opinion poll! Select the options that you think are the most likely. And in December together with the panettone (who knows whether Renzie will get to eat it ...) the IMF will arrive.
Meanwhile, full steam ahead with the “reforms" because Europe’s asking for them.

Look at the results

Posted on July 30, 2014 at 08:21 PM in | Post a comment | ListenListen
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Parliament in the open air - poll

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Yesterday in Rome I met up with the parliamentarians and I put to them the proposal of having a Parliament in the open air and a big majority was in favour of the idea. What follows is the transcript of my speech and at the end signed up M5S members can vote on the proposal.

“Time has (nearly) run out. We have made use of all the tools of democracy. We thought we could improve the country by using the Clean Up Parliament popular law, the first true reform of the electoral law. That was back in 2007 (the law was never discussed in two legislatures in spite of having collected 350,000 signatures), by using a referendum on the freedom of information. That was 2008 (the referendum was never taken into consideration by the other political entities and the signatures were done away with by Carnevale the judge-who-kills-judgments). After that we got organised into a political group, the M5S, and without public financing, with all the media against us, we succeeded in becoming the top political group in February 2013. From that moment on, unprecedented in Italy, there’s been a relentless war against the M5S, to de-legitimise it, to smash it. A war waged by the System. With Napolitano acting as the director, the PD and the PDL, dreamed up the idea of a government of broad agreements to keep us out, just like two gangsters that divide up the territory so that they don’t lose any of their power. More than 160 citizens with unblemished records came into Parliament. They were put forward by other citizens at the grass roots. They have worked hard for eighteen months, putting forward draft laws, amendments, and parliamentary questions. They have been completely ignored, just as though they didn’t exist. As though they didn’t represent millions of voters. Treated like dogs in a church. And now we are powerless as we look on, thanks to the parties that are corrupt and complicit, thanks to a President of the Republic who is unpresentable and to a convicted criminal whose party was founded with the complicity of the mafia, with the destruction of democracy. Not one of our proposals has been taken into consideration. They look at us with the sarcastic smile of someone who has power by divine right, of someone who says: "I am me and you are nothing" and they ignore us. So why are we staying around in Parliament? To do what? Just to be taken for a ride? To maintain the appearance of democracy while this lot have a coup d'état? We’ll still stay if it’s possible to block the coup d'état with the elimination of the elected Senate. After that, if these Constitution-breakers leave us no choice, we’ll push off. It’s better to go out and talk with the citizens in the streets of Rome and throughout Italy. It’s better to be out talking to the people every day than playing gooseberry to those who betray democracy and betray their homeland. We’ll leave them alone to mess up their laws and we’ll go out and about among the citizens. Fresh air.” Beppe Grillo

Are you in favour of having a Parliament in the open air to denounce the current attempt at a coup d'état? Vote now!

Posted on July 29, 2014 at 04:30 PM in | Post a comment | ListenListen
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Immigrants, cause and effect

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The expressions of piety paid to the clandestine immigrants that are drowning in the sea while escaping from their own countries towards the big unknown, are always hiding the reasons why these people are leaving their homelands and all they have, to take a leap into the dark. We are both executioners and saviours with hearts of stone. We like to get noticed by turning up at Lampedusa or by making speeches about providing a welcome, speeches that are always disregarded. When these poor souls arrive, they are not welcomed, but left to fend for themselves or locked up in some facility. There’s never a discussion about the cause of their exodus, but their possessions get photographed because it’s convenient and also very radical chic (and it makes us feel so good...). Who is selling arms to the countries of these refugees? Who is happily bombing them? Who is exploiting their (often enormous) resources? Governments, multinationals, weapons producers. These are the causes, and it’s here that intervention is needed, not on the results, not on the boats, but nobody is saying anything. Pecunia non olet. The people drowning in the Mediterranean, are dying twice over: the first time at sea, and the second time because of our hypocrisy.

Posted on July 27, 2014 at 09:06 PM in | Post a comment | ListenListen
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Aridatece er puzzone - Bring back Mussolini

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A Parliament elected via an unconstitutional law, a President of the Republic that appoints people like a monarch does, three Presidents of the Council without going via elections, a pact to change the Constitution that no one knows anything about, a pact that was created by a convicted criminal. Now they want to eliminate the elected Senate and stuff it with local party top dogs and they want a Lower House of appointees. This is called coup d'état. Mussolini had more discretion. He didn’t talk about “reforms".
The guy directing this act of destruction is Napolitano who should resign immediately. That would be an act of institutional modesty. And the democratic bodies should have nothing more to do with him. From this moment onwards, the M5S will not have any contact with a man who has abdicated his role as guarantor of the Constitution. It is to be hoped that other political entities will join in and isolate him before it’s too late, before the darkness of the night. The exit route from this situation is to be found in new elections. The law exists. It’s the one amended by the Constitutional Court, the one with preferences and without an abnormal majority premium. The M5S isn’t afraid of new elections to give back legitimacy to parliament, even tomorrow if necessary. Renzie’s threat of new elections is an unloaded gun and he knows that.

Posted on July 25, 2014 at 12:35 PM in | Post a comment | ListenListen
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Economy without government

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“Apart from the optimistic announcements and the song and dance about prospects of recovery that brings to mind a film that we have unfortunately already seen (protagonist: Berlusconi when he said there was no crisis because the restaurants were full ...), what is the economic situation of Italy in the time of Renzi? If one looks at the main economic parameters, there’s little to cause joy and the current government has indeed failed to change direction in relation to the inauspicious austerity policies put in place by previous governments. Let’s start with the public debt that has reached a new record: 2,166 billion euro!! Then GDP, though it has been much talked about, has just increased by a modest + 0.6% this year. And this estimate keeps on falling. There’s also been a reduction in lines of credit: because of the fear of not being able to pay back a loan, there’s been a drop of 7.4% in the value of personal loans: this means less money being spent on consumer goods and services as well as on investment.
Unemployment rates have now reached incredible values: 12.6% overall (with 43% for young people...), that means 3 million 222 thousand people who are unemployed. Purchasing power for families has gone down by -2.4% in a year and that represents -94 billion euro since the beginning of the crisis, or about 4 thousand euro per family. There’s been a decrease in the purchase of durable goods with a fall in average expenditure of 18%! Added to all this, 16.6% of the population are experiencing absolute poverty!!! In Italy there are 10,048,000 people living in poverty. Of these, 6,020,000 are living in absolute poverty, that means they cannot buy goods and services for a dignified life (9.9%).

...

Only taxes on state bonds remain unchanged.
There are also increases in the tax on fuel: in the IRPEF Decree (the one with 80 euro) there are further increases on top of those laid down in the Stability Law. An increase of 700% for the tax on smartphones, tablets and generally on devices with digital memory: consumer goods that everyone buys. The levy will be from 3.00 euro to 4.80 euro (for devices up to 8GB and up to 32 GB) to be distributed to copyright owners as compared to the levy of 0.9 euro on smartphones up until now. Even greater increases for other items like USB flash drives and hard disks.
Finally, let’s not forget the increase of 15% in court fees as laid down in law decree n.90 dated 24 June that is currently going through Parliament! Thus we are asking the government to find a good and swift conclusion to the constitutional reforms and then devote itself with great urgency to serious and decisive economic reforms." Carla Ruocco, M5S member on Finance Committee

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 05:50 PM in | Post a comment | ListenListen
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List all the posts of July 2014

Beppe Grillo Meetups

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Groups 372 Members 76.596
Cities 281 Countries 10

Books and DVDs

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Check out the books and DVDs of Beppe Grillo (service in Italian)

Initiatives


Clean Up Parliament

Map of Power


Awards

Webby award
14th Annual Webby Awards Official Honoree Selections

Interviews


Tegenlicht - Beppe Grillo's Interview

"De toekomst van Europa volgens Beppe Grillo"

(Tegenlicht TV)

International Press Review

The New Yorker
"Beppe's Inferno"

Times
"The Comic Who Shook Italy"
(The video | Related post)

Forbes
"The Web Celeb 25"
(Related post)

BBC
"Meeting Italy's silenced satirist"

AlJazeera
People and power: "Beppe's Blog"

TIME magazine
TIME.com's First Annual Blog Index
(related post)