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April 30, 2010

Grillo 168 - a 5-Star Woodstock

Grillo 168 - a 5-Star Woodstock

Let’s do a quick roundup of what has happened since the election of the 5-Star MoVement. We exist! The proof that we exist is precisely the fact that no one has said anything about us. When no one says anything, it is indeed proof that we are alive and well. After all, they do talk about people that don’t exist, like Napolitano, like Gasparri and like D’Alema. Every day they talk about people that don’t exist, so obviously they are not talking about us since we do exist. But we really do exist, big-time! I would like to thank the journalists, like Ms. Annunziata, who is not really a journalist at all, but an extraordinary colleague who stood up on TV and said "why bother with the MoVement, after all they got as many votes as Mastella". I thank you nevertheless, dear colleague, firstly because while it may be true that we got as many votes as Mastella did in the European elections, we got these 500,000 votes from just 5 regions. Secondly, how much did we spend to get those votes? Do you have any idea what it cost to get Mastella elected? In the five regions, we spent around 40-thousand Euro, divided by 500,000 votes, which means that each vote cost us roughly 8 cents. I’m aware that this is an exorbitant sum, but we will try to do better next time. I would suggest that you do a few sums of your own, my dear Ms. Annunziata, because that is something that you’re so good at. We spent absolutely peanuts and indeed we didn’t even claim our election reimbursements, which are worth almost 2 million Euro. We want to set an example. These young people are indeed setting a magnificent example. They have even taken a salary cut and have reduced their own salaries from the 10-thousand Euro per month that is normally paid to regional councillors, down to 2,000 or 2,500 Euro. They are magnificent! This Movement of ours will get ahead and indeed it is busy growing, so the number of registered members will continue to grow. The MoVement was also online. It is a national MoVement and, by the end of June we will be launching our own Internet portal, on which we can then discuss everyone’s ideas on how we should go about drafting national, regional and municipal election lists. We will work together. The principle of everyone’s vote is equal will finally be applied in this Country. This is a new MoVement and everyone around the world is watching us. Nothing is being mentioned about us here in Italy, but they are certainly talking about us abroad. They are saying some marvellous things about us abroad, which you people are not allowing to filter through, but it doesn’t matter in the least. All you are doing is making us ever stronger. We wanted to hold a V-Day event regarding water resources on 8 May. It’s not that we no longer want to hold the event, but since numerous other movements have already done a lot of work gathering signatures, we decided to rather offer our support those local movements that are of like mind, if they would like our support, even via our blog and me personally. So we have decided not to go ahead with our original plan. So don’t be discouraged, now that we are on the move, no one can stop us. Ask yourselves what is going on in your areas! If you agree, let’s have a Woodstock festival of the 5-Star MoVement. Help me to figure out where we could hold this event. Just a simple get-together. No gathering of signatures or anything else, just a get-together where everyone can come along and have a good time. Where we can meet, talk face to face and tell each other everything. We can arrange a few things, some music, perhaps a small display of renewable energy equipment, short production chains and genuine local products. Come up with some ideas about where we could hold this event, this Woodstock of the 5-Star MoVement. I send you all hugs as I return to the shadows, our spot in the shade, with a reminder that one of these days we will become the light, the real light! Regards to everyone.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 05:33 PM in MoVement | Comments (3) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

Beppe Grillo addresses the Telecom Shareholders Meeting

Beppe Grillo at the 2010 Telecom Shareholders Meeting

Here are a few extracts from my address:

I am here today to attend the funeral of Telecom Italia. I am wearing a black armband on my arm. This Country’s former top technology company is finished. For the past 10 years, the company has been shrinking and becoming ever more marginalized in the international context. In the period from 2008 to 2012, between the staffing cuts already made and those still to come, the Company will have fired another 13,000 employees. On 31.12.2009, Telecom Italia had 54,236 employees, while in 1999, when Massimo D’Alema handed over the company to captains courageous Gnutti, Colaninno and Consorte, the company had twice as many employees.
Telecom is busy dying. When a company outsources its best IT experts and engineers in the interests of efficiency, then the company has no future. 3000 of the Country’s best were outsourced to a great mixed bag called SSC, which was then “empowered” and then sold off at leisure. What kind of future does any country have that fires its engineers and imports low-cost labour? Telecom must be sold off as soon as possible to Telefonica or to some other major international Group, before the current shareholders can suck all the meat off its bones. Telecom may be dead, but at least we can still transplant its organs so as to save the few remaining jobs.
Telecom Chairman, Galateri, said that: “there is debt that has to be reduced and we will do so”, but how does he propose to do this if he continues to pay out dividends to the shareholders every year, this year included? The house is burning and these guys are using all the remaining available water to take a shower. In the past ten years, the debt has remained the same while the shareholders and managers have become wealthy and Telecom has “reduced its waistline”, as Galatieri so elegantly put it. Instead, the shareholders’ waistline has ballooned, while Telecom shares that were worth about 8 Euro each in 2003, are now worth little more than one Euro each. In 2009, Telecom’s revenues amounted to 27.1 billion Euro and the company’s debt was 34 billion Euro. In other words, its debt exceeded its revenues by 7 billion Euro.
Revenues have declined by 6.3% when compared to 2008 and are expected to decline by another 3% in 2010. And now, after having sold off almost everything in the past ten years, from shareholdings abroad, to real estate, through to its innovative companies such as Telespazio, Italtel and Sirti, it has now been announced that the next asset up for sale is Telecom Italia’s 50% stake in Telecom Argentina.
They talk about making investments in the coming years, but the Network is like a sieve and Italy is bottom of the list in Europe in terms of widespread access to broadband services.
As a Chartered Accountant by trade, I would like to do a simple accounting exercise. Given that over the past ten years, Telecom has sold off almost all of its shareholdings, its buildings and even its telephone exchanges, reduced its staff by almost 50%, reduced its revenues, reduced its investments, almost zeroed the value of its shares and, notwithstanding all of this, its debt has remained unchanged at 34 billion Euro, then it raises an interesting question, namely, precisely what happened to all the money? Who is it that has destroyed this Country’s top company in the field of innovation, which was built up using the taxes of entire generations of Italians?
The money landed up in million-Euro stock options and in dividend payments to well-heeled shareholders that have eaten Telecom alive, that’s where! We need to investigate the financial background of the managers that have run Telecom over the past few years in order to see what their assets were before and after their entry into Telecom. To check whether or not they benefited personally, directly or indirectly, from the operations they carried out in these past few years, selling off Telecom assets. This destruction of Telecom Italia’s value has been the worst damage ever done to this Country, both in terms of the economy and in terms of innovation. The shareholders and workers, as well as the future generations, have paid and will continue to pay the price. Those responsible for this catastrophe, whether they are politicians or businessmen, must be prosecuted.
Bernabè is someone that I greatly admire as a manager, but he has failed to do what any honest person ought to do, namely, call the previous management to account, including everyone from Colaninno to Tronchetti and from Buora to Ruggiero, for their involvement in the Telecom Sparkle fake invoicing scandal, their shares, their huge earnings and, in some cases, for their use of the company for personal gain. The spying activity carried out by Telecom employees on tens of thousands of people has seriously tarnished the company’s image. Who is going to pay for this? Who is going to compensate the minority shareholders for the fact that the shares they hold have been turned into trash? Colaninno and Gnutti pocketed capital gains amounting to 1.5 billion Euro when they sold their shares to Tronchetti who was backed by the banks, but why? Why did the minority shareholders get nothing?
It was immoral for million-Euro stock options to be handed out for years while tens of thousands of people were losing their jobs.
We need some sort of law to prevent the payment of dividends by companies whose debt is equivalent to anything more than 50% of turnover. Any small to medium size business whose debt is anything more than 30% of its turnover would shut down immediately. Telecom is dead and, in order to save the remaining jobs, the company should be sold to Telefonica as soon as possible and this backbone of the economy must once again become a public company, thereby giving every operator an equal chance instead of just one.
In Italy, our broadband is somewhat narrow, the narrowest in all of Europe. This is also thanks to this government, which is holding back some 800 million Euro of incentives for the reduction of the digital divide and introducing absurd taxes, such as that on fair compensation for memories.
According to data released by the European Commission, access to broadband services in private homes in Lombardy, the most advanced of the Italian Regions, is still limited to only 36 families out of every hundred, precisely the same level as in some Europe’s poorest regions, such as la Mancha in Spain, and lower than in Poland.
The only countries that are still falling behind Italy are Rumania, Bulgaria and Greece. Without infrastructure, Italia has no future and, for that matter, not even a here and now. My dear Bernabè and Galateri, please sell what remains to Telefonica, hand this backbone back to the State and then go home, together with the rest of the members of the Board of Directors, before we face total collapse.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 07:49 AM in Information | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 29, 2010

Greece is on fire and Tremorti is the fireman

Greece is on fire and Tremorti is the fireman

"We have to have fiscal federalism or else Italy will go the same way as Greece, it is absolutely essential." Bossi said this without adding that with fiscal federalism, the cost of which no one has bothered to work out, we will go the same way as Argentina. It’s hard to choose whether to declare bankruptcy immediately or to delay? The rating agencies downgraded the Greek government bonds to the status of trash. There is no longer a market for Greece’s debt and the Country’s bonds are completely unsaleable. The only ones buying them are the Greek banks, ordered to do so by the central Government.
Without access to debt, Greece can only plead for charity from other Countries in order to avoid bankruptcy and default on its public debt repayments, with its subsequent exit from the Euro.
This charity, which is inadequate in any event, has been slow in coming, and the aid required in order to avoid immediate bankruptcy is estimated to be 45 billion Euro. Greece needs to find 160 billion Euro over the next three years just to fund the interest payments on its maturing government bonds and its annual deficit between income and expenditure. The 45 billion Euro loan will be partly funded by the International Monetary Fund, to the tune of 10/15 billion, and the remainder by a number of European Countries, amongst them Germany with 8.4 billion and Italy with 5.5 billion (almost triple the amount contributed by Holland and more than Spain’s 3.7 billion).
86% of all Germans are against the loan. They don’t want to pay the price for other Countries’ free spending. Tremorti, instead, is very enthusiastic, but the opinion of the Italians is unknown, mainly because no one has even bothered to ask them what they think. Before handing over any of the German people’s money to Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, Ms. Merkel is demanding some sort of assurance that Greece will balance its books. Instead, Tremorti is in a hurry to hand out the loan for fear that the fire will spread. Indeed, Greece is very close by. Our public debt currently stands at approximately 1,800 billion and during the first few months of 2010 it increased by more than 30 billion, while Italy’s unemployment rate is comparable to that of Greece. Our import/export balance for 2009 stood at minus 280 million Euro, while in 2008 it was plus 10 billion. Our tax revenues are declining month after month, our public debt is increasing continuously and our debt to GDP ratio is the worst it has been in the past ten years at 52.3%.
The Greek and Italian figures are very similar indeed. In some areas theirs are worse and in other areas ours are worse. If Greece eventually fails, the Euro will totter. If Italy eventually fails, the Euro will sink altogether, together with all our creditors. For the time being, our huge public debt is also our saving grace.
In 2010, Tremorti will have to move 450 billion Euro worth of government bonds and pay out 70/80 billion in interest (equivalent to 4/5 annual budgets) on the bonds already issued. The Greeks are absolute amateurs by comparison.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 06:07 AM in Economics | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 28, 2010

An Italy without Italians - Interview with Arrigo Petacco

An interview with Arrigo Petacco, author of "Il Regno del Nord"

2011 is fast approaching and with it the celebration of the Unity of Italy. The blog continues its search for historical truth with an interview held with Arrigo Petacco, author of "Il regno del Sud" (The Kingdom of the South). One thing is certain, namely that everything we were taught and that our children are being taught in school is false. We are living in a historical never-never land called the “Risorgimento” without ever having risen the first time around and we are about to enter into another new era, that of Padania, something that has never before existed. As they say, the important thing is to believe it.

A.Petacco: "Cavour, Garibaldi and Mazzini are acknowledged as being the fathers of the Homeland but, if the truth be told, they hated each other, all of them hated each other with a passion. Cavour played Garibaldi, he exploited him, and Garibaldi defended himself. Mazzini was hated by both of them, however, the history books insist on having them side by side because, when all is said and done, all three of them contributed towards national unity."
Blog: "It is believed that the Unity of Italy is the fruit of the ideas of the “Risorgimento”, yet it was actually entirely the result of a plot cooked up in a health spa?"
A. Petacco: "There are plots everywhere. In actual fact, no one really wanted the unity of Italy. At the time, they were all federalists at heart, including Cavour. Indeed, Cavour was definitely a federalist and Mazzini was the only one that really wanted national unity, which Cavour labelled as “tomfoolery” because he didn’t believe in it. After all, he thought in French, spoke French and had never travelled further south than Florence. But he dreamt of an Italy consisting of three States, a Northern State (see the Savoias), which he claimed would be the wealthiest in Europe, a Central State, a Franco-Italian combination, and he also wanted to retain the Kingdom of the Bourbons. He did everything possible to save the Kingdom of the Bourbons. Unfortunately, Francesco II, the one they nicknamed “Franceschiello”, who was a great fellow but was only twenty years old, didn’t get the picture, the deal that Cavour had offered him, and refused. He refused, putting the fate of his kingdom on the line.

A series of plots
Blog: "Why was General Garibaldi’s expedition set up at a certain point?
A. Petacco: "Well, the expedition was a surprise because no one wanted it. Cavour didn’t want it and even tried to send in the Carabinieri. He wanted to send in the Carabinieri to halt the expedition because he knew that by invading Sicily he would be violating his pact with Napoleon III to create a federal Italy. There was actually a whole series of plots because King Victor Emmanuel II, who wanted to enlarge his kingdom instead, secretly told Garibaldi to go ahead while officially ordering him to stop. Garibaldi disobeyed the king’s orders and invaded Sicily. This was incredible because everyone thought, indeed Cavour thought: “They will meet the same fate as Pisacane”, in other words, they would be pitchforked by the farmers as happened before elsewhere. Instead, by some miracle, these thousand men, of whom only 18 were native Sicilians while the remainder were all northerners from the Bergamo area, were almost all grandfathers of the current members of the Lega and they were the ones that went down and conquered Sicily and the entire Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. So he conquered a kingdom and handed it over to King Victor Emmanuel II, saying: “I give you the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies”. Then he went off to Caprera because he was an honest man, somewhat naïve perhaps, and was convinced that he had created a united Italy, and indeed he had because, without him, Italy would never have been united.
Blog: "The people hailed him as a hero and a liberator, but the question I have to ask myself, a reality call if you will: what propaganda machine was set up at the time to spread Garibaldi’s message?
A. Petacco: "Well, the propaganda at the time was very refined and extremely subtle, because 90 percent of the population was out of reach and because 90 percent of the population was illiterate, they didn’t really give a damn about national unity, so the population did not participate. There were no labourers or farmers amongst the thousand men than went to Sicily, they were all lawyers, doctors, mainly lawyers and students, let’s say all members of the ruling Middle class."
Blog: "Who was it that took up arms "
A. Petacco: "Those that took up arms were the middle class, on behalf of their king. The general population did not take and was indeed sympathetic to Bakunin che voleva l’anarchia."
Blog, who was preaching anarchy."
Blog: "In other words, the Italy that we know today is in fact the result of contrivance rather than a natural process?"
A. Petacco: "Absolutely not. I don’t know that it was entirely a natural process but, on the other hand, as Franceschiello was wont to say, they call it Risorgimento (Resurgence), but in order to resurge, you have to have surged in the first place, while Italy has never really existed. Poor Franceschiello used to say that “My kingdom has been here for centuries, but since Roman times there has never been a united Italy”. It was therefore somewhat paradoxical to call it Risorgimento”, but the word had a certain attraction."
Blog: "Shall we say that, if he were alive today, Cavour would not claim this united Italy?"
A. Petacco: "No, it’s a pity that Cavour died accidentally at age 50, just two months after national unity, it was said at the time that it was his punishment from God. The Kingdom was proclaimed in March 1861 and he died in May, so he didn’t actually get to see the united Italy, but he did have some very different plans than those that were later implemented. At that stage Italy was united and he too had become a unificationist by necessity, however, he wanted to create a number of large autonomous regions with large autonomous localities. Instead, the King and his successors chose to centralise, or rather “piedmontise” the whole of Italy and immediately after the proclamation of the kingdom, all of the Piedmont laws were made fully applicable both in Lombardy and in Sicily, including military service, milling taxes and, above all, things that were not particularly palatable, so much so that in the south, ….."
Blog: "Shall we just say that they were not perceived as being particularly good for the purposes of creating order?
A. Petacco: "But then there was a rebellion, and what was labelled as banditry was actually the actions of partisans, not bandits. These were partisans that occasionally acted like bandits, as often happens in war, however, they were mainly former Bourbon soldiers that had been abandoned by their former generals who had sought refuge. They had fought, they had fought for five years and for five years they had kept some 120-thousand men of the Piedmontese army busy. So these were not merely common chicken thieves, no, this was something very serious.

The federalist Italy and Cavour’s dream
Blog: "Now let’s move on to modern times. Italian politics witnessed the eruption of a phenomenon that had previously been just that, merely a phenomenon, but that has now become an organised regional political party known as the Lega Nord. Today the newspapers talk about a northern bank, northern industry, northern workers and differentiated taxation. Are these merely a throwback to those earlier ideals?
A. Petacco: "No, no, that has nothing to do with it. The truth is that, in essence, these two Italies were never really united and they remain two separate Italies: the Lombardy farmer is different from the Sicilian farmer. They have different mentalities, different traditions, different habits and then there is also a kind of racism – if we can call it that – that we have never quite been able to completely eradicate, also because the south does not always set a good example."
Blog: "The plans for a federalist Italy, in your opinion, are these merely a resurgence of Cavour’s ideals?"
A. Petacco: "Yes. He tended to see things more in a political light than any other, but in the book, I seem to remember that there was a note regarding what he wanted. Each region, he called them large regional airports, namely three or four regions that he wanted to call the Kingdom centrally controlled by the police and the army, with the rest delegated to local authorities, so our world would have looked very different indeed. The South, instead, was not merely an abandoned country as the history of the Risorgenza would have us believe. Naples had a railway system before Turin did. In Naples, they were building the first large steamships well before Genoa did. The Kingdom of Naples already had steel factories, iron, cast iron and they were already building steel bridges! They already had a significant potential industrial system going. The northerners took everything. A man called Bastogi from Livorno came along and created a railway monopoly and essentially the north prevented the growth of the south and so, that is what happened. In a meeting with the young industrialists of Naples, Tremonti himself stated that: “Well, after all is said and done, we are truly indebted to you and you deserve to be compensated”. Tremonti himself said this so, obviously these things really did happen."
Blog: "Certain people might classify this as the Lega Nord ideology, but instead I hear you using very different terms."
A. Petacco: "Lega Nord ideology you say?! You’re crazy! I sympathise because at the moment, I have to admit that where they are governing, the politicians are different. I have had the opportunity to meet some of them and I must say, they seem to feel that they are better than everyone else and they tend to look down on you. When you ask them a question and they look down their noses at you, like D’Alema for example, who is essentially thinking: “Let’s hear what bullshit this guy wants to tell me!” You can see it! While these people are just like you, that is what makes them likeable, but unfortunately they too will get worse. I don’t believe in perfection and as soon as they manage get their hands on power, corruption will undoubtedly follow. Corruption follows democracy and wherever there is democracy, there is also corruption because politicians need votes and they are prepared to do anything to get those votes. Instead, in a dictatorship, no votes are needed so there is less corruption because there is less of everything, except for pitchforks, hangings and deaths by firing squad. So perhaps it’s better for us to keep these thieves! I don’t know if I am making myself clear."

Blog: "Is the Kingdom of the North a very real risk or is there merely a possibility that it could materialise?"
A. Petacco: "If things continue as they are, it could become a very real possibility."
Blog: "Can you picture an Italy that splits up? Is this a possibility in your opinion? We have a very rigid Constitution that contains some very specific restrictions ….. "
A. Petacco: "I cannot see this happening, but what I do see is that federalism will undoubtedly increase the existing gap between certain regions and others and between the north and the south."
Blog: "History is written by the victors. Do you also have a very noble vision of revisionism? I ask because the things that are written in this book are very different from what we find in the school books."
A. Petacco: "The fact is that there is one inescapable rule in life, namely that whenever war breaks out, the first casualty is always the truth, because the truth is bothersome and if you wish to demonise the enemy, you also have to tell some lies about him. Once the war has ended, these lies told by the losers are inevitably revealed for what they are, while those of the victors become history. Furthermore, it is not easy to chip away these untruths that have become history. Even my books attract some interest, however, it will remain extremely difficult to erase certain untruths. Let me give you an example: if you care to remember the first War of Independence (1848), when Piedmont very courageously declared war on Austria, Naples and the Vatican came to its aid and took sides in the early days of the war. Also, a number of Neapolitan and Pontifical military units fought in Lombardy.
At Curtatone and Montanara, a historical event occurred that went down in history. The schoolbooks tell us that the university students of Pisa stopped the Austrians that were about to outflank the army of Carlo Alberto. In reality, it was not the university students of Pisa. The students of Pisa were indeed there, but they ran away at the first sign of gunfire and all that remained was a Neapolitan battalion under the command of a Neapolitan colonel, who held fast and managed to repel the Austrians. This is an historical fact and indeed the Austrian Army’s war diaries in Vienna also mention the name and number of the commander in question. When the first War of Independence ended and Naples had meanwhile retreated, the Pope and the Piedmontese historians that were writing about the war faced some embarrassment and thought: “Oh dear, the only true and noble act was performed by a Neapolitan. There’s no way that we can give credit to the Neapolitans, it will be a disgrace for us!” So they invented the story that the Pisa students had not only gloriously stopped the Austrians, but also that their commander was Giuseppe Montanelli. They even managed to arrange that the peak of the university hats be cut in half, something they didn’t deserve.
This is the story that I told to my friend Indro Montanelli, a descendant of the aforesaid commander. I told him that: “Look Indro, this is the truth” and he answered: “Oh, I know that, but I can’t exactly get upset with my grandfather!” and then proceeded to confirm the affair of the Pisa students in his history book. Get it? That is the way history works! "

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 08:21 AM in Politics | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 27, 2010

Accused and proud of it

Accused and proud of it - Marco Travaglio

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Text: Good day to you all. What I have here are two great convictions, or rather one great conviction because the second is a judicial hearing, which bring us up to date regarding two matters that we have been following for a long time now on Passaparola and that I don’t want to leave in suspension. The Italian press and television services have a tendency to follow cases initially and then to forget about them later, so much so that all that remains is that question that Milena Gabanelli often asks herself in Report: how did it all end? These are two matters that are not yet completely finished, but these hearings give us some idea of how the cases could end.

Mills the corruptor and Berlusconi the corrupted

The direction these have taken explains the “official” media’s silence on these two hearings. Let’s start with the Mills sentencing. As you know, on 25 February this year the Court of Cassation handed down its ruling, in which the Court finally confirmed Mills’ position. Said Court also deemed his crime of perjury to be statute barred, whereby he lied under oath in two court cases against Silvio Berlusconi in return for a bribe amounting to 600-thousand Dollars, which he was paid immediately after he gave his testimony.
There was a question regarding precisely when he physically received that money, so the prosecution held that the money became available to Mills at the precise moment that it came into his possession, while others believed that it actually occurred a number of months earlier. You should know that the dispute was over a few months. According to those in favour of delaying statute barring, the offence allegedly occurred in January 2000, while the other side reckoned it happened in November 1999. This was a vital issue since the Court of Cassation’s ruling was handed down on 25 February and, if the offence was indeed committed in February 2000, the Courts ruling would have come in time to avoid the 10 year limit for statute barring, a ten year limit that used to be 15 years before the advent of the former Cirilli Law, which, unsurprisingly, was promulgated just after this crime was uncovered.
If, instead, the crime had indeed been committed in November 1999, the Court of Cassation would have been obliged to consider it statute barred because it would have reached the ten-year limit less than three months before the Court of Cassation’s final ruling. So it was a case of nip and tuck, and the Court chose to accept the second version of events and thus declared the crime statute barred for a matter of just three months. It was already clear from the ruling, however, that Mills had indeed committed the crime and, in fact, Mills was being convicted by the Court of Cassation, just as he had been by both the Court of Milan and the Milan Court of Appeal, which sentenced him to pay 250-thousand Euro in compensation to the State, in the person of the Prime Minister, for damages to the public justice system, its impartiality, etc.
You will also undoubtedly also remember that when the sentence was handed down just two months ago, the entire centre right stated that: this is proof that Berlusconi is being persecuted, now even Mills has been absolved. This was on Minzolini’s Tg1 news broadcast, whose headlines blared Free, “Silvio absolved”. Berlusconi guilt or innocence was not even mentioned in that sentence, however, in actual fact, knowing whether the person accused of having been bribed by Berlusconi was indeed guilty or innocent also tells you whether the individual accused of having paid the bribe in the first place is himself guilty or innocent. In fact it was completely proper to link the legal fate of Mills to that of Berlusconi, but the problem is that Mills was never absolved, so Berlusconi could also not have been absolved. Since Berlusconi had the trial delayed by more than a year and a half thanks to the Alfano Bill, and the statute barring deadline for the charges against him was frozen, it means that those charges are still not statute barred – they will only become statute barred around summer/autumn of next year – and the original court case has already been resumed, the judges may still manage to complete it, notwithstanding having to run a slalom course between the legitimate impediments, etc, and to deliver a high court ruling.
The entire centre-right lied outright, including the house organs, in claiming that Mills had been absolved, that, therefore, Berlusconi would also be absolved, that the trial should not even be resumed and that Berlusconi should in fact be compensated for any damages resulting from this trial, while, in reality, Mills was indeed sentenced to pay damages to the State for having perjured himself in exchange for money paid by Fininvest in order to save Berlusconi. In other words, they completely overturned the truth.
In the other camp, no one even bothered to respond. As you know, the other camp is made up of a bunch of arse-creepers who pretend to be impartial but in fact stand by Berlusconi while hiding behind masks. These people said that: we are waiting to see the reasons for the sentence against Mills, but here they are now, the Court of Cassation’s reasons were released just 3 days ago, about forty pages worth of reasons, very legible and very clear and very official since they were issued by the united sections, the highest level of justice in our Country. What do these documents state? They obviously state many things and they make for interesting reading. In essence though, they constitute a biography of our Prime Minister and you will find these documents listed on the website Nevertheless, I would like to highlight one passage from the document. Obviously the document states that Mills was bribed to lie under oath in order to protect Silvio Berlusconi, with money that came from the Finivest slush fund, and the judges could not really say otherwise, given that this fact was established by the Court and confirmed by the Appeal Court. The Court of Cassation’s role is merely to rule on whether or not their judgement was legitimate.
However, the Court of Cassation provides another very interesting insight, but why? Because the crime of perjury committed by Mills in Berlusconi’s interest and in return for a bribe paid out by Berlusconi’s companies in order to save Berlusconi from being convicted in two separate trials, affects the Court of Cassation, but why? Well, because in those two trials, the Court of Cassation issued a ruling that Berlusconi’s crimes were statute barred, that after Berlusconi had already been found guilty, just as occurred with Mills in this case. We’re talking about the All-Iberian trial involving the foreign account to foreign account payments made to Craxi, as well as other slush funds moved from the Swiss bank accounts held by this hidden offshore company registered in the channel islands and owned by Fininvest. So let’s forget about the All-Iberian case now since we know that it ended with the final first level conviction and the statute barring of the charges against Craxi and Berlusconi for illegal funding, so Berlusconi then had to downgrade the crime.
Now let’s discuss the other trial that Mills sidetracked with his lies and his reticence, because this is an interesting one because it involves the case of the famous bribes paid to the Financial Police by Fininvest. This was Berlusconi’s first trial after his entry into politics, the one where he was famously served with a summons to appear in court while attending an international conference in Naples and the case about which he has been whinging and whining for the past 15 years. This is the case that is being depicted as a symbol of the mother of all persecutions, so it is important for us to understand how it ended. He says that he was completely absolved, so they owe me an apology because I was absolved from the word go. However, if we read the Court of Cassation sentence regarding Mills, we discover the reason why Berlusconi was absolved in the first place and it is important to remember what we’re talking about here. There were 4 Fininvest bribes paid to the Financial Police, which were uncovered by the Milan pool back in 1994, when Berlusconi had only just been elected as Prime Minister, three of which bribes had been paid at the end of the eighties and the fourth was paid in 1992. One of the bribes involved Mediolanum, one involved Mondadori, one involving Videotime and then there was one that involved Telepiù in that the then Guarantor of the Press?, Santaniello?, had sent the Financial Police to investigate and audit Fininvest because it was suspected that, behind the scenes, the company in fact held a controlling interest in Telepiù, the pay-for-view TV company that was the forerunner of our current pay-for-view TV broadcasters, the first company established by Berlusconi and a number of his friends was called Telepiù.
If it had been ascertained that, back in 1992, Berlusconi already held more than 10% of the shares in Telepiù, it would have constituted a violation of the provisions of the Mammi Law, which established that in order to be able to keep his three unencoded television stations, namely Canale 5, Rete 4 and Italia 1, he was obliged to dispose of all his shareholdings in excess of 10% in the pay-for-view broadcasters, as well as selling off his newspapers, however, he proceeded to hand over his newspapers to his brother and his children.
So what did Telepiù do? He held almost all of the shares in Telepiù, but he had entrusted all of the shares, except for the 10% he was permitted, handing them over to a number of friends who acted as proxies. To whom he even gave money to buy the shares, so, in actual fact, the shares belonged to him but were registered as belonging to others.
If Santaniello, the Guarantor of the Press, had been able to confirm that this was the case, this patent violation of the Mammi Law would have resulted in a massive fine being imposed on Berlusconi, as well as the revocation of his unencoded television concessions, so he would instantly have lost his broadcasting rights and he would have had to watch Canale 5, Rete4 and Italia 1 closing down. This is what was at stake and that is why, when the Financial Police arrived on the doorstep, the manager of Fininvest that dealt with these matters at the time, namely Financial Manager Salvatore Sciascia, offered a bribe, some say of 50 million Italian Lire while others say 100 million, to the officers to close one eye, or rather both eyes as regards the ownership of Telepiù. This was the charge relating to the fourth bribe, the one paid out back in 1992 to the Financial Police.

If it weren’t for Mills, Berlusconi would be sitting in jail

In 1994, a number of Financial Police officers confessed to having taken bribes from Fininvest in return for, inter alia, overlooking who the true shareholders of Telepiù were, so what happened next? They tried to silence these officers, but unfortunately for them these officers had already spilled the beans and so began the corruption trial against the Financial Police. In the initial case, Berlusconi, Sciascia and the officers involved were convicted with regard to all 4 of the bribes, while on appeal this was limited to only three of the bribes, namely those paid prior to 1992, and which were then statute barred, while the fourth bribe, the one relating to Telepiù, they were all absolved due to lack of permissible evidence, but why? Well, because there was deemed to be insufficient proof that it was Berlusconi himself who bribed the officers to close an eye, or rather both eyes, with regard to the true shareholdings in Telepiù, since there were also other partners the court could not be certain that he himself approved the bribes and not one of the other individuals.
Mills’ testimony would have been decisive in the appeal case for the bribery of the Financial Police, because he was the person that had set up the offshore companies through which Berlusconi had funded the proxies so as to enable them to apparently buy out the shareholdings in excess of the 10% in their own name although Berlusconi still controlled said shareholdings. So Mills knew precisely to whom Telepiù belonged, so what did he proceed to do? He ducked and dived, as he later wrote to his accountant and, testifying with reticence, he refrained from linking those companies to Berlusconi personally but rather to the Fininvest Group in general. Thus the judges deemed that there was insufficient evidence to support the earlier conviction and, for this reason, they absolved Berlusconi on appeal in terms of Clause 2 of Article 530 of the Criminal Procedures Act. So what did the Court of Cassation do next? They ruled that there was insufficient evidence with regard to all four of the bribes and thus the court proceeded to absolve him on all four counts.
Now, however, in the Mills sentence handed down just the other day, the Court of Cassation states that, with regard to the issue of perjury, the absolution for lack of evidence would have instead resulted in the conviction of both Mills and Berlusconi if the former had told the truth and had not accepted a bribe from Berlusconi’s companies in return for protecting Berlusconi himself. In other words, in order to conceal the truth regarding the true ownership of Telepiù, bribes were paid to a number of Financial Police officers who were sent to inspect and audit the companies controlling Telepiù, Mills was bribed so that, when he stood up to testify, he would not tell the whole truth, and then, in order to conceal the fact that Mills had been bribed, they proceeded to carry on the campaign that has continued for so many years, including the introduction of the Alfano Bill and the other bullshit, but why? Simply because that which has emerged is now so big that it can no longer be stopped, so the only remaining option is to stop the actual trials, or to attempt to stop them, which is precisely what has happened.
The Court of Cassation, which was obliged to absolve the accused due to lack of evidence, evidence that should have been provided by Mills, who did not provide said evidence because he was a bought witness, now almost makes amends, saying that: had we known this when we were busy judging him, well, we certainly would not have absolved him. I’m going to read you the section in question so that at least, from now on, when you hear Berlusconi claiming that he has always been absolved, you will know that this is not true because he was obliged to downgrade his crime or reduce the statute barring limit in order to have six cases statute barred, plus another two sentences involving offences that, thanks to his efforts, him, the accused, are no longer deemed to be crimes in terms of the law. Furthermore, that sentence that says “absolved”, albeit for lack of evidence, that sentence handed down in the initial trial involving the bribing of Financial Police officers, is not actually an absolution, but simply a ruling, “bought” by paying off a witness, since they were unable to pay off the judges because they couldn’t find any judges in Milan that were willing to be paid off. That is what the Court of Cassation ruling has classified as an error of judgement. So you see, errors of judgement do not only apply to the conviction of innocent people, but also the absolution of the guilty ones, especially when the guilty parties manage to waylay their trials by bribing a witness.
The Court of Cassation says that: the crux of Mills’ reticence in the appeal case regarding the Finevest’s bribery of the Financial Police in 1998, if we are not mistaken, definitely revolves around the fact that he only referred to Fininvest in general terms and not to Berlusconi personally, the owner of the offshore companies that he (Mills) had created and that were used to fund the proxies that allegedly bought out Berlusconi's shareholdings in Telepiù. With this lie, they changed the course of the trial against the Financial Police.
The judges presiding over the initial trial were obliged to proceed by instinct and the result was that, on appeal, the lack of hard evidence concerning the true ownership of the offshore companies that were used to fund Berlusconi’s proxies in Telepiù resulted in the absolution of Berlusconi on appeal and finally by the Court of Cassation.
Therefore, Sciascia’s backhander paid to the Financial Police back in 1994 in return for ignoring the true ownership of the pay-for-view broadcaster and while Berlusconi was in the process of becoming Prime Minister for the first time, would have been punished by the conviction of Berlusconi himself, were it not for Mills’ bought testimony. In 2001, when the Court of Cassation absolved him for the first time in the case where there was deemed to be insufficient evidence, he would have been convicted for corruption and he would have landed in jail for 4 or 5 years because, at the time, he would not even have been eligible for a reduction of his sentence as a result of any pardon. So, instead of returning to Palazzo Chigi in 2001, he would have landed up at San Vittore, where he would have landed up in any event on the 25th February this year if it weren’t for the Alfano Bill that separated his trial from that of Mills and if it weren’t for the former Cirielli Law that reduced the deadline to qualify for the statute barring of both cases from 15years to 10 years, they would both have landed up in jail, some say with the chance that Berlusconi could have received house arrest, which is not so because, according to the former Cirielli Law, house arrest may only be granted to persons who are already 70 years old and was put in place precisely to save Berlusconi and Previti just when they were getting ready to celebrate their seventieth birthday.
So go and take a good look at this ruling, it is extremely interesting because it essentially rewrites part of the history of Berlusconi and the revisionism, supported by the servants that surround him, that he would have us believe, which is instead entirely false. So he is only absolved either because he has paid off the judge or the witness, otherwise he would be convicted. And if his cases are statute barred, it is only because he has reduced the statute barring limit and if he is absolved, it is only because the crime is no longer recognised as such in the law, which means that he has de-criminalized the crime, he himself, the one that committed the crime in the first place!

de Magistris was right

Now for the second court case. Here we’re talking about a totally different matter, but how did it end?.
It is relatively brief, a mere 21 pages of notification of conclusion of the investigations, which also serves as an arrest warrant for certain of the accused. But what is a notification of conclusion of the investigations precisely? When, after 6 months, a year, one and a half years or at most two years in the case of matters involving the Mafia, which is not the case here, a Magistrate completes his investigation, he is required to notify the individuals under investigation, the Attorneys and any victims of the crime that the investigation has been completed, after which the parties have 20 days within which to request further investigation or to request that they be questioned if this has not yet been done. Once they have submitted their requests and the Magistrate has dealt with any outstanding matters, the Public Prosecutor then requests that the matter be remanded for trial, which is almost always the case because when a Magistrate intends to request that the case be archived, he doesn’t send out any notification of conclusion of the investigation, but simply forwards the case file directly to the Preliminary Investigations Judge. In this case, they didn’t request that the case be archived, so who are the addressees of this notification of conclusion of the investigation? And who are the authors? The Chief Public Prosecutor of Salerno, namely Public Prosecutors Maria Chiara Minerva, Rocco Alfano and Antonio Cantarella, led by the new Chief Prosecutor, Franco Roberti. Salerno should remind you of something, or at least I hope so, because we have mentioned it on several occasions. Salerno’s is the Public Prosecutor’s Office that we have had reason to mention just recently because this is the Public Prosecutor’s office that has on two occasions, nay three, arranged to remand the current Mayor, Vicenzo De Luca, for trial. The very same gentleman that regularly insults Grillo, yours truly and numerous other people and who has just been absolutely trounced in the Regional elections in Campania. Can you believe that they were saying: in the Democratic Party, that he is a so-so candidate but he is a strong contender, very strong candidate, but now we have seen just how strong he truly is. Just imagine if he had been weak, he would have grabbed his overcoat instead of getting trounced, but never mind, let’s leave him be.
Furthermore, Salerno is also the Public Prosecutor’s office that sent people to go and search another Public Prosecutor’s office in December two years ago, namely that of Catanzaro, but why? Well, because the Salerno Public Prosecutor’s office has jurisdiction with regard to any crimes committed by members of the Catanzaro Public Prosecutor’s office, while the Naples Public Prosecutor’s office in turn has jurisdiction with regard to any crimes committed by members of the Salerno Public Prosecutor’s office, the Rome Public Prosecutor’s office has jurisdiction with regard to any crimes committed by members of the Naples Public Prosecutor’s, Perugia over those committed by the Rome office, and so on and so forth, and the Florence Prosecution has jurisdiction over those committed in Perugia, while Bologna has jurisdiction over Florence … this is the rule, essentially you may not investigate your own roommate and you have to approach the nearest Public Prosecutor’s office with jurisdiction over such matters whenever there is any crime committed by the Magistrates themselves. But were there any crimes involved, perhaps committed by Magistrates? Well. Luigi De Magistris had reported certain of his superiors, who had relieved him of the “Why Not” and “Poseidone” investigations, the first having been taken away from him by the Chief Prosecutor Dolcino Favi and the second by Chief Prosecutor Mariano Lombardi. He had also reported a number of his colleagues who, after the investigations had been highjacked from him, began to split them up, break them down and, in essence, bury them.
De Magistris thus reported his superiors and a number of his colleagues to Salerno because the Salerno Public Prosecutor’s office had jurisdiction. His colleagues in Salerno in turn, reported De Magistris, saying that he was the one that was doing wrong things and that they had finally managed to rid Calabria of this idiot, this fanatic and visionary magistrate. Now , at the time, the Salerno Public Prosecutor’s office, run by Chief Prosecutor Luigi Apicella and two very active substitute Prosecutors, Gabriella Nuzi and Dioniglio Verasani, conducted an investigation and decided that the complaints against De Magistri’s superiors and colleagues were unfounded and the entire matter should be archived. The Preliminary Investigations Judge subsequently archived the matter while, instead, De Magistri’s complaints regarding his superiors and colleagues were indeed well-founded and the investigations continued, given the theory that the “Why Not” investigation was buried to protect certain highly placed suspects, not so much Prodi, who was had been classified as a suspect for technical reasons involving the registered ownership of a telephone line, but more so because it was believed that he was the person who had the “Why Not” investigation stopped and given that the prosecutors that took over the case file from De Magistris had not sent all of the documentation through to the Preliminary Investigations Judge, who made his decision without having all the pertinent information at hand regarding Mastella’s involvement. This at least is the prosecution’s hypothesis, and in order to determine whether or not, in their archiving request to the Preliminary Investigations Magistrate, the prosecutors that took over from De Magistris indeed left out a few sheets of paper, we would need to examine the entire folder relating to the “Why Not” investigation and compare it to that attached to the archiving request to see if indeed everything was included. So that’s why the Salerno Prosecutors began to ask their Catanzaro colleagues, now charged with serious offences, for authorization … They didn’t immediately go and seize the said documentation but simply asked for the folder in order that they could make photocopies and then send back the original. Merely to make photocopies, you understand? Something that would perhaps take one day for a large folder if someone is appointed specifically to make the copies.
For 7 or 8 months, almost an entire year, two years ago, the Catanzaro Public Prosecutor’s office refused to deliver these documents. They sent only bits and pieces, then they procrastinated, then they sent more bits and pieces, but the entire folder never arrived, so, after an infinite series of reminders, at a certain point the Salerno Public Prosecutor’s office had to carry on but could not do so, so they got together with the General Investigation and Special Operations Unit and went down to Catanzaro with a search and seizure warrant in hand in order to collect those documents by force, with the right to search the Magistrates’ homes and offices to see whether the individuals were hiding any documents on pen drives, diskettes, home computers, laptops, etc. This was the famous search of 3 December 2008, so what happened then? Well, a perfectly legal activity such as that carried out by the Salento Public Prosecutor’s office gets sold to the Italians as a war between rival Prosecutors’ offices, but why? Because, instead of complying with a legal request from their colleagues with jurisdiction over them, the Catanzaro office chose to be evasive, with the Chief Prosecutor claiming that this was a subversive act, rich coming from the person under investigation and a Prosecutors office that is refusing to hand over the “Why Not” dossier and then proceeds to seize back the documentation just seized by the Salerno Public Prosecutor’s office and starts investigating their magistrates who went to search the offices at Catanzaro. There is just one small problem, namely that the Salerno Public Prosecutor’s office has jurisdiction over Catanzaro, but the opposite is not true, because the Salerno Public Prosecutor’s office can only be investigated by the Naples office, so a request should have been submitted to Naples, but instead they did it themselves, which was an abuse of power.
So we have one Public Prosecutor’s office that is merely doing its job in terms of the law, and another that is unjustifiably rebelling against a legal act, just like the family members of Camorra members do when the Police come to arrest some or other Boss in Scampia, throwing flower pots and tiles at them in an attempt to hinder the course of justice, except that, on this occasion, it was the Prosecutors of Catanzaro who were doing it to their Salerno colleagues.
Then, instead of rejecting this abomination, the usual blabbermouths of the press, the television, as well as left wing and right wing parties lovingly working together on this occasion, talking about the Csm, the Magistrates Association, a war between different Prosecutors’ offices, a truck takes out a bystander, until no one knows any longer precisely who attacked who!
I would like to read you this little brochure released just a few hours after the commencement of the search, while the Magistrates of Salerno were still busy searching the Catanzaro Prosecutor’s offices: On the orders of State President Giorgio Napolitano, the Secretary General of the State President’s office, Donato Marra, today despatched the following letter to the Public Prosecutor’s office of Salerno: Yesterday the Public Prosecutor’s office of Salerno carried out a search and seizure operation involving magistrates and the offices of the Catanzaro Public Prosecutor. Due to the methods used, such investigations have unleashed major speculation in the media and have raised certain disturbing questions. Furthermore, a letter sent to the State President by the Public Prosecutor of Catanzaro raised serious issues regarding the seizure of the official folders relating to the “Why Not” investigation, which falls within the jurisdiction of that office and has resulted in delays.
After De Magistris was removed from the investigations, they slept on them for more than a year, until the Salerno Prosecution came along and said: we’ll take them away for a few days and make some photocopies, which we have been asking you to do for months without success. Suddenly stung into action on the “Why Not” investigation, the Catanzaro Prosecutors write to the State President saying: they have taken the dossier away and we can no longer continue with the investigation. Just imagine, they were scared of losing another 24 hours, now that’s urgency for you.
I’m buggered if the State doesn’t swallow their shit and claims that what happened is somewhat disturbing, especially taking into account everything that State President Napolitano has given me to do, says his Secretary General, requesting that the Salerno Public Prosecutor to urgently provide information and, where possible, any documentation that will help to provide clarity regarding this unprecedented event, beginning with any opinion on the merits. Bloody hell, he’s just asked for explanations and documentation and now he also wants to know about the merits!
This is exceptional and has serious implications for the institutions, mainly that of paralysing the legal processes, but who will be working on the “Why Not” investigation on the very day that Salerno is making photocopies before returning the folder to Catanzaro? The only risk is that the paralysis that had been in place for more than a year, without giving a damn, would continue for one more day. Indeed, they went so far as to throw out De Magistris from Salerno. It was none other than the Csm itself that threw him out, chaired by Napolitano himself, and when the Chief Prosecutors and Prosecutors highjacked the investigation from De Magistris, not a soul within the Csm chose to defend him, indeed they proceeded to punish him instead!
As regards the paralysis of the court proceedings that resulted, as the Constitutional Court has reiterated on numerous occasions, the compromising of any good that comes from the efficiency of a trial, which is the principle of the indefinability of the jurisdiction, what we’re dealing with here is whitewashed sepulchres! This is the communiqué issued by the Quirinale, which climbs helter-skelter into the midst of an ongoing investigation, into a search that is still in progress and asking for an explanation, not from the party that is rebelling illegally against a legal search, but from the party that is conducting the legal search.

de Magistris was right

You know how it all ended? They threw Prosecutor Apicella out of the department and removed Prosecutors Nuzi and Verasani from Salento, exiling them to two prosecutor’s offices in the Lazio region, with all of the associated difficulties, especially for Judge Nuzi who has a young child, because they can no longer be allowed to work as prosecutors in Salerno and never again as public prosecutors, as stipulated by the gentlemen of the Csm, namely messrs. Mancino, Napolitano and the rest of the members of the Csm in unanimity. But what is written in the notification of conclusion of the investigation conducted by Apicella’s replacement, Chief Prosecutor Franco Roberti, and the replacements for Verasani and Nuzi, namely Minerva Alfano and Cantarella? They will no doubt say: Yes, now some good, kind prosecutors have arrived, not like those others that were sent away. Franco Roberti has come and he is well known because of he has often appeared on television as the Public Prosecutor of the battling against the Gomorra. He is the Assistant Prosecutor from Naples who, until a few months ago, was co-ordinating the activities against the Casalesi clan and who, in the past two or three years, has been responsible for the capture of the leadership of the clan, as well as the boss of the Casalesi clan.
We can trust these guys, what could they have done? Will they have taken that famous search and seizure warrant from two years ago that was rejected by Napolitano, the Csm, the left wing, the right wing, Tg1, Tg2, Tg3, Tg4, Tg5, Studio Aperto, as well as all the right wing and left wing newspapers and torn the investigation against those gentlemen Prosecutors of Catanzaro that are so good …, no, because in the notification of conclusion of the investigation, we see the very same charges formulated earlier by Apicella, Verasani and Nuzi in the famous search warrant, the one that everyone claimed was too long. Do you remember that, at a certain point, not knowing what more to say, they said that the search warrant was too long, as if there were a standard length for search warrants.
Albeit a little shorter, this one says the same thing, now we’ll wait and see whether they will now also throw out Roberti, Alfano, Cantarella and Minerva for having completely confirmed the investigations conducted by the magistrates that were thrown out.
The notification of completion of the investigations affects former prosecutor Lombardi, the man who relieved De Magistris of the “Poseidone” investigation, Salvatore Murone, his assistant prosecutor who helped him to highjack De Magistris’ investigations, Antonio Saladino, Head of the Works Company of Calabria, Giancarlo Pittelli, the famous Forza Italia member, Giuseppe Galati, the famous UDC member, Maria Grazia Nuzzi, the prosecutor’s live-in lover, PierPaolo Greco, the prosecutor’s step-son, Dolcino Favi, the public prosecutor that relieved De Magistris of the “Why Not” investigation, Enzo Iannelli, the public prosecutor that took over that position and rebelled against the Salerno search, as well as Alfredo Garbati, Domenico De Lorenzi and Salvatore Curcio, the three assistant prosecutors that inherited the investigations taken away from De Magistris. All in all there are 12 people under investigation, who now risk becoming defendants very soon and who are allegedly involved in offences ranging from the same as Apicella, Nuzi and Verasani were accused of and include Legal fraud like Mills and Berlusconi, and/or abuse of power, and/or making false declarations, and/or refusal to supply official documentation for failure to deliver the documentation, and/or favouring individuals under investigation.
But what are the theories proposed by the magistrates of the new Salerno Prosecutor’s office? That the Chief Prosecutors of the Catanzaro Prosecutor’s office at the time of De Magistris were being bribed by Saladino, Pittelli and Galati with favours, money or other things, etc., in return for sandbagging or delaying the investigations being conducted by De Magistris, who was eventually isolated and relieved of his investigations, or that those who did the deed did it because they disliked De Magistris, or that they did it in return for favours provided by De Magistris’ prime suspects, that is the prosecution’s contention, and when Salerno came asking for the documentation, they refused to hand them over, but why? Perhaps because those documents contained proof of what was going on.
This notification of conclusion of the investigations is also available on the “Fatto quotidiano” website, providing ample proof of corruption aimed at buying off the senior staff of the Catanzaro Public Prosecutor’s in return for money or other benefits. These are appalling examples of how these investigations have been highjacked and how the prime suspects in the “Why Not” and “Poseidone” investigations have managed to protect themselves. Contrary to popular belief, an alleged conflict of interest was created between Mastella and De Magistris so as to relieve De Magistris of the investigations and, once highjacked, the investigations were split up and broken down into numerous threads by assistant prosecutors who knew nothing about investigations. Furthermore, since the investigations were started by De Magistris, there was also some illegal interference aimed at delaying the investigation and favouring suspects like Saladino, Pittelli and Galati, and all because of an illegal pact between Attorney Pittelli and Prosecutor Lombardi. These are simply the charges, not a sentence, and merely a notification of conclusion of an investigation, however, because they conducted the investigation and because Nuzi, Verasani and Apicella were eventually thrown out, yet now we find that their investigation was sound and have been confirmed by totally unrelated prosecutors, and that the prosecutors of Catanzaro did indeed unduly refuse to hand over legal documents required for investigations being conducted by the Salerno Public Prosecutor’s office, to now find out that those investigations were in fact so good that they have been confirmed by a new batch of magistrates simply proves that there is no truth in the claims of a war between prosecutors’ offices, but that one of them was in the right and the other in the wrong. Reading through the various sources and the statements made by Mr. Genchi, who was a technical consultant working for De Magistris and was immediately ostracised because he had the temerity to stick his nose in these matters, and who now risks being expelled from the Police simply because he dared to defend himself against these allegations instead of shutting up and being happy to earn his daily bread, This makes us think that someone at top government level authorised the spreading of lies regarding a war between prosecutors’ offices, and that, even if they didn’t start it, certainly encouraged the witch hunt against honest magistrates such as Nuzi and Verasani of Salerno, should be ashamed of themselves and at least apologise, because De Magistris has now gone into politics after they prevented him from working as a Public Prosecutor and Apicella has since gone into retirement.

But Nuzi and Verasani are still working in the Public Prosecutor’s office, exiled to Latina one of the other offices in the Lazio Region and, at least for them, the Head of State, the President of the Csm, the entire Csm and the ANM, which left them in the lurch, as well as all the politicians, with the exception of Di Pietro, who failed to raise a finger to stop this huge injustice, should be ashamed of themselves and then apologise to these magistrates, as well as perhaps doing something to restore their dignity and bring them back to Salerno and nowhere else. Pass the word and have a good week!

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 02:33 PM in Information | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 26, 2010

Stiglitz, Greenwald and the future of the crisis


While on a trip to Columbia University, Mauro Gallegati interviewed Professor Bruce Greenwald, generally deemed to be the "guru of all gurus of Wall Street", and Joe Stiglitz, winner of the Nobel Prize for economics, on behalf of the blog, regarding the current crisis.

Mauro Gallegati: The current crisis poses a number of problems: what economic theories do we have at our disposal, is it possible to make a comparison with 1929 and how long will it continue?
Greenwald/Stiglitz: The crisis that began in 2007 has highlighted many of the problems of the liberalist ideology, in particular the idea that a free market can resolve all of our economic problems through the efficient allocation of resources by some sort of "unseen hand". And so, thanks to the idea that the liberalisation of the financial markets would lead to a sharing of the risk (via the derivati), market fundamentalism caused the economic system to take on more debt than what it would later be able to service. After a period of disorientation, the economic theory is busy regaining its earlier position. It is not difficult to believe that, once the crisis has passed, economic considerations will once again dominate, without any concern for the intellectual losses suffered.
However, contrary to popular belief, the economic crisis is not so much due to the crisis in the sub-prime mortgage markets but by the excessive indebtedness of American families, the public debt and the United States’ international trade deficit. It is almost as if the Chinese were funding American growth. Does anyone really believe that this process can continue forever?
One aspect that is often overlooked is the issue of unemployment, in other words, those who actually pay for the crisis. In the USA, the number of workers without jobs is far higher than the figure specified in the official statistics, which don’t reflect the chronically unemployed: if these were to be included, the unemployment rate would be hovering around 15%.
It is certainly important to rescue the financial system, but the real causes of the crisis will remain unresolved: Wall Street will get better, the banks will once again make profits, but the job situation won’t improve and the financial situation of the average American family will take a very long time to recover. In other words, the financial system will somehow manage to survive (until the next financial crisis) while the cost will be borne by the workers and the taxpayers. What about the families of Mediterranean Europe? You are hoping that the Euro holds on! For now, perhaps unwillingly, Germany will help out (forcing Greece to pay high interest rates on the financial aid). Will it do so again when it’s the turn of some other (large) Country instead of Greece?
Mauro Gallegati: Globalisation frightens many people and encourages others. What are your views regarding the future of globalisation?
Greenwald/Stiglitz: The fear that some Chinaman is going to take away your job is as widespread as it is irrational. This is because economies are structured differently. Agriculture provided the majority of American jobs back in 1850; now it provides less than 2% of jobs. Manufacturing was an important sector for more than a century, but now, in the USA, there are more people employed in the sports sector than what there are factory workers. Machines now do the work.
Globalisation will come to an end because we are moving to a post-industrial society in which services will dominate, which are in many cases not exportable (if your motorcar breaks down in Italy, you’re not likely to go and have it repaired in Bulgaria simply because it would cost less there). It is also not difficult to imagine that education and healthcare will be the leading sectors in the future: here we can look more optimistically at the USA and less so at China, Japan and Germany, whose economies are still closely linked to industry. The time has come for a Country like Italy to gear itself up to fully exploit it’s heritage of art, tradition and culture, which has the potential to attract millions of tourists. One word of warning though; the three Countries mentioned above are investing heavily in research and they are preparing to make the leap. A leap that will not be painless, but nevertheless essential because without research, there will be no future.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 06:18 AM in Economics | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 25, 2010

"TERRONI" - Interview with Pino Aprile

Interview with Pino Aprile, author of "Terroni"

The book entitled "Terroni" (Southeners) by Pino Aprile should be specified as a school setwork book. For the past 150 years they have been telling us the joke about the South being liberated by the Savoias in order to bring the southerners liberty, justice and progress. "Terroni" tells a different story, backed up by detailed documentation and careful research of the available sources. The story of an occupied Country, stripped of its enterprises, with hundreds of thousands of dead civilians. A Country "without fathers", where the people were obliged to resort to mass emigration (something that was almost unheard of) in order to survive after the arrival of the Savoias, who began by plundering the wealth of the area, starting with the Treasury of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. "Terroni" tells of the destruction of entire towns, the deportations, the birth of the Mafia groups allied to the new masters. The united Italy was also partly built on the blood of Italians.

Interview with Pino Aprile:

Blog: "Now, what has been done to ensure that the Southerners become southern Italians, what has been done in these past 150 years?
Pino Aprile: "All sorts. They have made use of arms, politics and the economy in order to create inequality between two different parts of the Country, something that didn’t exist at the time of Unity. This has never been taken into consideration, notwithstanding the fact that the best academics have maintained that this was the case for a century and a half.

A million victims
Lately, and by lately I mean now, the National Research Council, more specifically the Naples section headed up by Prof. Malanima, has been studying the economy, the products and the production of the various Italian Regions from 1861 to beyond 2000. What has indisputably emerged from this research is that, at the time of Unity, there was no difference whatsoever between the north and the south of the Country, so the difference must have arisen after Unity rather than being a left over in spite of Unity. Indeed the contrary is true, namely that this difference was imposed using arms and murder. The actual death toll has never been established, but the official death toll ranges from just a few thousand or tens of thousands of victims through to a number of counts claiming 100/200-thousand, as well as a few estimates, which we have to accept as true, such as the claim made by “Civiltà Cattolica” at that time that one million people died. Now, irrespective of the extent of the damage or the pile of corpses, it nevertheless means that unification was opposed, but what was being opposed was the manner in which it was handled because, at the time, there was widespread discussion regarding how Italy should be unified, with different views on how it should be achieved.
It was eventually achieved in the worst possible way, by shedding the Southerners’ blood and using their own money. If the Southerners fought for years and were then branded as bandits - while entire sections of the Army and the Bourbon forces took to the bush to battle against what was, to all intents and purposes, an invader that was fighting an undeclared war – if they fought for years, at the very least this should reflect a desire to resist, and if someone resists, surely it’s because he/she believes that he/she would not be better off, but rather worse off! The truth was, and even the Unity guru Giustino Fortunato was eventually forced to admit that: we were far better off under the Bourbons.

Does the South really have an industrial culture?
Blog: "Industrial establishments, metallurgy, iron and steel, major textile hubs. Industry that the North did not yet have at the time of Unity but was flourishing in the South, so what happened then?"
Pino Aprile: "In reality, both the north and the south of Italy were taking their first steps in this field, equally important steps in the north and the south, so much so that the available data reveals that the industrial workers in the north and the south were equal, perhaps a few more in the south although the data is slightly skewed by the fact that many of the textile workers actually worked from home, so let’s say that they were more or less equal even though this is continuously being denied, but why? Because the classic example given is that the south had very few roads and very few kilometres of railway track and that this was proof of the fact that the south was backward, ignoring the fact that the comparison is being made between Lombardy and Piedmont, which are inland Regions without any sea frontage, and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, which had thousands of kilometres of coastline, so the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies had made an intelligent policy decision to rely on maritime transportation, so much so that, within little more than a decade, the Southern commercial shipping fleet of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies had become the second largest in Europe and its navy fleet the third largest in Europe because they chose to rely on maritime transport, just as the European Union is doing today with its maritime highway project. As regards the iron and steel industry, Italy’s largest iron and steel establishment was situated in Calabria and alone had almost as many employees and technicians as the entire iron and steel industry in the north. The largest engineering factory in Italy, and perhaps even in Europe, was situated in the Naples area, namely Pietrarsa and was copied by foreign countries. The legendary factories of Kronstadt and Kalingrad were nothing other than brick by brick copies of Pietrarsa, and they were the largest ever built. The same goes for the naval shipyards. The largest naval shipyards were located in the south. With the arrival of the new “Masters”, or rather the new bosses, in essence the locals found themselves in the minority and all of these companies were downgraded or even shut down. The new masters demanded the keys to the iron and steel establishments of Mongiana, which employed 1500 people, and then proceeded to shut them down and sell them as scrap iron. The official reason given for the move was that the time had gone for iron and steel establishments located in the mountains and far from the sea, but having shut down at Mongiana, the began to rebuild at Terni, even higher up and even further from the sea!”
Blog: “When comparing the numbers, it is said that all the money invested is lost, but your book tells a different story, namely that there has always been more investment in the north than in the south.
Pino Aprile: “It may seem petty, but consider the fact that the Treasury of the South spent up to 0.5% of the GDP, but on what? Actually, on extraordinary works, but what were these so-called extraordinary works? Well, I list these in my book, kilometre by kilometre of roads, school by school, etc, total numbers. But what is so extraordinary about a country using public funds to build roads, sewerage lines and schools? Why should this be classified as extraordinary works in the south? What funds were used to build the roads, the schools and the sewerage lines up in the north? Why is it that the 0.5% of GDP spent on extraordinary works in the south deemed to be a rip-off while nothing is said about the remaining 99.5%? Why is nothing said about the fact that the north has 30 to 60% more infrastructure than the south, without ever having had a Treasury of the North? Why is nothing said about the fact that one kilometre of the high-speed railway track between Turin and Milan, running between rice paddies and thus with no mountains to tunnel through, costs 52 million Euro? More than 100 billion Italian Lire, while 25 million Euro was spent on the far more complicated stretches of the Naples-Rome line, including tunnels, etc, and in France they spend 10 million Euro, and in Spain 9 million Euro per kilometre. So why the big difference?
I have no doubt whatsoever that Italy has a sense of being, but also I think that they didn’t have any at the time.

The sense of a united Italy
The question is not whether Italy should be united, because I believe that there are no doubts about this. We all feel like Italians and we are even proud of the stupendous and marvellous differences that enrich us as a people, different cultures, different languages, I say languages because a number of the dialects are not really dialects but individual languages with their own literature, etc, yet all of this has not weakened us, indeed it has strengthened the Italian-ness that makes us so different yet so much alike.
There is no argument about the fact that Italy exists, but the fact remains that it was not really wanted because, if the truth be told, Italy was never united, but was simply taken over from north to south, keeping the south downtrodden. For example, Italy was unified and a communal treasury created. A communal Treasury because the south was the most solvent state at the time and 2/3 of the money in circulation in Italy was in the south. Piedmont was the most indebted state at the time, so the treasuries were combined into one and the gold from the south was brought up to the north, as I am wont to joke.
Blog: "Using the Fas funds (Funds for Underdeveloped Areas) to fund the Milan Expo, but what does this mean? "
Pino Aprile: "The Milan Expo, Parmesan Cheese, the shipping companies of Lake Maggiore and Lake Garda, what it means is that the south is Italy’s ATM machine, while the victim continues to be labelled as the robber. We have to face facts. I had an analysis done by a psycho-sociology researcher on the united Italy, and what emerged was the existence of this minority state in part of the Country, which indicates the duality of this Country, but this duality is what drives the economy of the north. They think they are scoring, but in reality they are scoring very little and then blaming the disability pensions with which they buy votes in the south. This is stupid, because if the Country were truly united, the north would do far better, the south would do far better and we could become the best Country in the world. The alternative, however, is we continue to have one part of the Country subjugated by another part, then the feeling that it is better to be alone than badly treated begins to gain ground and this feeling is indeed gaining ground in the south, to the point of boiling over, while the north chooses to ignore it! "

PS: On Saturday 24 April, starting at 21h00 at the PalaCep at No.14, via Benedicta, Genoa, (Circolo Arci Pianacci), the Genoa Province and Anpi will be holding the Liberation Day Festival. We will also be there, gathering signatures for a referendum against the privatisation of our water resources and collecting foodstuffs on behalf of the Music For Peace projects.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 07:25 AM in Information | Comments (4) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 24, 2010

State funerals

State funerals

The only live eye with its own inner light still shining at the funeral was Sandra’s. Only one eye, her right eye, because her left eye was bandaged. In the "Dio Padre" Church in Milan 2, the last rites were pronounced for the tightwads in Power. Everyone who is anyone was there. Raimondo Vianello’s death was a good excuse for everyone to get together one last time before being overtaken by history. The living dead presiding unknowingly over their own funeral. They were not there to mourn the dead actor, but rather to mourn for themsleves. This was the first plastic funeral of the Second Republic, as well as the last. With a corpse dressed up like a Findus fish-finger, the claque, the applause, the fake hair, the wolf-like cheekbones of wannabe actresses, slightly dull crimson lipstick, tending to grey in deference to the occasion and floral tributes to the deceased, all laid out in no particular order. The Prime Minister was there, as well as the President of Rai, the “Ricchi e Poveri” band and Morticia Moratti with her make-up bag.
As always happens to him at other people’s funerals, the main protagonist was the psychodwarf. And when Monsignor Carlo Faccendini said, live on Channel 5 TV, that it was "Unnatural to think of them being apart", the psychodwarf naturally assumed he was referring not to Vianello’s tear stained wife, but to psychodwarf himself, one of the walking dead, and so he tried to climb into the coffin, only to be held back by his bodyguards. All of the symbols of the Italy of scoundrels, which we have now been living with for the past twenty years, were all present and correct. The scribbler-for-hire press, the boobs-bums-and soccer television, the Mediaset repeaters, the Craxism, the Mafia in Parliament, the cowardly and brazen freemasonry, the Vatican in our bedrooms and the court jesters. The faces of an ageing Italy that is ready for its final walk. Raimondo’s funeral gave me a sense of optimism. He wasn’t there, but if he had been, he would have agreed with me. The bells were tolling for everyone. There are certain events in the history of mankind that are a watershed, a clear dividing line between what came before and what comes after. Their importance only becomes evident with hindsight. The discovery of America, the taking of the Bastille, Stalingrad, and Vianello’s funeral. The Lambro River reduced to a tip, mirroring the Italian Republic, was flowing by very close to the parish church full of cut flowers who’s fragrance invariably reminds us of funerals past. A river devoid of any life, raped by the affluence of the few. It seems impossible that children once dived into its waters while their fathers fished in the river on Sundays. Nearby, Milan 2 lay as a distant memory of better times. Then, with the coffin borne on shoulders, outside the church, applause erupted from the crowd.

PS: On Saturday 24 April, starting at 21h00 at the PalaCep at No.14, via Benedicta, Genoa, (Circolo Arci Pianacci), the Genoa Province and Anpi will be holding the Liberation Day Festival. We will also be there, gathering signatures for a referendum against the privatisation of our water resources and collecting foodstuffs on behalf of the Music For Peace projects.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 07:25 AM in Wailing Wall | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 23, 2010

"Controcanto" - Interview with Marco Revelli

Interview with Marco Revelli - "Controcanto"

When did it all happen? At what point did we become mere characters in a story where the plot is dictated by others and merely acted out by us? One step at a time, the theft of a small part of our everyday identity, a slight change in the meaning of the words that we use. Thus we have changed and we are only now beginning to realise this, now that the storm is about to break above our heads. Marco Revelli tells us a story, our story, even though it seems to be the story of people from far away, people that we don’t know. He talks about slaves, but we are those slaves. He talks about vanished rules, laws and institutions. They used to be ours. He talks about a social desert and a flexible language. This is Italy, and those words are our words.

Interview with Marco Revelli

The fall of the other Italy
My name is Marco Revelli and I am a political science lecturer at the Piemonte Orientale University. In my earlier studies and previous books I dealt mainly with political phenomena, and particularly the Italian political phenomena, in an attempt to view them in the context of the major social productivity and technological transformations, in other words, in the light of the major transformations that have changed our society.
I published this book, entitled “Controcanto” (Counterpoint), subtitled “Sulla caduta dell’altra Italia” (The fall of the other Italy). I chose to have it published by Chiarelettere, a breakaway publishing house if you will, with which I share a distinct harmony of thought, because I felt a need to make a symbolic break from the obscure climate in which we are living. The driving force that led me to combine these writings that span a period of about five years was the result of what you could call a trauma. At a certain point, we as a nation and not as individuals, stood up, looked at ourselves in a mirror and realised that we no longer recognised ourselves. I personally no longer recognise this Italy in which I live. I no longer recognise its institutional structures, its political structures, its social behaviours nor what we have become, so the question was: how did we become what we are today?
How is it that Italy, which has always been a two sided Country, a Country with the large body of an iceberg just under the surface of the murky water, complicated but not necessarily virtuous, with an autobiography of a nation that has been for the most part appalling and unacceptable, a Country that invented fascism, has lived for decades and decades under the despotism of the Vatican and is a Country of great conformism, is also the Country where, until recently, there existed another Italy, often in the minority, which Karstically broke the surface and from time to time even managed to speak up and mark certain periods of history, another Italy that had its critics and was prepared to listen to them. I think of individuals like Gaetano Salvemini, Piero Gobetti and the likes of Ernesto Rossi, as well as the great heretics outside of the Church who, all in all, spoke to their part of the Country.

The anticipated failure
From a certain point onwards it seemed as if all this was failing, that it was destined to be defined only by certain movements, radical anti-conformist movements for sure, but movements that had no citizenship of any part of Italy, certainly no part of the Italy as represented by the media and certainly no part of Italy represented by the institutions and so I asked myself: when did this happen? When did this failure come about?
It could be said that this failure was to be expected, it was like a waterline that had never been above the water surface, as is the case in most sinkings, however, I believe that there was a certain point when the process began to accelerate and I highlight that in this book, in the section dealing with the period between 2006 and 2008 and focusing on the summer-autumn of 2007 in particular, when a number of events occurred that affected the Country both institutionally and behaviourally.
On the institutional front, as you will undoubtedly remember, this was the time of the establishment of the two bodies that should have become the support pillars of the new political system, namely the Pdl and the PD. They were born via a lyophilised process and via an instant operation, the Pdl by means of a proclamation issued from the Chief at Predellino and the PD from within one of the grotesque Veltronian festivals by means of primaries that were spurious because they were faced with having to unanimously appoint a leader for a party that did not yet exist. Yet these were the two hegemonic parties, the Pdl and the PD, which were expected to re-design the architecture of the Italian institutions on the basis of exclusive bipartisanship, a bipartisan hegemony made up of two political powers that wanted to kill off and swallow everything around them and theoretically jointly redefine our institutional framework.
The other event that occurred during the same period revolved around a terrible matter, namely the murder of Giovanni Reggiani at the end of September that same year, an horrendous crime that made the major headlines having that occurred in the suburbs of Rome and for which a guilty party and accused was immediately identified and arrested. This event became a government issue and fell on the shoulders of none other than Veltroni. It may seem like we are talking ill of the fallen but it has to be said that, at the time, Veltroni was still Mayor of Rome and former leader of the Democratic Party, the same Veltroni who brought a murder in one of the suburbs of his Municipality into the national spotlight. An event that led to the immediate convocation of the Prodi Government, an absolutely exceptional event that generally only occurs when war breaks out or some catastrophe occurs and the necessary security measures are introduced

The meltdown of the Constitution
In my opinion, that is where a major slide began, an event that resulted in an intervention by an ethnic group becoming the scapegoat of a xenophobic fury, with the blessing of a centre-left government, and picks up momentum, like the wave that began in Florence with the horrendous Florentine ordnance against the window cleaners. Here too, the split extended to the cultural continuity and to the socialist and social Catholic humanism that had previously distinguished Italian social policy. A clean break that places us on a downhill slide towards showing hostility for our fellow man and for people who are different from us and towards what I call the prevalence of inhuman rhetoric of which the Lega Nord is the master, but by which everyone has been infected to some extent. The book attempts to tell of the dehumanisation of our Country in terms of propriety and the meltdown of its institutions. The image I use is that of Dali’s clocks, which melt and become fluid, precisely like the geometry of our Constitution, with its linear and orthographic form that curves and bend and that give rise to a myriad of conflicts that have caused our Country to go into freefall in terms of its democratic structures, with Berlusconi’s face and his history somehow superimposed thereon.

The communication bubble
The first essay in the book is entitled “Berlusconism as the overriding story” reveals the fact that, in reality, we are all living within a large communication bubble that has been developed within the vicious circle of the standardised media and the Country’s political government, represented by the current Prime Minister. A vicious circle in which one part refers to and supports another, one in which each of us are spoken about, to become part of a great media story in which the language is dictated by the band of servants that acts as the court of the Leader of the Government who not only controls and owns that great communication medium that is the television, the one that creates the bubble in the first place but that, above all, speaks his language. The language of Berlusconi is intrinsically the language of television. It is structurally so, not just the language of television news, the information, the language of the soap opera and the reality shows, and the containers that reveal styles of behaviour and lifestyles that make the people say that Berlusconi speaks our language, not because Berlusconi has imitated the people’s language, but because he has offered the people his own language and superimposed his own language over their original one. It has become everyone’s preferred medium and everyone who accepts this, those who push and shove to stay within the communication system, which is predominantly media based, eventually find themselves included in that story. We think of poor Veltroni and his rhetoric about the end of hate in politics and the Cavaliere’s ugly cone, Bersani, whose script is re-written for him every day and who one day represents the party of hate and the next day the party of love, and sometimes half each, without ever having any personal independence.

Could it be that I am dealing with slaves?
So how do we get out of this situation? I believe that the only way is to pop this media bubble and the communication bubble and escape by means of ethical and visible secession rather than political secession, as well as by rejecting the plot of this story and the language technique.
We need someone, although I cannot identify anyone from amongst the current political environment, who for once will have the courage to choose his own public, however small that public may be, and swear allegiance to that public, beginning with the potential political benefits to be gained. Someone who is prepared to make a behavioural choice that goes well beyond continuous compromise that currently dominates our politics, and bring in a better language, someone with the ability to construct new words for a new language. The left wing is dead because its language died. The words of the left wing of the nineteen-hundreds is no longer valid tender and the left wing has failed to invent a new language that is not this amorphous semi-language that only confirms the lack of faith of those that use it. Hence the book’s title, “Controcanto” (Counterpoint”, a voice singing outside the choir, a tune that is totally different from that of the great circus that the grand illusionist has set up, this great circus made up of all his servants.
This conversation is taking place in a place where the spirit of the great man himself (the Gobetti Study Centre in Turin, Ed.), Piero Gobetti, lives on. In 1922, the latter presented this Publishing House, which went on to provide a counterpoint to the fascism that was sweeping through the Country, with a new logo that contained a Greek expression, namely “Ti moi sun douloisin?”, which means “What have I got to do with slaves?” or “Could it be that I am dealing with slaves?” I believe that this motto is incredibly meaningful today.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 11:40 AM in Information | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 22, 2010

5-Star MoVement in Emilia Romagna: the issue after the elections

5-Star MoVement in Emila Romagna: the issue after the elections

The guys of the 5-Star MoVement in Emilia Romagna will tell us what happened after the Regional elections.

“Hello all, we are standing here at the Emilia Romagna Regional Administration buildings where, within just a few days, Andrea De Franceschi and Giovanni Favia will be taking their place on the Regional Council and so, together with them, we will gain access to these halls so as to try to learn a little more about what goes on in there and understand what happens to all of the Regional political funds.

We are here today to explain what really happened with regard to the selection of a second Councillor to join Giovanni Favia on the Regional Council. In recent days you will have come across a great deal of bullshit in the newspapers and on the Web, spread by our detractors who are still gnashing their teeth and, I assure you, we can hear the sound of their anguish and indigestion.
They have been telling you things such as: the “grillini” are just like everyone else, the “grillini” don’t respect the democratic vote, the “grillini” are already fighting over positions, the “grillini” stink, the “grillini are like the plague, and this from a bunch of plague-spreaders! The truth is that there could have been no more democratic and widely supported method than that which we used to elect our second councillor. You should know that Giovanni Favia was the main candidate not only for Bologna, but also for Modena, precisely because there was some internal strife in Modena.

The situation in Modena
To cut a long story short: the “grillino” Municipal councillor elected last year, namely Mr. Ballestrazzi, is not viewed in a very good light by a certain group of “grillini”, so there are two different factions in the Modena area. Similarly, Ballestrazzi’s friends look down upon the other group of “grillini” that does not support the aforesaid Mr. Ballestrazzi. In Bologna Province, none of the 9 Regional Council candidates did any campaigning whatsoever on their own behalf, but each of them worked towards ensuring the greatest possible support for Giovanni Favia, But why? Our objective was to show the tongue-waggers amongst us that a vote given to the 5-Star MoVement would not be a protest vote but rather a considered, targeted vote given to an esteemed individual that had already done an excellent job while serving on the Bologna Municipal Council. The 9,273 votes in favour of Giovanni Favia is an incredible result, which is usually only achieved after 15 to 20 years of political campaigning.
In Modena, instead, our friends from the local branch of the 5-Star MoVement chose to conduct a personal election campaign, in other words, each candidate splashed out on campaign posters, advertising on the Web and various other means for advertising themselves and their candidature. This meant that, as you will undoubtedly understand, Andrea De Franceschi’s 371 votes in favour in Bologna were nowhere near and not even vaguely comparable to the 717 votes obtained by Sandra Poppi in Modena.
At that point, by mutual agreement with all of the Provinces, including Modena Province, we decided to hold primaries, which we called “secondaries”, in order to select the second Councillor because we felt that this would be the most democratic way and would allow for the broadest possible consensus. Perhaps somewhat naively, we believed that the newspapers would have heralded this step, that they would have reacted positively and perhaps even held this up to the other parties as an example of how such situations should be handled, namely by consulting the rank and file instead of making an authoritarian choice and then handing it down from above.
40 Individuals were entitled to vote in these primaries or secondaries. Who were these 40 individuals you may ask? Well the 40 people in question were none other than the 40 candidates standing for election to the Regional Council, in other words, the 40 people selected by the rank and file in each province, so we’re not talking about 40 arrogant bumpkins as our detractors and the newspapers have tried to depict them. Sandra Poppi and Andrea De Franceschi stood up before these people and explained what they have done to date for the MoVement, politely and with mutual respect for each other. The Provinces were able to ask questions, to which the two candidates responded openly. Note that not only the 40 voters were present, but that this was an open meeting that anyone was free to attend, so all of the people that were there and that wanted to participate had the opportunity to ask questions or simply to have their say.
After having listened and discussed the issues, a vote was held and the final outcome of the vote reflected 31 votes in favour of Andrea De Franceschi, 8 votes for Sandra Poppi, with one abstention. This all took place in an excellent atmosphere and I would defy all of the other parties to do as we did whenever they need to make a decision such as this.
If this process was not to Mr. Ballestrazzi’s liking, he is free to get angry and to feel some resentment because a bit of resentment is perfectly normal in any true democracy when one is in the minority, particularly in the light of such an overwhelming majority, after all we’re talking about 80% here, however, the important thing is not to denigrate other people and that everyone knows the truth. The individual is even free to explain his/her reasons and explain them, but he/she must nevertheless tell the truth.

Then, as regards the newspapers, well, what can one say? It is our hope that sooner or later the newspapers in Italy, in Emilia Romagna and in Bologna will begin to truly seek the truth and stop trying to sell more newspapers by chasing nonexistent scoops!

One more thing! Ghandi used to say that first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you and then you win! Folks, welcome to phase three!
“Massimo Bugani”***

Following the initiatives undertaken against the 5-Star MoVement in Emilia Romagna, Vittorio Ballestrazzi has been banned from speaking on behalf of the 5-Star MoVement and from using the associated "5-Star Civic List " and "5-Star MoVement” logos ".

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 04:51 PM in MoVement | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 21, 2010

5 Star MoVement in Veneto: taking stock after the elections


David Borrelli, candidate for the position of President of the region of Veneto in the last regional elections tells us how it went.

Meetup: " David, it’s a general opinion that Beppe Grillo‘s 5 Star MoVement had incredible success in the last elections, two councillors elected in Emilia and two in Piedmont. However you in Veneto, you have been left out in the cold even though it seemed as though you had the numbers. What happened? "
D. Borrelli: An issue that is simply technical in the basic electoral law. Many people put a cross on the symbol of the 5 Star MoVement that was nearest to my name, and were convinced that probably in that way they would have guaranteed me a place in Veneto’s regional council. Instead, unfortunately, the election law sets out exactly the opposite. They should have put a cross on the symbol that was the furthest away from me, the one connected to the provincial list and many people didn’t know that and they “made a mistake” in voting which didn’t allow us to enter.”

Meetup: "When you made the decision to have a try, what was the objective that you gave yourself?
David Borrelli: “Obviously it was an objective very different from becoming a councillor. We knew that a regional list is a very important challenge, very tiring, so our main objective was to succeed in putting the symbol of the 5 Star MoVement in all the provinces of Veneto so as to give every voter in Veneto the chance to know that we exist and that we are here and this objective was achieved and so we are all very happy because we all knew that there was a serious problem, above all connected to the signatures. It was difficult to collect so many signatures. We managed it and we are happy about that.”


The election campaign
Meetup: "The presentation of the lists created problems in the whole of Italy, for example in Lazio, in Lombardy, what were the major difficulties that you encountered during the process of the presentation of the lists?”
David Borrelli: Yes sure, the collection of signatures was hard, the weather was cold, time was short, and so yes that was a difficulty, however I believe that the presence of certain independent candidates within Italia dei Valori had an influence. These people who up until a few months ago perhaps presented themselves in their own towns with civic lists connected to Beppe Grillo using his name and his face, according to them, suddenly with a specific project connected to Sonia Alfano suddenly decided to put themselves forward as independent candidates within Italia dei Valori and this inevitably created a few problems, a bit of confusion. The voter no longer managed to understand who they should vote for. In this sense it did cause absolute confusion. Another of the big problems according to us, was the silence, as Beppe often says, when the media doesn’t say that you exist, everything becomes more difficult. This is our true, true enemy: silence. Apart from then breaking the silence when there’s an attack, something that is unfair, for example, here, those candidates that I talked about earlier produced a press releasePdf.png expressly asking people not to vote for us. This came out in the newspapers. When Beppe goes on holiday, Beppe gets into the newspapers. On the other hand, when we do something positive, when we put ourselves forward as candidates, when we say that we exist, a veil of silence comes down. We didn’t get angry with these people who have made this choice. This is the year of love and so we wish these characters a long political career because I believe that that is what they want. So we wish them that with all our hearts, however, we wish them that outwith the 5 Star MoVement because we are something else, at times, in life, we happen to find ourselves at a fork in the road and it’s right that each one of us chooses the path that we feel is the right one for us. They have chosen another one. We say good bye with a “see you again” and we wish them good luck.”


As a consequence of the initiatives taken against the 5 Star MoVement in Veneto, Davide Bortoletto, Franco Dal Col, Maurizio D'Este, Carlo Reggiani and Erik Pozzato are warned not to speak in the name of or on behalf of the 5 Star MoVement nor to make use of the related logos: "Lista Civica 5 Stelle" and "MoVimento 5 Stelle"

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 07:28 PM in MoVement | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 20, 2010



The photo of the VIP Box at the Lazio-Roma match last Sunday can seem innocent, much ado about nothing, instead it’s the demonstration of the existence of a virus that attacks politicians. A disease that even infects the newly-elected ones and that in fact establishes two social classes in Italy: the VIPs and all the others. For the Derby in the Box of the Olympic Authorities, 242 places managed by the host team and by CONI, the people seated in the light blue extra-large armchairs were the new masters of the ‘Bel Paese’, that for them is the true ‘Paese di Bengodi’ {wonderland}. They are VIPs who have won the ticket of the Italian Lottery, dark blue cars, a pension after two and a half years in the legislature, free absenteeism in the Italian Parliament and in the European one, double and triple jobs, double salary, immunity from the laws, luxury flights. Between a buffet and a soft drink, the VIPs applauded the players on the field and showed their superiority as tribunes of the people, of the common people, like in Caesar’s time. Among the many: Renata Polverini, Paolo Bonaiuti, Clemente Mastella, Maurizio Gasparri, Francesco Rutelli, the directors of the RAI and the RAI Board member Soderini, Fabrizio Cicchitto, Giulio Napolitano, son of the President of the Republic. When they meet up, they recognise each other, they sniff each other like dogs in the park. They do things. They see people. “Friendly and informal environment, colleagues are relaxed” (words of the VIP Gasparri).
Symbols are important. A Box full of public employees who pose as the masters is the proof of our minority-status. The master is the servant and the one who should be serving has become an arrogant “parvenu”. Millions without work. Dozens of suicides of unemployed people in despair and a country in economic and moral ruin don’t disturb the VIPs. They are “relaxed”. They have no clocking-in card that needs pinging , no work obligations, no one checking up on them. They can, with an elegant metaphor, “fare il cazzo che gli pare” {do any fucking thing they like} and receive a fabulous salary. They love posing as statesmen, establishing new alliances, indicating unknown horizons. The only thing they don’t do is work, carrying out the task for which they were elected. An activity that is too plebeian. They don’t mix with the plebs. I think that the time has come for the settling of accounts, with courtesy, without violence of any kind. It’s not possible to continue making believe that nothing has happened. We will start with us. If we meet one of our employees on the street with their body guards, or stopped at the traffic lights with their dark blue car and driver or at the entrance to an important match or at a “first night” at La Scala, or in a TV studio or in any other place other than Parliament where they should be working … in that case, let us very courteously remind them of their duties in relation to the ones that pay them their salary with the deductions for their taxes. Do a video recording of the conversation, that I hope will be cordial, publish it on YouTube with the tag: "Educa il nostro dipendente" {educate our employee} and send a notification to the blog. In the future I will issue democratic fatwas by means of videos to a few employees who are examples of the category. They will never give up (but is it in their interests?). Neither will we.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 05:39 PM in Politics | Comments (4) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 19, 2010

PD and PDL becoming extinct

PD and PDL becoming extinct - Peter Gomez
Good day. I am Peter Gomez. Marco Travaglio has been blocked by the Iceland volcano, not because he is in Iceland but because he is out and about in Italy for a series of presentations, so today I’m going to try to talk to you about the things that Marco would have talked about.

The mafia must not exist
This week, both Marco and myself were really struck by the umpteenth outpouring of our President, Silvio Berlusconi about the facts relating to Cosa Nostra. Last week on 16 April, the day when the public prosecutor asked for a prison sentence of 11 years in the Appeal hearing for Senator Marcello Dell’Utri, who was sentenced to 9 years in prison at the first level trial for external collaboration in mafia association, Silvio Berlusconi came out with one of his “leitmotiv” that have been typical of his way of doing things since 1994 and this time, for the newspapers, he attacked Roberto Saviano, the author of “Gomorra”. In reality, the issue is more complex and it doesn’t relate only to Roberto Saviano, but it relates to all of us.
For those of you who haven’t read it, I’ll remind you what Berlusconi said. He said that our mafia turns out to be the sixth in the world and that however, it is the one that is well known because it has had promotional support that has brought it to be an element that is very negative when people are judging our country and he then called to mind the 8 series of “La Piovra” broadcast on TV in 160 countries in the world and above all the literature about the mafia happenings starting off with Gomorra and going on to all the others. For those who have read the newspapers in the last few days, you’ll know that Roberto Saviano is dealing with his own way of defending himself and he has also mentioned the idea of leaving his publishers, “Casa Editrice Mondadori” and this is why he has brought about the intervention of Marina Berlusconi, the Premier’s daughter, who is the President of Mondadori. In fact, behind this posturing by Berlusconi that as I said, is not at all new, there’s a hidden way of thinking that is very old and is not even “made in Berlusconi”.
In fact, the first one to come out with this story was Michele Greco, the father of the mafia who during his trials started to attack furiously “The Godfather “ by Mario Puzzo”, saying that the book, that novel, all that talking about the mafia, was what had brought him to the dock. Premier Berlusconi , then, in October 1994 picked up this type of declaration for the first time, saying that we had done a lot of damage to the country with the fiction about the mafia, because the mafia represents only an infinitely small part of Italy in relation to the 57 million inhabitants that were in the country at that time and immediately after that stand that he took in October 1994 there was another equally significant stand taken and it was taken by Totò Riina who at that time was already in prison because he was arrested 15 January 1993 and Riina from his cage responded: “Is it true?” President Berlusconi is right. All these things are inventions. All these things by “tragediatori” who are discrediting Italy and our beautiful Sicily. They say so many naughty things with this story of Cosa Nostra, of the mafia that they make people run away, but what mafia? what “piovra”? and it’s all fiction!
It’s not a matter of being polemical with Berlusconi but it’s a matter of dotting a few “i”s. The figures tell us that Berlusconi has an image of our country that is completely unreal. The first cause of underdevelopment of the regions of the south that today is being shared with the rest of the country starting with fiscal federalism to arrive at the secession, is organised crime, going beyond this way of rating things to see whether the mafia is at the first or the sixth position, certainly Cosa Nostra right now is behind with respect to the ’ndrangheta, but it’s still true that the mafias in Italy according to Censis {Centro Studi Investimenti Sociali = research body}, have a turnover of about 100 billion a year, that is 9.5% of Italy’s GDP is produced by organised crime. 70% of Sicily’s commercial companies and industries pay a “pizzo” and in fact this figure goes (or did go) up to 80%. With a survey conducted by means of anonymous questionnaires sent to 700 different entrepreneurs, Censis came to the conclusion that the reason why there is a big gap, a disjunction between the regions of the South and those of the North, is actually put down to organised crime. There’s a figure that is the best to however explains the significance of Cosa Nostra and the ’ndrangheta in the present day or what is the meaning of the power of organised crime in relation to civil society and it is a figure about the economy that has nothing to do with good or evil. Certainly we can remember that organised crime in this country, in the last few years, in the last 25 years has killed more than 10 thousand people, while all of us continue to talk about the threat of terrorism, when the terrorism of the time of the “years of lead” saw a total of 600 people killed, but the most impressive figure is the figure that we have to reflect on to understand what we are talking about when we are talking about the mafia. It’s a figure that comes from the reality of Bagheria. Bagheria is a town of 40 thousand inhabitants that is 20 kilometres from Palermo. For many years it has been the social centre of the old boss of Cosa Nostra, the old boss of all the bosses, Bernardo Provenzano. Well there’s a clinic that has existed for some time and still exists now. It’s the Santa Teresa Clinic of Bagheria. It’s owned by Michele Aiello, a pseudonym for Bernardo Provenzano. This clinic was really at the forefront. It was perhaps the private clinic that was the most advanced in the whole of Sicily. The best anti-tumour therapies in the whole of the island were carried out here. This is why patients came from all over the island.


Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:32 PM in Information | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 18, 2010

Viareggio: a disaster with no one to blame

Viareggio: a disaster with no one to blame
The Ferrovie italiane {Italian Railways} have performed miracles. The 2009 accounts bear witness to that. In 4 years, the “rationalization of operating costs” have brought about a reduction of 1.1 billion euro. The net profits have grown by 175% and have arrived at 44 million euro. The people of Viareggio who died, would be happy if they knew that. The blog is publishing the denunciation made by a former technical verifier that should be taken into account by the relevant magistrates. Up until now, as far as I know, no one has been charged with the Viareggio disaster.

”I am a former worker and technical verifier of the railways. This witness statement is in support of the victims and the families of the Viareggio disaster that took place on 29.06.09. The goods wagon that caused the disaster, was derailed on 22.06.09 at Vaiano on the Florence-Bologna route. If that wagon had been checked on the spot or sent to the nearest “squadra rialzo” (workshop) by means of ultrasound laser, (a technology that was already in existence 40 years ago), they would have discovered that the axle had been damaged and it would have been substituted, involving 30 minutes’ work.
This was the procedure 40 years ago, today technology has taken giant steps forward, with high speed trains (Rome-Milan) in 3 hours. That is right for modern needs, even the reduction of the work force can be accepted, however not at the expense of railway safety; in fact the goods sector has almost been forgotten: obsolete wagons that are more than 40, 50 or 60 years old, not undergoing preventative checks, moreover, there are tanker wagons transporting really dangerous liquids that can explode. 32 people died at Viareggio, dozens of people with 60%, 70%, 80% and 95% burns all over their bodies. I started with the railways on 15.06.1970 as a skilled worker in the locomotive depot at Leghorn. Even at that time, an engineer from Florence came to check the axles. Every 1-2 years these planned checks were carried out, or if the locomotive or the wagon had been subject to even a tiny derailment, perhaps in the goods yard. Then I became a verifier, and if anything like that happened, I stopped the wagon and if there was no danger, I sent it to the nearest “squadra rialzo” (FS workshop) for a general check. My task was to check the trains that were arriving and above all those that were departing and to check the brakes, then I issued a document called a TV40 that I got the engine driver to sign in duplicate, one for me and one for him, then the station master gave the “permission to go”.
In the station, there was a station operations team, today called “formatore”, that together with the manoeuvres team, made up the train in accordance with the weight, length and destination, etc.; then the controller made a note of all the wagon identification numbers that are written on the sides of the wagons and in other places, then he issued an M18 document in duplicate that he got the engine driver or the train operator to sign. One copy stayed in the files of the departure station and one for the arrival station or the marshalling yard. Thus even if the wagon catches fire there’s a paper document or a computer document of the number of the wagons. When a train derails, at times, it takes kilometres before the train stops, thus especially if the wagon is loaded it is very very stressed and the axles are the first ones to suffer because the wheels hit on the cement sleepers. Some witnesses saw the train of the disaster giving out sparks at a distance of about 20 Km from Viareggio. Doubtless the wagon was braking and the overheating for so many kilometres, by induction acted in such a way that the axle which had already deteriorated from the torsion then broke (you can see this clearly in the photo). The almost certainty that the wagon of the disaster is the same one that was derailed in Vaiano and that in Viareggio it was the first one at the head of the train, while at Vaiano it was the last one at the tail. These types of trains have blocked composition. When they arrive at the arrival station they go to the unloading or loading point, then the locomotive goes to the depot and when it next departs, the head becomes the tail and vice versa.
I have personally many times seen wagons with braking in operation that were stopped in the station after the one where the anomaly was noted; today, unfortunately, the stations are deserted because of the reduction of staffing levels. It would have been enough to place heat detectors or video cameras connected to the ‘Dco’ {Central Operations Manager} and the train would have been stopped in time thus averting the disaster. I am making this denunciation now because just 15 days ago, photos of the derailed wagon at Vaiano came into my possession.” Menchini Marco

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:00 PM in Transport/Getting About | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

The sacred cows

The sacred cows

Everywhere you turn in Italy you come face to face with a sacred cow. Should you dare to want to turn it into steaks, try to move it from your path or you simply state that this is a sacred cow, perhaps even a skinny one, then the custodians of the sacred cow will immediately step in. The cow, because it is indeed a cow that we are dealing with, is often unaware of all the fuss and continues to do precisely what cows do, namely browse on the grass and parade around the media that invite it to express its hard lowing. Still renowned is the cult of the Veltroni cow at Lingotto in Turin. For many months this cow was adored by the newspapers, just like the golden calf was adored by the Jewish people (who then proceeded to get rid of it). Topo Gigio, instead, continues to infest the management of the has-been little pdwithoutanel party with his daily gems. The cow that was to succeed Agnelli, the Attorney’s ruminant heir, was protected for years by the entire constitutional spectrum, from Fassino through to Bertinotti and from “La Repubblica” through to the “Corriere della Sera”. This was a voracious cow, hungry for dividends: the tronchetto of unhappiness, the quadriped (or quadrumane?) who has for some time now been spending his days in the Milan Courts claiming that he was a President of the company but was unaware of what his people were getting up to. A cow that was not of sound mind. Sacred cows can be identified by the number of front-page quotes, presences on talk shows and their moral superiority. As regards the fallen sacred cows, as happens to almost all of them sooner or later, are never butchered, but recycled in moderation. They are approached for an opinion, to sit on the board of some or other bank, or for a Sunday interview. Sacred cows are always "politically correct": humanitarian, anti-racist, progressive and non-violent. One sacred cow leads to another, writers, journalists, politicians, their media consumption is endless. Sacred cows are free to plunder the henhouses and eat all of the chickens. Since they are sacred and since they are cows (if they were foxes it would be entirely another matter) no one can shoot them. Sacred cows have their own personal protectors, like the god Krishna in India. In Italia, instead of protectors in the true sense of the word, the sacred cows have wretched pimps that create myths in order to distract the citizens while they run off with the loot. Who are the current sacred cows? I can’t say, but I can only think who they may be. Let he who is not afraid of the sacred cows cast the first stone (against them).

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 07:41 AM in Wailing Wall | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 17, 2010

Errani and Formigoni re-virginised

Formigoni and Errani ineligible

Yesterday, 15 April 2010, we crossed the Rubicon of legality. Alea iacta est. The main role player was not Julius Caesar but, more modestly, the Pdl-Pdwithoutanel duo, which has been attempting to destroy democracy in Italy for almost twenty years and, by the way, doing a pretty good job of it. The river in question was not the Rubicon, but the Italian Parliament, the Cloaca Maxima of Italian politics. The Chamber approved the “Save Errani-Formigoni” law with 435 votes in favour, 21 against and 41 abstentions. The pair, well seasoned over numerous legislatures as Premiers of the Emilia-Romagna and Lombardy Regions are safe for the time being. Until yesterday, . the law that prevented anyone from standing for more than two consecutive terms effectively prevented them from standing for re-election. Now, thanks to the ad-hoc decree, Errani and Formigoni have been re-virginised and they have been given a new electoral hymen. The law approved by the Deputies is in itself undeniable proof of the fact that Errani and Formigoni were not eligible for election. This is a post dated law designed to legitimise behaviour that was previously illegal. The “Save the Election List” decree effectively set a precedent for all future do-it-yourself postdated laws. Have you not paid your taxes? No problem, all you do is get together in the lounge with members of your family and you draft a little post-dated decree containing a tax shield. Have you been fired together with other temporary workers? All you do is call a meeting to approve a law ordering immediate reinstatement. Are you unable to pay your water, electricity and gas bills? All you do is draft a little post-dated law granting yourself a 100% reduction and send it off to Equitalia with postage to be paid by the addressee. Calderoli should simply burn both the Civil Code and the Penal Code. They are absolutely useless. Any law can be changed after the crime has been committed. It is merely the simplification of democracy, an entry into a new world in which everyone does whatever the hell they like thanks to post-dated legal provisions. The “Save Errani and Formigoni” law is yet to be approved by the Senate, but this is a mere formality. The Senators are obedient people. Then Napolitano still has to sign it into law, but this too is a mere formality. However, the decree is unconstitutional and I am committed to bringing it down. Meanwhile, for as long as the decree is in force, everyone will be free to make their own post-dated little laws and little decrees. Not even the gods can change the past, yet our politicians succeed in doing so without any problems, just as they are confidently screwing with our future. The corruptor becomes Prime Minister, the Mafia member a hero and Errani and Formigoni Regional Premiers. Are you disgusted by what is going on? Is the law standing in the way of your ambition to become a highwayman, thief, mafia don or extortionist? This is now all in the past. Thanks to the post-dated laws you will feel like a new man and, perhaps, once you grow up, you could even become a Deputy.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 07:47 AM in Politics | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 16, 2010

Social Racism

The Cesare Lombroso Museum
As a youngster, he stole the skulls of the corpses from the rural cemeteries so that he could study their structure in comfort. To the unsuspecting peasants who asked him what he was carrying, he replied: “pumpkins”. The lad of the cemeteries got a career for himself. He was called Cesare Lombroso. He did his apprenticeship as a military doctor during the battle against the phenomenon of the brigands by the army of the Savoys. A war of occupation in which tens of thousands of people of the south were killed. Many of their corpses were the source of research for Lombroso who managed to identify the reason for wickedness, their anarchy and their rebelliousness, in the structure of their skulls.
For Lombroso, a person is born a criminal, he doesn’t become one. It’s all written in our physiognomy. Last year the lombrosian pseudo-science came out of the cellars of the universities where it was entombed and thanks to the University of Turin, the Region of Piedmont and the city of Turin it has found a worthy place in the really new ""Museo di Antropologia criminale Cesare Lombroso" in via Pietro Giuria 15 just close by to the Parco del Valentino. The exhibition of macabre specimens, among which are those of brigands from the South of Italy, coincides with the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy. The young scholars of Turin can admire the "fossetta anomala" (anomalous dent} in the skull of the brigand Villella, a proof for the pseudo-scientist Lombroso of the theory of “atavism”, the conceptual basis for the identification of the person born a delinquent. The Museum guide, on page 57 thus presents the presence of the brigand’s skull: “Room 5 – The skull of Villella: ‘The great discovery’”. And once more the voice of Lombroso telling the public about his “decisive” discovery: that unique particular coming from the scientist (?) and used as the evidence to prove his own theories. To highlight this aspect, that is the utilization of an “exception” to demonstrate the soundness of the theory, the display shows the skull in question inserted in a display cabinet in a series of other skulls, but in a more prominent position. At the end of the exhibition room there are objects of the collection dedicated to atavism, to carnivorous plants and to the skulls of animals.
The brigand’s skull was used by Lombroso as an ornament that he kept on the desk in his studio. A place recreated in the Museum where the voice of the bone collector “traces a vision of his scientific experience”.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:15 AM in Information | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 14, 2010

An appeal for Enrico

Enrico’s ordeal
A young man called Enrico Turco has telephoned me. His story is dramatic. After 4 years of every type of diagnostic test in Italy during which he has been treated like a laboratory guinea pig, in Thailand he was diagnosed with “lead poisoning”, an intoxication from heavy metal almost always due to conditions in the workplace. The Trieste hospital has not taken into consideration the tests done abroad, the tests that for now, have saved his life, and two days ago he was discharged. Now he’s in Milan and he is getting treatment privately, at his own expense. He has already spent 120 thousand euro for tests and treatment. Now he also has to pay for lodging in Milan as well as the doctor and the lifesaving drugs.
Enrico is asking us for help so that he can continue to live. His current account is:
Enrico Turco
IT 75 Z 02008 02201 000019516678

Enrico’s story
”I’m 37 years old and my name is Enrico Turco. I live in Trieste and I had never had any type of illness or pain. I was athletic and I loved cycling and running and these activities had been my hobby for 10 years. On 21 September 2005, I was taken into hospital because of serious pain in the abdomen, - intestine, stomach and trachea - that happened all of a sudden, following a physical exercise of intense strain, compression of the abdomen and difficulty breathing – to dilate the thoracic cavity.
The tests done:
- 4 high-resolution 4-colour CAT scans of the abdomen – negative
- 4 MRI scans of the abdomen, one of the spinal column and one of the head – negative
- 2 Angio CATs
- 1 scintigraphy to the bones
- 3 heart ultrasounds to understand the accelerated beating – negative
- they repeated the colonoscopy 4 times with a biopsy of the ileocecal valve
- an EGD 4 times with a biopsy of the mucous membrane
- they did a ‘barium meal‘ 3 times
- about 20 X rays to the abdomen, that was always full of faeces
- blood tests, white blood cells variable between 10 thousand and 22 thousand
- test for gluten intolerance


Postated by Beppe Grillo at 08:25 PM in Health/Medicine | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 13, 2010

The ENEL death generating station in Civitavecchia

The ENEL death generating station in Civitavecchia
Up until now, three young men have died at the ENEL electricity generating station in Civitavecchia. For the statistics that means there’s one missing. The mother of a young man who is the victim of a serious accident that took place before the fatal accidents, bears witness to the chronic lack of a minimum level of safety measures. Ranging from safety nets, to work tools tied to the wrist so that they don’t fall. The next dead person, the fourth, is already condemned to death but he doesn’t yet know it. Anyway, no one will pay for his homicide, just like for the previous ones.

Chronicle of an accident
This is the ENEL electricity generating station in Civitavecchia. We are at the Torre Val d’Aliga North entrance while over there is the Torre Val d’Aliga South entrance. This place reminds me of the accident my son had about 6 years ago. It was one of the first accidents at work that happened at this generating station. My son was walking at ground level, when another worker of another company dropped a hammer from a height of 14 metres. The hammer weighed about 2 kilograms and my son got it on his back. He got a fracture to the “spinosa D4”, that’s the fourth dorsal vertebra on the right hand process. He was not given assistance. Some workers came up, people who were there working, the site foreman, the person responsible for safety told him to go home and rest and to come back to work the following day. My son called me, and said: “Mum, I’m hurt, I’ve had an accident at work, don’t go to work, wait for me and take me to the Accident and Emergency unit, let’s see what has happened because I’ve got excruciating pain.” He arrived and I took him to the hospital. There in the hospital, as soon as he got to the Accident and Emergency unit they did an X-ray straight away and they told him it was a cervical trauma. The diagnosis was 3 days for trauma to the neck. They put a collar on him and they told him that after 3 days he could happily go back to work. He was kept in hospital overnight for observation, but the lad was ill. I asked them to give him a pain killer but the nurse on duty told me not to “rompere le scatole” {be annoying}. I went away and went home. I got some Aulin and took it to him. I stayed with him some time then late in the night I went back home.


Whose turn is it to die?
I’ve heard it said by various political personalities of Civitavecchia that when they started to construct the power station, that the statistics had said that there would be 4 deaths. We’ve got to 3 deaths. I hope that we don’t get to the fourth, and then according to me, there’s no safety in this building site … They become little numbers. Now we’ll do this power station. There’ll be 4 deaths, so let’s put our minds at rest. One morning a person comes in and says: well, whose turn is it to die today? It’s something absurd, truly absurd.
Among other things, the Mayor, in an interview, said that as regards the statistics, ENEL is within the rules. It’s within the rules because there have been just 3 deaths rather than 4? This I find truly mad!
They say that the ENEL power station brings wealth, I don’t know to whom. There’s something to be specified: that there are 350 electricity company workers working at the power station. The network of interconnected suppliers accounts for about 2000 people working for 4 or 5 years, the duration of the construction of the power station and then they all go home, they all get laid off. The wealth that ENEL has brought us, according to me, is just death, accidents at work, so many accidents that are not even known, and it’s brought us so much pollution to Civitavecchia, deaths from lung cancer, for leukaemia have gone up, almost all the babies are born with asthma, suffering from respiratory problems, now you die of cancer as well, especially the women, cancer of the bladder, that’s a new cancer, before you didn’t hear about this and you die, unfortunately you die not just for working at the power station, but also for all the pollution caused, even though they assure us that everything is above board, that the coal fired power station doesn’t pollute.


Postated by Beppe Grillo at 08:23 PM in Information | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 12, 2010

Fahrenheit Calderoli

Fahrenheit Calderoli - Marco Travaglio
Good day to you all. Today I wanted to talk to you about reforms, not the reforms that would be useful to Italy because we know practically everything about those. You just have to look around you to realise what would be useful. It was even repeated by Michele Ainis recently on Annozero what would be useful would be harsh laws against the conflict of interests, against the gerontocracy in the public administration for the renewal of the class of leaders, we need reforms to restart production towards that gigantic meadow that is the green economy, the whole discussion that for years has been carried on by Beppe Grillo together with his collaborators and consultants, thus I’m not here to infect you because you surely know more than me! It’s what is on the agenda of all the democracies where there are politicians; I wouldn’t say young ones, but at least contemporaries and not fossils. Instead I wanted to talk to you about the reforms that they are talking about in the palaces of politics and that will be mobilising people’s attention in the next few months because there is such a surplus of words, especially of key words, that in the end there’s the risk of no longer understanding what they are talking about.

Calderoli, the reformer

The first thing I wanted to highlight is that one more time, the “king maker” of the Italian-style reforms is a strange fellow called Roberto Calderoli. It was he the other day who was received in the Quirinale by the Head of Stateso that he could tell him about the orientation of the government and the Majority, to give him a preliminary draft that he is working on. He went to the Quirinale without even telling Berlusconi. By now the Lega behaves like the master even in the home of the others, even in the home of the Centre-Right, taking advantage of the good election result that it had.
However, that mustn’t allow us to forget one thing: that the Lega is strong in 3 or 4 of the regions where there was voting recently and it reached 12% nationally which is a good result. But we are talking about a party that has fewer votes than Craxi’s Socialist party that already when it puffed itself up like a peacock, was invited to “abbassare la testa e a pisciare più corto“ {lower its head and piss less far} as they say down my way, with 12% you surely have a relevant voice but you certainly can’t pass yourself off as the masters of Italy or even of the North of Italy because not even in the north can the Lega claim to have the relative majority, nor the absolute majority in relation to the other parties.
So? Well there’s a sort of enchantment into which the other parties have tumbled. The parties that are in a deep crisis, the parties that are frightened by a party that is 12% and that last year had a bit more than 10%. Good numbers, especially if you look at certain territories. But anyway we are talking about 12% of the valid votes, calculating that really almost half the Italians don’t go and vote, or they get their ballot papers nullified, or they leave it blank. We have already said so many times, thus that 12% is not 12% of the Italians, it’s 12% of the Italians who went to deliver a valid vote, 12% of 50% of those with the right to vote that are still not the whole of the Italian population because it doesn’t include the youngsters up to 18 years and OK.
Why is Calderoli a curious character? Well because Calderoli has a biography that is rather grotesque.


Postated by Beppe Grillo at 07:04 PM in Information | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 11, 2010

Political Press Release number thirty three


Greece is knocking ever more loudly at our door. Next week its banks could close. It’s more than a hypothesis. Meanwhile its capital is migrating elsewhere in chunks of billions of euro at a time. All of Italy’s economic indicators are negative in absolute terms, as always, from the time that they have been measured, from the time when historical series came into existence. The response to unemployment, to the closing of the factories and perhaps of the country are the miserable and unconstitutional laws to resolve the judicial problems of an over-seventy-year-old “inceronato” {crowned with greasepaint} approved after a bit of theatre from an over-eighty-year-old who when he’s not sleeping, signs. The reforms on the French-style presidentialism, with the Moldavian-style correction and the Portuguese-style double turn are like the mini-orchestra that was playing on the Titanic. People run to the life-rafts and put on their life-jackets while a group of irresponsibles think about how to divide up what remains of the loot. The politicians have become our masters; we have become their slaves, more or less aware. The pyramid has to be turned upside down. Those who are elected have to carry out a single task: to put the programme into action and keep the citizens informed. The politicians use their mandate to increase their power and their visibility. Our employees should be working for us, but they spend their time on TV talking on top of each other and improvising being leaders with the complicity of genuflecting journalists. TV should be forbidden to the politicians. Let them go and carry out the task that they are paid to do in Parliament, in the Regions or in the towns. Each person is worth “one” and the politician is worth “one” like the rest because he has to give an account of his activity to the community. The stars of politics are on the whole scoundrels in search of visibility and privileges. They busy themselves with everything except for their mandate. This has to stop. The 5 Star MoVement has no ideologies, but it has ideas. It’s not Right wing or Left wing. It doesn’t want leaders (of what?) or professional politicians, but citizens elected by other citizens for the management of public things. The ideas of the 5 Star MoVement are like seeds in the air available to everyone. The objective of the 5 Star MoVement is the application of its Programme. We will succeed point by point, without mess-ups, without self-electing representatives.
From the "5 Star MoVement’s Non-Statute: “The 5 Star MoVement is not a political party and neither is it intended to become one in the future. It wants to bear witness to the possibility of putting into effect an efficient and effective exchange of opinions and democratic encounter outside the associative and party connections and without the mediation of directive or representational organisms, recognising in all the users of the Internet the role of governing and giving direction that is attributed to the few.”
They will never give up (but is it in their interests?). Neither will we.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 08:08 PM in MoVement | Comments (3) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

The disunity of Italy

The other Renaissance

About to turn 150 years of age, Italy is not showing its age. The Country still appears to be like a young girl. The Country still has a pre-union air about it, sort of pre- 1861, the year in which the Italian State led by the Savoias was born. The results of the latest regional elections reflect a time long, long ago, before the Renaissance.

Italy is a collection of various States subdivided into bands, just like the meridians. One band lies in the North, it is green and has a secessionist party that is masked by federalism and interbred with the very same centrist ideas that it claims to fighting against. It thrives on an alleged hatred for Rome, but it obtains its nourishment from Rome. The Lega is merely a warm cloth. The Piedmont region would very happily sign a deed to become part of France and equally the Lombardy-Veneto region to become part of Austria. After the north, just over the Po River, lie the glorious old States, such as the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, now called the Tuscany Region. These are the Indian reservations of a party that is falling apart, and simply waiting to regain their former identity. At the centre, white and yellow, nothing has changed in one and a half centuries. The Church State has elected its own candidate, Renata Polverini. The Vatican governs Rome, including its clinics and its schools, and owns vast amounts of real estate. Pope-King Ratzinger is more powerful than deceasedPope Pious IX was before the Bersaglieri entered Rome through the breach of Porta Pia. In addition to exercising worldly power over the Church State, they also exercise this power over the Italian State. The South, black with a few red bands, is self-governed by a variety of groupings with strong local ties, which form federations amongst themselves in order to develop the underground economy, from protection rackets to fraudulent tender bids. The Camorra in Campania, the 'Ndrangheta in Calabria, the Sacra Corona Unita in Puglia and surrounding areas and the Cosa Nostra in Sicily. This is the heritage of Garibaldi and the dissolution of the Reign of the two Sicilies. All that remains is Sardinia, the domain of the Seignorage of Arcore, and the border regions where German, Patois and the Friulano dialect is spoken.
"For centuries we have been downtrodden and derided – Because we're not one people – Because we're divided – Let's unite under one flag, one dream, to melt together". Goffredo Mameli wrote these words for his hymn, in 1847. "We aren't one people" is still applicable and the desire to "melt together" shows that, already then, we knew that we had never been one people. "Having created Italy, we need to create Italians" said Massimo d'Azeglio. "Create Italians?": A people cannot be built. A people is not made of bricks and mortar, but of culture and memory. However, various peoples can be united, but to do so we must first re-write our History.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 07:11 AM in Information | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 10, 2010

Nuclear Padania

Italy's hidden nuclear warheads

Picture courtesy of :

Italy is a nuclear power in terms of franchising. After the end of the Second World War, we obtained a licence from United States. In our Country, there are American warheads that are ready to be loaded onto a bomber aircraft and dropped on any rogue Country of choice. Over the past five years, this blog has revealed all possible information regarding the nuclear depots at Aviano and Ghedi Torre, which house some 90 nuclear warheads, including aerial photographs of the bases, the type of weapons, services, interviews and documents.
A US Department of Defence report estimates that the destruction potential of these weapons is equivalent to 900 Hiroshima bombs. The report was drafted by Roger Brady, commander of the Air Force in Europa, after a B52 transport aircraft erroneously carrying six atomic warheads flew over the United States. The report highlights: "problems with support structures, the depots' perimiter fences, the lighting, the security systems and the fact that the bases are guarded by young men doing military service with only a few months of training behind them".
A number of years ago, at the Ghedi Torre base, a group of youngsters held an improvised picnic for half an hour before being identified. It was a test to check the security measures and was later documented by a Swiss-Italian television service. Our neighbours have always been concerned by the possibility of a nuclear incident so close to their home. It could happen. The impossible is always waiting to happen. An explosion due to human error or a terrorist attack would wipe Northern Italy and a number of neighbouring Countries off the map. Farewell Padania.
There has been no reaction in Italy, yet for the Pdl and the Pdwithoutanel, who on a weekly basis worry about Iran having nuclear weapons, hosting sufficient nuclear warheads in our Country to wipe out life in Europe should be an issue to be addressed urgently. It's a matter of life and death. Even Time magazine, in a recent article entitled "What to do about Europe's secret nukes" asked the question: "Is Italy capable of delivering a thermonuclear strike?" According to Time Magazine, in the event of war , Italy could gain control of the B61 thermonuclear bombs situated on its territory, this by virtue of an agreement signed during the Cold War Era, .
The presence of nuclear weapons on Italian soil is contrary to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), as well as being anti-history, given that twenty years have passed since the fall of the Berlin Wall. These “Made in the USA” bombs must be sent back to their Country of origin. They may never give up (is it in their interests?), but neither will we.

Links to other postings on this topic:
Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?, dated 6 January 2010

Umberto Garibaldi, the anti-federalist, dated 10 December 2008

Online Referendum for the Dal Molin Base , dated 3 October 2008

Delirium, dated 4 September 2008

Vicenza: The Lega and the truncheons, dated 1 August 2008

Hiroshima is close, dated 22 June 2008

American occupation, Mentana information, dated 22 May 2008

The truth virus, dated 26 April 2008

Red Pill: the Vicenza base, dated 26 January 2007

A Country with limited sovereignty, dated 16 January 2007

Letter to George Bush, dated 13 April 2006

An appeal to the Marines, dated 28 October 2005

USABomber 2: no response, dated 3 March 2005

USABomber, dated 1 March 2005

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:37 AM in Information | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 08, 2010

The Mayors of Lombardy against the government

The Mayors of Lombardy against the government
Today in Milan, four hundred mayors of 400 towns in Lombardy went out into the street to protest against the “patto di stabilità” {stability pact} imposed by the government. This measure for cutting public spending rewards the squanderer and punishes the good administrators, and especially those in Lombardy. “Mortizia Moratti” didn’t join the mayors. How could she have done? The Milan accounts are strictly related to the Catania accounts. The thirty-year swap signed in 2005 has already given rise to a capital loss of about 300 million euro. The mayors of Lombardy are calling for fiscal federalism so as to be able to administer the resources of their territory suitably. Lega-the-thief, the mayor does not forgive.

The Blog interviewed the mayors:
The stability pact is throttling the towns
Blog – Can you explain briefly what the stability pact is and what is the proposal of the ANCI (Associazione Nazionale Comuni Italiani) {National Association of Italian Towns}?
Mayor – The stability pact should be of use to the public administration to reduce the public debt. How it has been put into practice now it’s not good for the towns that is the towns that have the possibility to spend. I’ll give you an example. Our town is Castelleone in the province of Cremona, it has a budget surplus of 2,760,000 euro but it cannot spend 100 thousand Euro to put asphalt on the roads! And these are the contradictions of the stability pact. The stability pact should be applied to those towns that haven’t balanced their books. Those yes need to rein in and reduce the public debt. However, those towns that have balanced their books should be allowed to spend the money they have.
A town that’s doing the right thing from an accounting viewpoint cannot spend the money available, that is the money of the citizens, the money of the town of Castelleone. This is not transfer money from the State. This is the contradiction of the stability pact.
Blog – So what is the proposal of the ANCI?
Mayor – The ANCI’s proposal is to allow the towns to spend the budget surplus , to spend their own resources that they have available. The problem is national, with the stability pact it’s national. The towns of Lombardy and those of the North are those with the biggest problems because as they haven’t done the spending before, as they haven’t got themselves into debt before, now they are having difficulty in ensuring there are the services and the investments in their own towns.
We are asking to be able to spend our citizens’ money on the work that our citizens are asking for.
Blog – And why is this not possible?
Mayor – It’s not possible because otherwise we would be going outside the stability pact. The stability pact is a balance between expenditure and revenue in a town and consequently if we don’t have the possibility to identify a route that allows us to satisfy the needs of our citizens in a town because our towns are absolutely “virtuous” in the meaning that they have not spent beyond their budget, we are simply asking to be able to make investments and for us also to have those opportunities that other mayors have, obviously not in the North of Italy. The typical example is Rome, because especially the small and medium sized towns because I represent a town of 20 thousand. There are some towns round about us that even have money that is deposited and staying still and blocked. They can’t spend the money because otherwise they would be going outside the stability pact.
It works like that, with the stability pact it works that the income, or anyway the economic resources that the town has in its treasury for a part they can be used by the town, for another part it is instead used by the State to pay off the debt with the European Community. Thus for example, if they have a hundred in the coffers, the State says look you can use 40. I’ll take 60 to pay off the debt with the European Community.


Postated by Beppe Grillo at 08:47 PM in Politics | Comments (3) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 07, 2010

Giuseppe Uva is asking for justice

Giuseppe Uva asks for justice

Giuseppe Uva died almost two years ago. The blog was one of the first to talk about him in November 2009, months before the news found space in the newspapers
On 9 June there’ll finally be the first hearing in the trial.
The Blog has gone back to listen to Lucia Uva, Giuseppe’s sister, to hear about the telephone conversations she came to hear about only recently.

Extract of the telephone conversations on the night of 13 June::
Operator 118: "118..."
Alberto Bigioggero: "Hello, good evening, my name is Bigioggero. Can I have an ambulance here at the barracks in Via Saffi? At the barracks of the Carabinieri?"
Operator 118: "Yes. What’s happening?"
Alberto Bigioggero: "Basically, they are beating up a young man..."

Operator 118: "Carabinieri? OK, greetings, it’s118, they asked me for an ambulance, I don’t know a gentleman telephoned and asked me to send an ambulance there to you, can you confirm?"
Switchboard of the barracks: "No, but sorry, who was it that called?"
Operator 118: "A gentleman, he said that they are beating up a young man and he wanted an ambulance..."
Switchboard of the barracks : "No, there are two drunks here at the barracks, now they are taking their mobile phones from them. If we need you, we’ll call you."

Switchboard of the barracks : "118?"
Operator 118: "Yes, can I help? ..."
Switchboard of the barracks : "I need an ambulance here at the Carabinieri barracks in Varese as I have to do a TSO (trattamento sanitario obbligatorio) {Obligatory Treatment in Hospital} ….".
Operator 118: "You have to do a TSO at the barracks of the Carabinieri?"
Switchboard of the barracks: "Yes."
Operator 118: "What’s happened?"
Swichboard of the barracks : "It’s a really violent, really agitated man who is threatening … "
Operator 118: "But is it that one who is in drunken state?"
Switchboard of the barracks: "Yes, his name is Uva… "

Lucia Uva, Giuseppe’s sister:
“The magistrates have kept these recordings for two years in their file. I went to ask for them precisely in January. In the first few days of January, because my other lawyers said they weren’t necessary. With the lawyer avvocato Fabio Anselmo I requested them and after that they placed them in the hands of my lawyer. I listened to them for so many whole nights and I can say that it is a shameful thing: not just the anger to hear this stuff, I wondered “how is it that the Magistrate in these two years did not think it valid to listen to both the recording of 118 and Bigioggero, that I think it is very important, because they are called an hour earlier and they arrive after an hour that they were called back by the Carabinieri.” I don’t understand why they didn’t evaluate these telephone calls, these are not questions that I continually ask myself but I would like him to give me the explanations.
Every night I am getting big ideas about everything that happened that night. My idea is that my brother inside those barracks must have really been in a bad way together with all those men.
Nothing frightens me anymore and I am not angry – because anyone seeing me perhaps thinks I’m angry – no I am disgusted!
Who do they want to take for a ride? For years they’ve been taking people for a ride. Those other police officers already did that 7 years ago with Aldrovandi, the same identical thing. I will never forget that recording that night when that police officer said that: “Federico jumped into the police car and snarled”, instead my brother "was possessed". So? Who are they trying to hoodwink? And then who is it that falls down the stairs, who falls and hits his head against the bars, who is it that hits his head … well have you finished taking the piss out of us? Enough! Enough! They massacred my brother. I want to know why they massacred him!”

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 06:34 PM in Wailing Wall | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 06, 2010

A werewolf Grillo in London

A werewolf Grillo in London - trailer
In 2010, for the first time in my life, I did a tour abroad with my show: "Incredible Italy", a warning to navigators on Italy’s capacity for contagion for good or evil. Just recently, above all for evil. We are an extraordinary country that has exported fascism, the banks and the mafia. We are used to it and we have the age-old anti-bodies, but the others are defenceless. Like the redskins and smallpox, like the Maya and measles. The virus can develop into shocking diseases: Nazi-ism, the crashes of 1929 and 2008, Al Capone and Cosa Nostra. I was a bit scared before I left, like a beginner at his debut. But I’ve been to London, Paris, Munich, Brussels and other European cities and everywhere it was “sold out”. Thanks go to everyone that made it possible. In Italy only a few provincial newspapers talked about it, like a colourful news item or to talk about the scoundrel who badmouths Italy. But how could I steal the show from the greatest Italian “badmouther” of the last 150 years, the tar-headed psycho-dwarf? It’s mission impossible. I stayed a week in London. I was invited to the London School of Economics and to Oxford to give lectures. The Italian Embassy complained to the University of Oxford for the invitation. If the invitation had gone to Cuffaro or Dell'Utri, they would have thanked the Chancellor. I met up with Ken Livingstone, the former Mayor of London who prohibited parking and revolutionised urban transport. I got the Environment Agency to explain how the Thames has become a clean river with dolphins that come up it from the sea, whereas only twenty years ago it was a sewer. The Minister of the Environment received me in his office. I went to the BBC, to The Economist here they cannot believe what is happening in our country and they are afraid of it. If it has happened with us, it can happen anywhere. Democracy can be transformed into telecracy. I visited an eco-sustainable neighbourhood with houses that cost and consume half as much as ours do. I saw another planet, from which, even with all its defects, we are separated by light years. And not just for the orderly bus queues, the passport in a day, the cars that stop if you approach a pedestrian crossing, the fast Wi-Fi that’s everywhere and the possibility for one who is handicapped to move around on the streets. Or for the thousands of other things that make life simpler, different from the jungle that Italy has become. Even for all this, but England is above all a different world because there’s a discussion of the future. For how long have we not been dealing with the future? Once upon a time, going over the border from Italy, you noticed the differences, but there wasn’t the sensation of having left behind you a stagnant pool, a frozen reality intent on navel gazing. I met up with many young men and women who are hoping for a change in Italy so that they can come back. At a certain point it felt like being muddled up with Garibaldi when I found so much affection. I can’t deny it, I enjoyed myself in London. The English are instigation to street satire. My journey to London in the second millennium has become a story: “A werewolf Grillo in London " that’ll be available during the month of April and can be ordered from today. It’s free for the schools.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:20 PM in Information | Comments (6) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 05, 2010

The triumph of crime

The triumph of crime - Marco Travaglio
Good day to you all,
I know that to talk about wiretapping and the justice system on Easter Monday is a little bit heavy, but it’s the moment to do it because what’s about to happen is the umpteenth attack by the usual well known ones, and thus I believe that within about a month we will be able to find in at least one of the two branches of parliament the approval of the counter-reform of telephone wiretapping, and thus it’s time to get prepared and we need to know what it’s all about. Because naturally, they will sell it to us as a regulation that protects the privacy of the citizens, that protects them from the leaking of information, from defamation, from the violation of secrets and other bullshit like this. In reality, this is a law that, in the way it has been conceived, has been done explicitly to prevent the telephone wiretapping and the discovery of those guilty of certain crimes; only that so as not to uncover the guilty ones, or some of the guilty ones, guilty of some crimes, the risk is that there will no longer be the discovery of almost all crimes, or at least the more complicated ones that today are discovered thanks to wiretapping.

From Mastella to Alfano, passing by Napolitano
In the last few days, Minister Alfano said he was willing to modify the law. He said he was willing to modify the law but, naturally, it’s a swindle, they are “pulling our leg”, in that this law could be modified in a few commas, in a few adjective, as long as it respects the orders delivered by “Cavalier Silvio Berlusconi” and that is that there can no longer be wiretapping of people that he talks to.
He is already not subject to wiretapping. Now he wants to make sure that even the people who he talks to are not intercepted. Thus, so that we are not being taken for a ride, it’s good to know what we are talking about, also so as to understand any possible outcomes resulting from any possible modifications.
As you know, this law is the offspring of the Mastella law; in certain parts it’s worse and in other parts it’s better, and it was already approved in one branch of Parliament in 2009, and after that at the moment it was to be approved in the other, that is in the Lower House, the Head of State intervened and with that strange practice that is called “moral suasion”, he made it known that if it were also to be approved in the same way in the other House of Parliament, he would not sign it. Thus he asked for it to be modified and thus he once more went in with his hands in the fabrication of a law, in the journey of this law, rather than doing, as I feel, more correctly, as he did the other day, when he waited for them to take the law to him at his desk, the DDL on Labour that extends arbitration to work contracts, and then he kept it, he weighed it up and the day following the elections, he sent it back explaining why he didn’t like it. And among the explanations, there is nothing about the obvious unconstitutionality of the law, which is a demonstration that perhaps we were right when we often said that it is not necessary for a law to be obviously unconstitutional to be sent back by the Head of State: the Constitution says that he can send back the laws that he doesn’t like for all the reasons that he can set out in the message to the Houses of Parliament.
Thus , this law, was subject to a “stop” last summer, and at that moment, they didn’t want to clash with the Head of State and one reason for that was that they were expecting within the space of a few weeks, the verdict of the Constitutional Court on the Lodo Alfano, and now naturally with the return of wiretapping from Trani and anyway with the passing of the years, this time, they don’t want to lose the opportunity to put a definitive gag on the free press and to put a leash on the magistracy. This is a gag-leash law.
Let’s have a look at the main points: I’m making use of the “Ad personam” book in which I have summarised them.
The first point doesn’t relate to wiretapping. It’s a regulation that they have slipped in just so as to give a beating to the magistrates: the magistrate has to abstain from a trial if he has made public declarations in relation to the case he is dealing with, and the Head Prosecutor has to substitute the Public Prosecutor if his name is in the Register of those under Investigation for the crime of revealing secrets of the investigation in a case he is dealing with. Thus, the magistrate has to leave go of the trial or of the investigations he is carrying out not if he has been found guilty of something like “violation of secrecy”: no, just if he is under investigation, thus if I am an accused person in a trial, and I denounce the Prosecutor dealing with the case and I say he has violated secrecy, it’s quite possible that it’s not true, but the very fact that he is under investigation on the basis of my denunciation means that his superior has to remove the case from him and thus a person who is under investigation can liberate himself from a disagreeable prosecutor and choose a more agreeable one. If then the magistrate has said something about the trial that has been assigned to him, he can no longer go on with it. I don’t know, they do a Press Conference to say “we have arrested Provenzano”: OK the magistrate can no longer act as the prosecutor in the trial against Provenzano because he has made statements relating to Provenzano’s arrest. Naturally, this is madness, however, it will become law and thus we have to watch out.
Second point: today environmental intercepts of telephone and telematic equipment, that is of telephone calls, conversations in an environment, or emails, electronic correspondence, and video recording and the acquisition of telephone listings is allowable for investigations of all crimes that can have a punishment of more than 5 years in prison, as well as those against the Public Administration with punishments of up to 5 years, as well as other crimes like contraband, weapons, drugs, usury, unauthorised financial activity, insider trading, rigging or manipulating the stock market etc.


Postated by Beppe Grillo at 05:35 PM in Information | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

Easter of those who died at work

ENEL Results for 2009
Easter Sunday will not be a day of celebration for the families of Sergio Capitani and a young man from Morocco who died at work. Sergio was killed by an explosion while he was at a height of 15 metres above the ENEL coal-fired power station at Civitavecchia. The young man from Morocco was killed in a mechanic’s workshop in Rovereto, squashed by a truck underneath which he was working. Before Sergio, Michele Cozzolino, aged 35, died in 2007 and Ivan Ciffory, aged 24, died in 2008. The laws give ever less protection to those who work. Every year there are a million injuries that are denounced, without counting those for the world of work in the “black market”, estimated to be 200,000 and more than a THOUSAND who die. Anyone who dies, with luck, leaves the family a “sum of money allocated for the circumstances”. Happy Easter to all those who have lost their loved ones at work. It is they who are the real heroes of our society.

Dear Beppe,
On Saturday 3 April 2010, there was a serious work accident at the ENEL generating station at Civitavecchia that caused the death of a worker and injury to three other workers.
ENEL claims to have “put into effect all the agreed safety measures” but I don’t see how this is possible, as if that were the case, that worker would still be alive and that tube would not have exploded.
I would invite ENEL to be more cautious when making such declarations. Every year in our country, there are a million injuries, according to INAIL, but I consider this figure to be low, given that many injuries are not denounced as they are passed off as illness or because they happen to workers who are not registered.
When you are working outside the rules, you can be blackmailed. It is estimated that injuries that don’t get denounced amount to 200 thousand a year.
For INAIL, this year, the number who died of their injuries will go down below 1,000, but this doesn’t give me peace when you consider that the drop is due to the crisis that there is in Italy (workers who are laid off or waiting to be transferred, and the number of companies that are closing down). It’s obvious that as soon as the crisis ends, the number of injuries will immediately shoot up.
Today, as always happens when there ‘s a serious accident at work, I witnessed the usual “crocodile tears” from the world of politics and the Trades Unions. But not even the shadow of action.
The Trades Unions and the Opposition should fight with all their energy to restore the law for safety at work that the Prodi government wanted to bring in (Dlgs 81 of 9 April 2008).
On 03 August 2009, in the midst of absolute silence from the media, there was the signing of the Dlgs 106/09, a decree that the Berlusconi Government called “corrective”, a massive word, because it wasn’t just limited to making corrections, but to rewrite half of Dlgs 81/08. The Dlgs 106/09 was strongly backed by the Minister of Labour Sacconi and it is a decree extending to 240 pages and made up of 149 articles.
Anyway, it is worth reminding people that this “corrective” decree reduces the penalties for the employers, directors and those in charge (penalties halved), while it increases those for the workers; with respect to the “save the manager”, that has not been repealed but simply rewritten (art 18, comma 3 bis), not in a brazen way like the previous one, but giving space for manoeuvre and quibbles in favour of the managers.


Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:55 AM in Information | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 03, 2010

The saviours of the Sequoias

Giant Sequoias

Once upon a time there were forests of giant Sequoias. Thousand-year-old trees, as tall as the sky, that lived on fire. Even when one of these Sequoias eventually fell to the forest floor, it continued to live through generations of men. The trees propagated themselves across the ground via their branches. But then civilisation reached the valley and with it came knowledge, economies of scale and the Europeans. The indigenous people were imprisoned for breaking laws that they knew nothing about. The only law they respected was that of a soul that links all life forms and that caused them to respect all forms of life. Their villages were replaced by wooden houses and dusty roads. The trees became mere firewood or building material. They cut down more trees than what they could sell. Some of the oldest witnesses of life on Earth were turned into mere Dollars. This became the new unit of measure for souls. The Sequoias became a freak of nature, drilled full of holes and transformed into huge arches under which the first motorcars passed through.
A few groves of these huge trees managed to survive. The first national parks were established. Modern zoos in which these trees could be observed. Frequent fires caused by lightning were fought in order to save the few remaining Sequoia groves. But the Sequoias continued to decrease in number and began to die for reasons unknown. We later began to understand that the reason was the lack of natural fires. These fires eliminated all the flora that competed with the Sequoias. By burning the dead trees, the fires enriched the soil, which now instead became increasingly arid. Sequoias are fireproof and aren't affected by fire. They don't burn. If you touch their trunks you can feel the heat.
First came the gold prospectors who cut down the trees in order to build ghost towns, then came the woodsmen who cut them down for saleable firewood and finally the saviours without knowledge and the apprentice wizards. It is difficult to say which of these were the worst. Difficult to choose between those who seek profit, those who destroy the environment and the saviours of the Homeland. To choose amongst those who, without any rules or sense of propriety, shamelessly pursues his own interests to the detriment of the community and that grant the community the wings of Icarus only to watch it crash and burn thanks to their partisan advice. The former are easier to spot because they make no attempt to hide, it's simply part of their nature. The others, whether they operate in good or bad faith, which is something we will never know as they often don't know themselves, are by definition the tree-huggers of the left wing. They turn democracy into a desert, but do so unwittingly. They are the epitome of self control. In order to make the Sequoias grow, you just need to listen to your inner voice. Everyone is equal. Every thought is equally important. Anyone who tries to label you is essentially annulling you. The 5-Star MoVement is neither left-wing nor right-wing. It is merely forward looking.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 05:51 PM in MoVement | Comments (3) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

The 5_Star MoVement "won't take the money"

The 5-Star MoVement "won't grab the money"

If you can't fight an idea, then slander those who spread it. It is an ancient technique commonly used by numerous regimes. “Il giornale” online, Il published an article penned by Fabrizio dell'Orefice and entitled: "Grillo grabs the money", subtitled: "He fought against public funding but now he is due to receive two million and Beppe is steering clear of stating that he will give the money back to the State". The journalist then proceeds to  stick in the knife, adding that: "What now? What will he do? What will Beppe Grillo do? Will he grab this damned money or not? You bet the Genoese comedian's movement will accept this public funding. ... Grillo's so-called Five Star Movement is entitled to approximately  1.7 million during the nexts legislature (around 340-thousand Euro per year). What will he do now? Does he cash the cheque or does he return it to sender?... It must be said that he has always been somewhat ambiguous as regards election reimbursements. For example, Beppe has conducted a very aggressive campaign against public funding of newspapers. This was the main battle of the second V-Day event. But the leader of the anti-caste movement has always been somewhat vague as regards the funding of parties or movements. At times even decidedly ambiguous. Unlike his people... So now, what will they do?".
"Good question", as Fabrizio says, what will happen to the public money paid out to the 5-Star MoVement, will it all be spent on women and cocaine? I would like  to satisfy his morbid curiosity and, I imagine, also that of his editor, Domenico Bonifaci.
I have arranged for a firm of attorneys to send the Director of, Mario Sechi, a letter requesting a rectification and explaining that:
- with effect from 26 March 2010 – in other words prior to the recent regional elections – Beppe Grillo's Blog, more specifically the website at posted signed statements by the five candidates of the 5-Star MoVement, very clearly declaring that they would not be claiming any of the so-called election reimbursements due to them and that they would indeed be “leaving them to the State”;
- Beppe Grillo's personal belief has been equally clearly revealed in the message posted on the that same site on that very same day;
- in any event, the latter, not having taken part in the election and not having any institutional role within the 5-Star MoVement – and even less so as representative of the MoVement, which, as can be seen from the rules that govern the said MoVement and published at the time of its establishment on  is not a distinct separate legal entity that can accept any sort of reimbursement – would not in any way be entitled to receive the aforesaid funding or, to use the words of the author of the article, to “grab the money”.
If anything, the ones “grabbing” money are the political parties and the newspapers that gladly accept government funding, and not the 5-Star MoVement.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 06:26 AM in MoVement | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 02, 2010

Send Errani and Formigoni home

immediate resignation for Formigoni and Errani
Once upon a time, there was Imperial Rome. Augustus, Vespasian, Marcus Aurelius, emperors by divine right who ruled until death. Then came the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages, the French Revolution, the Russian one, the twenty years of Mussolini and parliamentary democracy. Today, after a couple of millennium of history and of political evolution, we have arrived at the life-serving Governors by party-right. It’s a matter of individuals who, for reasons unknown to the citizens, but known to the party secretaries, manage a region for 15 to 20 years even though that is forbidden by Italian law. Article 2 of the State law 165/2004 prevents a President of a Region from putting himself forward as a candidate after two consecutive terms of office: “expectation of the non-immediate re-eligibility at the end of the second consecutive mandate of the President of the Regional Junta elected by direct universal suffrage, on the basis of related regional regulations”. The emeritus president of the Constitutional Court, Valerio Onida reaffirmed this in an interview. The spirit of the law is simple: anyone who gets comfortable on an armchair for too long, manages it like a centre of power. This gives rise to a necessary change. Formigoni is getting near having reigned for 20 years, Errani for 15 years. A bipartisan agreement between Bersani (D'Alema’s spokesperson) and Berlusconi. One Region for you, one for me. The candidates proposed by the PDL and the PDminusL as adversaries to the Eternal Governors are ‘sparring partners’, put up for the sake of appearances. Penati in Lombardy and thing-a-me-bob (I swear I don’t even remember his name) in Emilia Romagna were throw-away containers. Lombardy and Emilia Romagna were used as exchange merchandise between the PDL and the PDminusL without giving a toss for the law and for respect of the citizens. The whole thing was carried out with the most complete pre-election “omertà”: “I’ll stay silent about an out-of-date-governor if you keep silent on mine.” Before the elections I wrote that I would appeal if the duo erraniformigoni got elected. The law is equal for everyone, apart from for the PDL and the PDminusL. United in a mess-up.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:39 AM in Politics | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

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