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April 30, 2012

Passaparola - Greece is in default - Beppe Scienza

Greece is in default
"A couple of weeks ago, anyone who had, let’s say, 10-thousand Euro in Greek Government Bonds, would suddenly have received 24 different bonds in return for his/her original Bonds and, when he/she proceeded to add up the respective values of these new Bonds, he/she would have discovered that they have a total combined value of only two thousand Euro. In technical terms, this “default” is called insolvency. Whenever someone (whether it be a Country’s Government or a private enterprise) is obliged to make interest payments or to repay any invested capital and fails to do so, in essence this amounts to bankruptcy, although in technical terms it is called insolvency or default." Beppe Scienza

Mathematician and economist Beppe Scienza's, Passaparola

Two misrepresentations regarding Greece
Firstly I would like to say hello to all Beppe Grillo’s friends. My name is Beppe Scienza. I am a lecturer with the Department of Mathematics at the Turin University and I (unfortunately) deal above all with the topical issue of the abuse of savings. In the case of Greece, the issue is somewhat complex, and more than a little contradictory since, just a few weeks ago the television news and newspaper headlines were telling us certain things such as: "Greece has been saved", "Greek public debt successfully restructured" and "Greek bankruptcy averted". Then, suddenly, a couple of weeks ago, anyone who had, let’s say, 10-thousand Euro in Greek Government Bonds, would suddenly have received 24 different bonds in return for his/her original Bonds and, when he/she proceeded to add up the respective values of these new Bonds, he/she would have discovered that they have a total combined value of only two thousand Euro. In other words, Greece was saved and I lost 80% of the money I invested, so what shall we call this? The truth must be told, and that is that there have been two separate misrepresentations here:
1) one perpetrated by the top politicians and the members of the European Union and its Central Bank, who said: "We are going to rescue Greece", "No way can Greece be allowed to fail under any circumstances" and "Greece must be saved" but meanwhile, they were hastily making preparations for Greece to go bankrupt, and
2) the second misrepresentation, which came a little while later because the fairy tale that is now doing the rounds is that Greece has been saved.
The restructuring of the Greek bonds, and God forbid they should go the same way as the Italian ones have, occurred in two phases:
1) first a proposal was put to the banks, provident funds and insurance companies, asking them to accept that the bonds they held be replaced with new government bonds and accept that the values be cut. In effect, the vast majority of these so-called institutional investors accepted this proposal although, as to just how willing they were to accept the proposal, I refer you to what the head of the German Commerzbank, Martin Blessing, had to say with regard to the acceptance of the restructuring of the Greek public debt, namely that: "This is about as voluntary as a confession made to the Spanish Inquisition". Whatever the case may be, the Central Bank somehow managed to convince the banks to accept this deal and that’s their business.
What’s not their business is that immediately thereafter, even those investors who had not agreed to the deal suddenly found themselves in that same boat, in other words the nominal value of the bonds they held was halved and their market value dropped by 80%. Now, in technical terms, this effectively amounts to “default” and is called insolvency. Whenever someone (whether it be a Country’s Government or a private enterprise) is obliged to make interest payments or to repay any invested capital and fails to do so, in essence this amounts to bankruptcy, although in technical terms it is called insolvency or default. Greece has gone into default and is in a state of insolvency as regards those investors who did not agree to the restructuring deal. Greece has failed to meet its obligations and this is called insolvency, so Greece is effectively bankrupt. This is not the first time that that Country has gone bankrupt and indeed all Greeks will undoubtedly remember the statement made on 10 December 1893 by the then Prime Minister Charilaos Trikoupis, who said in Greek: "Δυστυχώς επτωχεύσαμεν" (distihós eptohéfsamen), which translates as "Unfortunately we are bankrupt".
So the Country was bankrupt then, and similarly it went bankrupt once again in the 30’s. The Greeks truly can, and do honestly say "Δυστυχώς επτωχεύσαμεν ξανά" (distihós eptohéfsamen ksaná), or "Unfortunately we are bankrupt once again". So, let’s stop bullshitting everyone by saying that Greece has not gone bankrupt because Greece has indeed gone bankrupt!

Same face, same race
However, it must be said that there is something rather strange about this whole restructuring deal and that is that it has not affected everyone equally because something happened that, if such a thing was to happen in the case of a private company, it would be called preferential bankruptcy and would be classified as a criminal offence. By the end of 2011, Greece’s public debt amounted to 380 billion Euro, which is extremely high and more than 170% of GDP. One would expect that that figure would have at least been halved by now, yet it hasn’t, but why? Well, prior to the restructuring and prior to the voluntary agreement to the public debt cutting proposal, a little sleight of hand occurred whereby the codes of all the bonds held by the European Central Bank, the Bundesbank, the Italian Central Bank, etc, suddenly changed and these bonds remained unaffected by either the proposal or the mandatory value cuts. These bonds, which remained as they were except for the new codes, received their interest earnings in full and the full value of the ones that had expired was paid out, no bankruptcy there then!
Now we can’t honestly say that any private individual benefitted from all of this, but only the same old European Union financial system that lent the money in the first place. The action may even be justified, however, it is nevertheless rather strange and was discussed and even object to by Bundesbank President Weidmann, who felt that if the truth be told, this action appeared to be very strange indeed. So Greece was indeed bankrupt, but not when it came to the Greek Government Bonds held by the various central banks.
At this point, the important thing is not to become embroiled in any legal action against Greece and not to hand over any money to attorneys that promise to instigate legal action to recover at least some of the money that has been lost. Sovereign States are called “Sovereign States” precisely because the can decide not to pay their debts if they so wish, so either we declare war against them or that’s the end of the story. Now no one is thinking of declaring war against Greece, however, it is important not to throw good money after bad by instituting legal action, even if there is a good chance of winning it in Court because, although a number of parties won legal cases against Argentina, some even in the American courts, it all came to nought because they won the court cases but they never did get any of the money awarded to them.
It may well be worthwhile to take this argument by saying: it happened to Greece ... what could this mean for Italy? Could the Greek case be a model for what could happen in Italy? Obviously a very, very delicate topic.
One question that many people are asking themselves is: “How come we have gotten to this point?” It is said that it happened because the Greeks were falsifying their public accounts and was making a mess of it too. This is true, undoubtedly Greece was utilising derivative contracts, which is the reason behind the disasters in many of our Italian municipalities, regions and provinces. Greece had even done this with Goldman Sachs, for example, when Mario Draghi was with Goldman Sachs, just in the interests of accuracy. They had hidden the shortfalls and had made the public debt appear to be less than it really was. All of this in unquestionably true, however, it must also be said that a little more diligence, adroitness and farsightedness by the European Union and the European Central Bank would also have gone a long, long way indeed. How is it possible that no one had any suspicions whatsoever until finally, in 2010, the financial markets began to become concerned about Greece? How come, since Greece’s entry into the Eurozone, in other words for an entire decade there was never any suspicion that perhaps someone in Greece was busy fiddling the books or making things look better than what they actually were? Maybe everyone chose to look the other way because various other Countries, such as France, Italy or Germany were perhaps also doing something very similar. Someone had to know what was going on. Not everyone at the European Central Bank or the German one is a total idiot. There must have been some suspicion that all was not as it seemed, yet no one ever said anything. It would have been better if they had said something earlier, back in 2007 for example, when Greece’s public debt amounted to only 115% of its GDP.
Now for the other matter, namely whether Greece could be a model for what could happen in Italy? And what about Spain and Portugal? Could the same thing perhaps happen here too? We’re talking about Italy because anyone who has been to Greece will undoubtedly have heard the saying “Same face, same race". We Greeks and you Italians look so alike, we’re actually very similar indeed…

The financial market wake-up-call
Are we equally similar when it comes down to the situation of our public finances? I don’t like to sound like a doomsayer, however, there are indeed a number of similarities, that most obvious of which is our extremely high level of public debt. The biggest problem in Italy is not the difficulty in firing people, as the worst Minister in Monti’s Government, Mrs. Fornero would have us believe. Italy’s real problem, and one that has not yet been addressed, not least of which because it is a very difficult one to overcome, is unquestionably this Country’s public debt, which is currently sitting at 120% of GDP. This is double the ideal level of 60% of Gross Domestic Product as specified in Maastricht. It is currently sitting at 120% of GDP and although it previously reached this level back in the mid-Nineties, it was brought back down to 103% around 2007 before it began climbing once again.
And herein lies the rub. We cannot see how we will manage to bring it down, but this does not necessarily mean that we are headed the same way as Greece. In Greece, the level of public debt absolutely skyrocketed and from 2007, their public debt went from 115 percent, to 121 percent, to 137 percent, to 153 percent and then up to 174 percent. Here in Italy the dynamics are very different, however, at this stage we cannot say with any certainty that the Greek solution is not on the horizon for Italy too, albeit some way away yet. Unless there is some sort of real economic recovery in this Country, we cannot see how the problem is going to be resolved solely by means of some minor budget adjustments and a whole range of new taxes. Tremonti drafted two interim budgets worth about 30 billion Euro each and Monti has drafted yet another, "Same face, same race". It may merely be the stuff of nightmares, however, a little nagging doubt remains that perhaps Greece may well serve as a model for Italy and this cannot be totally excluded. Certainly it seems that the financial markets have not totally excluded this possibility. The financial markets have given a major wake-up-call, not only regarding Greece but Italy as well.
There is actually also another similarity between the Greek situation and that here in Italy. In the case of Greece, the wake-up-call came from the financial markets rather than the European authorities. Only when the value of the Greek Government Bonds began to drop back in 2009-2010 did everyone suddenly begin to sit up and take note of Greece. In Italy, this happened in July 2011. If we look at Government Bonds such as the Btp-i 2021, we see that they were trading at around 95 with little or no change. Then, at a certain point they suddenly began to fall, and fall and they are now sitting at around 81. It was the financial markets that forced everyone to admit that: "Oh dear! The Italian situation is really serious and we really need to do something about it". Let’s just hope that these same financial markets are not going to deal Italy the same sort of death blow that they dealt out to Greece!
The problem in Italy and in Greece is not only the level of public debt, but also a political problem. The politicians in power are suffering from a serious lack of credibility. Even in Greece, these politicians are well-qualified, or at least as well-qualified as ours are, however, extreme problems require painful remedies and in such cases the Italian politicians, in many cases at least, somehow always manage to raise suspicions that, whenever they come up with some any of proposal, they are doing so merely so that they can hang on to their posts and be able to continue stealing.
When Churchill promised the English, the British, that victory was assured although there would be many tears and much blood along the way, nobody dreamed of saying: “So you say, but all you want is to keep your post so that you can carry on stealing”. Unfortunately, these days if any Italian politician or member of the ruling class tables such proposals, may people simply turn around and say: “So you say, however, I’ll bet that we are the ones that will have to tighten our belts!”. This makes it very difficult for anyone to have any reasonable chance of bringing a semblance of order to our public accounts.
Spread the word!

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 06:19 PM in Information | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

Fiscal Shield: out with the names!


If two pieces of evidence make one proof, one can calmly say that the Fiscal Shield was also used to clean up the election finances of the parties and the accounts of the politicians. Luigi Lusi, the treasurer of the Margherita party led by the unaware Rutelli, has brought back the money from Canada. Gianluca Pini, a parliamentarian and the leader of the Lega in Emilia Romagna, has done a credit transfer nearer to home, from the republic of San Marino, with a value of 400,000 taken from the tax authorities. The laws are voted for, then they sing.
Before increasing taxes on our homes with the IMU, the IMU bis and the SUPER IMU, before checking up on the receipts for the agricultural tourism in the mountains, before increasing the tax burden on the salaries of the manual workers and the office workers, before increasing the sales tax on consumer goods like food, before shifting pensions until the hour of our death, before increasing the road tax and petrol, before the decimation of the new local and regional taxes. Before literally dying of hunger with the lowest salaries in Europe and the highest taxes of any civilised country. Well, before all of that, before taking the country into poverty to save the “spread” and the dreadful wastefulness of the parties in the last two decades that have gifted us two thousand billion in public debt, I would like to know the full names and addresses of those who have taken advantage of the Fiscal Shield to a value of tens of billions. It’s my right as a tax payer. It’s the right of all the Italians that pay taxes without a 5% amnesty. It’s the right of those who have always honoured their duty in relation to the tax authorities without letting up. It’s possible that other parliamentarians and lobbyists connected to the parties have taken advantage of the Fiscal Shield. So out with the names, all the names, to eliminate any shadow of doubt. The Fiscal Shield was what both the PDL and the PDminusL wanted. In response to the question about his absence from the Chamber for the vote on the unconstitutionality of the Fiscal Shield D’Alema responded (video): “Yes, I was absent, because I had a demonstration and I hadn’t given myself a good explanation that this vote was important.” Rigor Montis has to publish the names of those who have been shielded. If we go to the social butchery at least we have to know who brought us there! We won’t go down alone. Out with the names of the piranhas of State, and soon!

PS: Follow the 2012 electoral tour. Participate using the hash tag #m5sTour on Twitter and on Youtube or using the tag "MoVimento Cinque Stelle” on your photos and Facebook posts.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 11:27 AM in Information | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 27, 2012

The European earthquake


An earthquake has arrived in Europe. The seismic tremors are the forthcoming elections and the referenda. We’re heading for a confrontation between politics and finance. The national parliaments on one side and the ECB and the IMF on the other. On 6 May they are voting in Greece and the new Government could reject the agreements made with the EU to avoid default. In France, Hollande is the favourite. His position is to oppose cuts to social spending in accordance with European directives. Regarding the stability pact he declared “We must add a part on growth or we will not ratify it.” Marine Le Pen got 20% with a europhobic programme and that consensus cannot but have influence on the new tenant of the Elysée Palace. On 31 May there’s a referendum in Ireland about the new budget rules that Germany wanted, the "fiscal compact" that was approved in Italy without any consultation with the people, in the best traditions of a particratic State and not a democratic one.
Even where there are no elections in the near future, deep faults are opening up. In Holland, the Rutte Government has resigned because of predicted cuts to public spending. In fact without “austerity“ they would lose their triple A ... In Holland they are voting on 12 September. Geert Wilders’s anti-euro PVV could lose members. Where’s there’s been the application of policies of taxes and blood in the name of the euro, the results have been at a negative pace. There’s been a constant worsening. The public debt has increased, as in Italy, or the country has literally gone bust as in Greece where a silent default has taken place. It’s happened, but no one must say so (*). Today Standard & Poor’s downgraded Spain from A to BBB+. Basically that increases the interest due to those who buy Spanish bonds. The interest payments will be covered by cutting social expenditure. Everyone is poorer, but for what? To become butcher’s meat like the bulls in the bull ring?
José Ignacio Torreblanca, a professor at UNED University, yesterday wrote a long article in the Financial Times called "Time to say ‘basta’ to the nonsense of austerity". He writes "Next week it will be two years since José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero’s socialist government adopted the first austerity measures. These measures meant the electoral suicide of the Spanish Socialist party. Now the Conservatives find themselves in a similar situation: little more than 100 days after gaining power they have alienated citizens by pushing austerity well beyond their electoral mandate, only to find themselves as heavily penalised by the financial markets as Mr Zapatero was. What is outrageous is that, while Spaniards face recession and soaring unemployment, Jens Weidmann, the Bundesbank president and European Central Bank council member, sits back and says that 6 per cent interest rates for Spanish sovereign debt “are not the end of the world”. Equally worrying is that the European Commission happily endorses Spain’s severe cuts in education and research spending, deliberately ignoring the fact that these are incompatible with both the sustainable growth model ... Time to say: basta!”
What’s at stake is not just the Euro, but the outdated model of development and the destruction of social States. They will never give up. Neither will we. See you in Parliament!

(*) As Beppe Scienza will explain to us in detail in Passaparola on Monday 30 April

PS: Follow the 2012 electoral tour. Participate using the hash tag #m5sTour on Twitter and on Youtube or using the tag "MoVimento Cinque Stelle” on your photos and Facebook posts.

Today, 27 April, I’ll be in via Riva del Grappa 87 in Cittadella at 7:00pm, and at 8:00 pm in via dei Fanti (the old market area) in Rosà, and finally at 9:30 pm in parco Villa Fabris in Thiene.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 05:36 PM in Economics | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 26, 2012

The taboo of the Euro


When the Euro is put under the spotlight, the indignant reaction is a chorus of “We cannot leave the Euro”, as though Europe is identified with the Euro. It’s possible to serenely remain in the EU without having to do without one’s own currency. Of the 27 States making up the EU, ten have kept their currency, including Great Britain, Sweden, Poland, the Czech Republic and Denmark who are not risking any default. Another trick is the repetitive use of the term “single currency”. There’s is absolutely no single European currency. The Euro is limited to 17 States and those who are outside are taking good care not to enter the Euro zone. Who in Europe, is today in crisis? Right at the top are those countries with so-called “weak” economies that adopted the Euro. The question is “Weak in relation to whom?”. Obviously in relation to Germany. States like Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Spain, Greece and perhaps in the future France and the Netherlands cannot keep pace with the German economy. A currency should reflect the value of a country's economy. But anyway, the Euro represents the value of the Mark. A plan B is needed in case we need to go back to the Lira.
It’s not a matter of being hostile in principle to the Euro, but to be able to allow that. To remain in the Euro we are starving the country, strangling the companies, transferring the private wealth to cover the interest payments on the public debt that is (unfortunately) in Euro. If it were in lira we could resolve the problem of the debt with the devaluation of our currency. Since Rigor Montis decided to apply his solution of tears and taxes to save Italy, we have gone down deeper. About 140,000 companies closed down in the first quarter, unemployment has rocketed and the number of entrepreneurs committing suicide is no longer counted. The value of salaries has gone back to 1983 values. The IMU {local tax}, the renewed IMU and the Super IMU are knocking on the door. Italy is gasping like a beached whale. Even Draghi has understood this. In the face of the possible shut down of the Country, he has called for less taxation and sharp cuts in public spending.
If to remain in the Euro and pay the interest on the debt to the banks, mainly German and French, we have to kill the economy of our Country, perhaps it’s appropriate to stop and reflect. Especially if the public debt and the spread are increasing anyway while we are being strangled. The Euro must not be a taboo.

PS: Follow the 2012 electoral tour. Participate using the hash tag #m5sTour on Twitter and on Youtube or using the tag "MoVimento Cinque Stelle” on your photos and Facebook posts.

Today, 26 April, I’m in Piazza Filopanti in Budrio at 7:00 pm and at 9:30 pm I’m at the monumentali Trepponti in Comacchio.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 06:47 PM in Economics | Comments (3) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 25, 2012

Today, 25 April


Today, 25 April, we celebrate the anniversary of the Liberation. In 1945 we became free once more clutching our weapons. That’s what our grandfathers and fathers thought. The ones who fought and lost their lives. They wanted an Italy that was free, united and democratic. They hoped for unimaginable possibilities for their offspring. While they were dying, they dreamed of a better future. Life had a low value and yet it had no price.
Today, 25 April if the partisans could get up out of their tombs, they would be dismayed at seeing the destruction before their eyes. They would see an Italy without economic sovereignty, farmed out to the ECB and the rating agencies. A country without territorial sovereignty, occupied by American forces for 67 years, with nuclear warheads and bases dotted all over the Peninsular, from Naples to Ghedi Torre, to Aviano and with the construction of the most extendive military area in Europe at Vicenza with the derisory collaboration of the red cooperatives. In Parliament they would see senators and deputies colluding with the mafia, with the camorra, and with the 'ndrangheta. A country without popular sovereignty, with the election of parliamentarians worked out at their desks by a few party secretaries. An immoral Parliament, worse than the fascist one that at least didn’t hide behind the word “democracy”. A Country without industries, without the big factories, without the amazing ideas that were found after the war thanks to men like Mattei and Olivetti, the former who was killed and the latter marginalised by the people in power. A country without information, by now a foul appendix to the parties, a propaganda tool that has even superseded the fascist Ministry of MinCulPop. A country "without", in which anyone who puts forward an idea for renewal is a danger, an intolerable nuisance to be eliminated for the System, like Falcone, Ambrosoli, Borsellino, Moro and a thousand others who have fallen in the civil war that is still ongoing.
Ttoday, 25 April 2012, the procession of the corpses has honoured the Resistance. The decrepit image of Fini, Monti, Napolitano and Schifani represents Italy. The old eyes of the partisans would be bewildered as they looked at a desert. Perhaps they would start to cry. Perhaps they would pick up their machine guns once more.

PS: Follow the 2012 electoral tour. Participate using the hash tag #m5sTour on Twitter and on Youtube or using the tag "MoVimento Cinque Stelle” on your photos and Facebook posts.

Today, 25 April at 5:00pm, I’ll be in piazza Cesare Battisti in Conselve. At 7:00pm, I’ll be in piazza Aldo Moro in Villatora di Saonara, and finally at 9:30 pm I’ll be in piazza Zanella in Vigonza.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 04:01 PM in Politics | Comments (3) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 24, 2012

The Diarrhoea Party


“The biggest bit of Italian political news” announced by “Castoro della Libertà” {Beaver of Liberty} is the Diarrhoea Party. It’s a “liquid” party that will come into being after the local elections, as Alfano emphasised. The first step, suggested by Minchionne, will be the division of the PDL into two, in a pure company-style: a bad company and a good company. The PDL, the "bad company” will be left behind. It isn’t finding favour in the market and it would not get more than 10% of the vote at the national elections. There’ll be a brand new company. The “good company” should be called "Tutti per l'Italia” {Everyone for Italy} and it should be “plural”, basically to fill Italy with cheeky little civic lists. The godmother of this creation is Ms Santanchè who reaffirmed: “we have to innovate. The old parties no longer work. People don’t want to know.” And let there be innovation.
The Diarrhoea Party should get off on the Internet with such fire power to make these two turn pale: “Mastella da Ceppaloni” of times gone by and the "Forminchioni Star" of YouTube. Alfano has launched the PDL 2.0 project placing his trust in Antonio Palmieri, along with "Monty" Montemagno, Davide Tedesco, the director of the PDL’s famous Political Digital Academy, Roberto Gasparotti and Mariarosaria Rossi, who frequents Arcore. From Il Corriere: “But are you coming here?", Maria Rosaria Rossi asks Emilio Fede. The director of TG4 replies that he will be at the place of the appointment no earlier than 9:00 pm or 9:15 pm. Then he adds: “I’ve also got two of my female friends ...". “What a bloke you are - replies Ms Rossi - so it’s bunga bunga, 2 in the morning - bye ...” Ms Rossi is a call centre entrepreneur and she prepared a show in the studios of D’Alema’s defunct RedTv in Palazzo Grazioli. The mega call centre is already functioning and its doing some sampling among signed up members of the PDL to define the electoral messages that will be given out above all using SMS, the latest communications frontier. There should be no lack of support from Luca di Montezemolo and the precious contribution of his "Italia Futura” {Future Italy} think tank for the Diarrhoea Party. I can’t wait for them to start! Be quick! I’ve got an urgent need here!

PS: Follow the 2012 electoral tour. Participate using the hash tag #m5sTour on Twitter and on Youtube or using the tag "MoVimento Cinque Stelle” on your photos and Facebook posts.

Today 24 April, I’ll be in the Caffè Sao Paulo in via Porta Est in Marcon at 5:00 pm, then at 7:00 pm in Martiri della Libertà in Mirano and at 9:30 pm in San Nicolò in Mira.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 08:50 PM in Wailing Wall | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 23, 2012

Passaparola - The democratic wars - Massimo Fini

The democratic wars
Should an attack be launched against Iran, there will definitely be a Third World War and all the more or less forced democratic alliances with so-called moderate Countries that are oftentimes not actually so moderate after all, will be null and void. Existing alliances with Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt would simply cease to exist. The Third World War is going to be a very different and very unevenly balanced affair because while the West has an extraordinary arsenal of weapons, the other side has a far weaker, but equally far more numerous population. It is rather grotesque to sit on the sidelines and listen to Countries that are sitting on some incredible nuclear weapon arsenals rant and rave against Iran because that Country could potentially be developing its own nuclear weapons.” Massimo Fini

Journalist and writer Massimo Fini's Passaparola

Subconscious totalitarianism
Hello to all the followers of the Blog. My name is Massimo Fini. I am a writer and a journalist and I recently wrote a book entitled “La guerra democratica” (literally: “The democratic war”). Since the collapse of the Soviet rival, the western democracies, led by the United States, have managed to string together eight wars in the past twenty years, only the first of which may have been at least partly justifiable, namely the Gulf war, because Saddam Hussein actually invaded Kuwait, while the other seven wars saw the West as the aggressor.
All democratic wars have one common feature, namely that the war is begun without any prior declaration of war and is begun in bad faith and justified as something completely different, such as a peacekeeping operation, a humanitarian operation or an operation in defence of human rights, however, to all intents and purposes it is still a war. This ambiguity results in a whole series of consequences, the first of these being that the enemy is always labelled as either a criminal or a terrorist, which means that he/she can be turned into mincemeat and that the normal rules of engagement do not apply, with Guantanamo being a prime example of this. In the case of a democratic war, the democracies are free to strike without the enemy being free to retaliate, either materially or conceptually. It is legal for us to kill enemy soldiers, however, if the enemy dares to kill our soldiers, then suddenly it is classified as cowardly action, dirty tricks or something that is indecent and totally unacceptable. This results in a kind of inequality that is not only material, since a democratic war is waged using machines, aircraft, drones and robots because drones are unmanned aircraft that are remotely controlled from 10Km away, so only one side is entitled to attack while the other side is only allowed to endure the attack. It is also conceptual in the sense that when you, as the non-democrat, hit a soldier, you are immediately labelled as a criminal and must therefore be dealt with as such.
Another feature of democratic wars is that they lack the true essence of a real war, in other words the combat. The western world no longer has the stomach for real combat, the very thought of hand to hand fighting fills them with horror and they believe this to be immoral, whereas hitting a target with a missile launched from 300Km away and killing two thousand people in the process is perfectly acceptable.
This aggression by the democracies against anyone who holds a different view on life, death and tradition is in fact a kind of totalitarianism because we are no longer able to accept anything that is in any way different. The belief is that our culture is somehow superior, which is a new form of racism, especially after Hitler’s kind of racism became unacceptable, so we have both the right and the duty to bring our good manners to other peoples. This is an even more dangerous form of totalitarianism precisely because it is subconscious. The danger is not represented by Bush and others like him, but rather by people like Emma Bonino who actually believe these things, in other words that we have certain inalienable rights that must be unquestioningly respected by everyone else in the world. What makes this attitude particularly painful is the fact that our background is not only the Judeo-Christian culture, but is also founded on the long since set-aside Greek culture, which was the first culture to recognise the right to life and human dignity. When Herodotus spoke about the Persians, he described them as being cruel barbarians, but said that he would never dream of forcing Greek values upon them because Persians are Persians and Greeks are Greeks. We, instead, expect the entire rest of world to fit into our way of life. I repeat, this is when we act in good faith, however, when we then act in bad faith, these wars are all about economics so, given that our markets are virtually saturated, we have this continuous need to conquer new worlds so as to access new markets, no matter how poverty stricken they may be.

The policy of different rules for different countries
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Western democracies had free reign and were thus able to wage war as they saw fit, on a variety of pretexts so, in Serbia there was the issue of Kosovo and in Afghanistan it was Bin Laden. Now, 11 years have passed and Bin Laden has not been around for some time already, however, there was this dictator in Libya, a dictator that had been widely courted until just the day before. So they were then able to express their aggression and protect their imperialist interests in the most violent manner possible. Long ago, when one of the major powers wanted something, they simply sent in their gunboats and took whatever it was they wanted. These days we expect to be able to wage war and claim that we are doing so in the best interests of the very people that we are bombing, killing slaughtering and ravaging. It has become like a kind of worldwide Holy Inquisition and what is so intolerable is the total hypocrisy of these wars. Wars have always been fought, but once upon a time even wars were subject to their own kind of ethics.
We won’t attack Syria simply because that Country is somehow being protected by Russia and China, which goes to show that our so-called humanitarian interventions are anything but humanitarian because we are quick to intervene wherever the risks of doing so are negligible and so we subdivide the world into children and stepchildren. Some must be punished whatever they do, while others who do far worse are allowed to get off scot-free. Who would dare to attack Russia because of the Chechen genocide, for those 250-thousand dead, in other words one quarter of the population? This goes to show the extent of the hypocrisy surrounding the entire issue of human rights. Human rights are merely a free-pass by which we justify any intervention in whatever Country where we wish to intervene.
For some time now the drums of war have been warning that the next potential target may well be Iran although, here too, the reasons just don’t make any sense. Iran has signed the nuclear non-proliferation pact, has agreed to allow inspections to be carried out by the AIA, in other words U.N. inspections and the Country has never exceeded the 20% uranium enrichment ceiling, even though 90% enrichment is required for bomb production purposes. Nevertheless, the Country is being kept permanently is check. Israel on the other hand, which already has the atom bomb, is left entirely to its own devices. It’s obviously a case of different rules for different Countries, which angers the Muslim Countries and causes them, even those that are not particularly radical, to become more radical in the face of our ongoing and obvious favouritism until they too become terrorists.
Yes and, just by the way, should an attack be launched against Iran, there will definitely be a Third World War. It would be extremely risky for the democracies to attack Iran because this would also spell the end of all the more or less forced democratic alliances with so-called moderate Countries, which are oftentimes not actually so moderate after all. All existing alliances with Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt would simply cease to exist. The Third World War is going to be a very different and very unevenly balanced affair because while the West has an extraordinary arsenal of weapons, the other side has a far weaker, but equally far more numerous population. It is rather grotesque to sit on the sidelines and listen to Countries that are sitting on some incredible nuclear weapon arsenals rant and rave against Iran because that Country could potentially be developing its own nuclear weapons.
The truth is that by focusing on an imaginary danger, namely Afghanistan, which has never ventured outside of its own borders and that has traditionally never displayed any aggression towards its neighbours, we have created a very real danger, namely Pakistan, because this religious radicalism has now spread into Pakistan, except that, unlike Afghanistan with its archaic weapons, Pakistan has the atom bomb. Furthermore, precisely because of its status as a regional power, Pakistan’s political ambitions are far less localised than Afghanistan’s. Therefore, by focusing on an imaginary danger, namely Afghanistan, we have managed to create a very real danger, namely Pakistan, and if the fundamentalists should somehow come to power in Pakistan, it would spell trouble for everyone because these guys would have nuclear weapons while most of their potential enemies in the region have little more than their soldiers and a handful of grenades.

They will simply be swept away
The attacks on the so-called “Grillo-ism” and on the anti-politics, or what is currently being referred to as anti-politics, are in fact nothing other than a sign of the fear that the ruling class, which has been using, abusing, stealing and pillaging the Country for the past thirty years, is now feeling. Their fear is that they are on the verge of being swept away and so, whereas before they could perhaps even afford to ignore movements such as Grillo’s, now they are not ignoring it in the least, so obviously they are attempting to demonise it, just as they demonise anyone who chooses not to go and vote. The total number of people who chose to go and cast their vote in the last Municipal elections amounted to a mere 40% percent of the eligible voters. It is a sign of the regime’s fear of being swept away because, Grillo or no Grillo, there is a palpable feeling of anger amongst the voters who have finally realised that this party democracy is no democracy at all, but merely a system that has only benefited an obscene ruling class while impoverishing the Country as a whole. Now the current economic crisis has forced the people to think again and to rebel. The confused reaction of the members of the regime proves is proof of the fact that they are extremely fearful. Now, I don’t quite know how they are going to be swept away, however, I do believe that they will indeed be swept away and that it won’t be enough to do what Casini is proposing, namely to change the party name to “Partito nazionale della Nazione” (literally: National Party for the Nation), in order for everyone to forget the part that Casini has played in this mess, or the many balls-ups, past and present, made by the Italian ruling class.
Looking beyond Italian politics for a moment, what I would like to say is there is a war that has been fought, or not been fought as the case may be, against another Country, in Afghanistan for the past 11 years. It is not a war in Afghanistan, but rather a war against Afghanistan, without any protests because the Afghan people have no intercessor in Heaven. They are not communists, they are not liberals, they are not Arabs, they are not Christians and they are not Jews, so they can be exploited at will. Thus far, some 65-thousand Afghans have been killed directly or indirectly as a result of our occupation, not to mention the disasters that we have created from a social point of view. At the time when the Taliban Government was in power, unemployment was running at 8 percent, whereas now it is running at 40 percent with peaks of up to 80 percent in some areas. We have tried We have tried every way we know to buy the place. We have morally corrupted a Country that had its own kind of integrity and I would very much have liked us to have been just a little more sensitive to this issue and, since we are only interested in financial motivations, I would like to point out that we are currently spending one billion Euro per year just to keep our soldiers in Afghanistan for no valid reason, in other words simply to kill and be killed. Now, while I understand that a billion Euro would not be nearly enough to get a Country’s economy back on track, that billion Euro would certainly go a long, long way towards plugging some of the holes in the dyke. I say again, this is a heinous war regarding which, however, I am not hearing a single word of dissent from anyone either here in Italy, in Europe or in the West as a whole. Spread the word!

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Today, 23 April, at 18h30 I will be in Piazza Matteotti in Caorle, and at 21h30 in Piazza Sant’Antonio in Gorizia

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 06:37 PM in Information | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 22, 2012

5 Star Programme

Beppe Grillo a Piacenza
The Programme should be the architrave of Italian politics. The act of writing it is a cathartic moment for every party. It doesn’t matter whether it is respected after the elections. The important thing is to have one to exhibit. And the bigger it is the more impressive it is.
For a party it summarises “the complexity of politics” to say it as Vendola would. Whether the Italians then understand it is another matter. In 2006, Prodi wrote a Bible that no one ever managed to read right to the end. Perhaps even he didn’t manage it. Rather than venture into hours of reading, and studying, the citizen voted for him on trust. Between the citizen and the one who is elected, the only possible relationship is the Programme, but the one writing it knows “a priori” that its use is only to persuade the public to buy and whoever reads it (how many do?) takes no interest in its application. The Programme just becomes the umpteenth performance, a consolidated way of pulling our leg.
The Programme is the sum of the declarations of principle to be ignored or to then do the exact opposite. Two decades ago the Lega promised to get things cleaned up and to have federalism. We find ourselves with a centralist State that is as corrupt as though it’s raining shit. “Wild Bathrobe” guaranteed a million jobs and obtained the highest unemployment since the war. The Programme is a book of the desires that are never granted because the citizen doesn’t have the tools (that have to be brought in) to check up on their actioning and to be able to intervene. The MoVimento 5 Stelle {5 Star MoVement} is accused of not having a Programme, a serious original sin from which it has to be redeemed. “You do protests and not proposals!” “You don’t even have a programme. But where do you want to go?” The fact is that the M5S has had a Programme for a few years and it’s present on the blog. Anyone can download it. Even a journalist.. Even he can manage to. Apply yourself. Study. Get connected to the Internet. Do an evening course.
Together with the Programme, the "Carta di Firenze” {Charter of Florence} was drafted. These are guidelines for administering towns. They are a reference point for the town council lists. The Programme has the following sections: “State and citizens”, “Energy”, “Information”, “Economy”, “Transport”, “Health”, and “Education” Read it. It was created on the Internet thanks to tens of thousands of contributions and with the help of experts on the individual topics. It’s a prophetic programme. A few points have already come to pass, such as the abolition of the “Lodo Alfano” and of the “Pisanu law” on the limitation of wi-fi access, “yes” to public water, “no” to nuclear, the renunciation of the Bridge over the Straits. The Programme can be improved, brought up to date, extended. But it’s there and it’s the first one to be written by the citizens. For the M5S the Programme is binding. The M5S does what it says and says what it does. Exactly the opposite of the parties. “Repetita iuvant” {it’s good to repeat things}. Thus what follows is the part relating to the Economy. The other parts will come later.

• introduction of “class action”
• abolition of the “Chinese boxes” in the Stock Exchange
• abolition of multiple positions by members of the Board of Directors on the Boards of companies quoted on the Stock Exchange
• introduction of structures of real representation for small shareholders in the companies quoted on the Stock Exchange
• abolition of the Biagi law
• prevent the dismantling of the food and manufacturing industries with a prevailing internal market
• forbid crossover in shareholding between the banking system and the industrial system
• introduction of the responsibility of the financial institutions on the products they propose, with a share in any losses that may occur
• prevention of a Board Member from holding any other position in that company if that person has been found responsible for serious crimes
• prevention of the “acquisition mainly using debts” of a company (example: Telecom Italia)
• introduction of a maximum limit for the salaries of the management of companies quoted on the Stock Exchange and of companies in which the State has an important or a majority share.
• abolition of stock options - abolition of de facto monopolies, and in particular, Telecom Italia, Autostrade, ENI, ENEL, Mediaset, Ferrovie dello Stato
• alignment of prices charged for energy, connectivity, telephony, electricity, transport with prices in other European countries
• reduction of the public debt with massive intervention on the costs of the State by cutting waste and with the introduction of new technologies to give citizens access to information and services without the need for intermediaries
• forbid the appointment of convicts at a definitive level (example: Scaroni in Eni) as administrators in companies that have the State as a shareholder or that are quoted on the Stock Exchange
• give incentives for local production
• support “not for profit” companies
• provide guaranteed unemployment benefit
• provide disincentives to companies that cause damage to society

>>> Print out and distribute the Programme of the MoVimento 5 Stelle

PS: Follow the 2012 electoral tour. Participate using the hash tag #m5sTour on Twitter and on Youtube or using the tag "MoVimento Cinque Stelle” on your photos and Facebook posts.

Today 22 April, I’ll be in the Teatro Accademia in Via XX Settembre in Conegliano at 4:30 pm, and at 9:00 pm in Girgio Piloni, in Belluno and finally at 9:30 pm in piazza Vittorino da Feltre in Feltre.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 08:14 PM in Politics | Comments (3) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 21, 2012

Euro: mission impossible


By now we are living in order to pay the interest on the public debt. It’s a furnace in which bit by bit we are incinerating social services, new taxes, savings, homes, and rights. While we are fuelling this blazing bush we are getting poorer. The poorer we get, the more the debt increases and the more the interest on the debt increases. After six months of Monti’s treatment, the public debt has grown and it’s approaching 2,000 billion while employment figures have gone down and for this reason, inevitably, the tax revenue in 2012 will show a sharp drop. In 2013 we’ll have to pay more than 100 billion euro in interest on the debt, that’s about a quarter of the 420 billion paid in taxes each year. We are going into a spin like an aircraft that’s plummeting in order to pay the interest accumulated by the PDL and the PDminusL during a calamitous twenty year period.
To whom are we paying the interest? Only 14.3% of the public debt is held by Italian families. Whereas 85.7% is held by banks, funds and insurance companies and other investors. 46.2% is abroad, mostly in French, German and English banks (*). Banks are the new masters, not at all willing to give up their pound of flesh. For example, to reduce the interest payments or to stretch the time frame for paying back the capital. Italy does not have monetary sovereignty. It’s not possible to devalue the lira and to thus have a realignment of the prices of bonds in our economy that is worth a lot less than it was when the bonds were issued. Devaluing the lira is equivalent to devaluing the bonds. Now that is no longer true. We have a noose round our neck that we cannot remove and that is getting ever tighter unless we restructure the value of the shares that are worth 20/30% less than their initial value. Without the loan of a thousand billion from the ECB to the banks at an interest rate of 1%, used to buy new shares at 5%, Italy would be in pre default.
There’s no use in putting off the problem. To decrease the interest payments on the debt in the medium term and at the same time issuing new State bonds with low or medium return is "mission impossible". The blackmail is always the usual one. If we don’t keep going with this route, we exit from the euro. But we have already left the euro. The euro no longer reflects the value of our economy, only 60% at the most. To exit from the euro must not be a taboo. Great Britain and Denmark are part of the EU and they have kept their currency. It can be done. We need to start discussing it. I’s never too late to turn back from the smooth path leading to hell.
(*) source: Bankitalia

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Today, 20 April, I’ll be in piazza Petazzi in Sesto San Giovanni at 7pm, then in piazza Cavour in Como at 9:30pm.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 08:17 AM in Economics | Comments (7) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 20, 2012

Italy is an empty shed

L'ex Alfa Romeo
Yesterday I was in Arese at Alfa Romeo, or rather at what’s left. It was drizzling. It was as cold as Autumn. There were people waiting for me who worked in the offices and on the factory floor, “cleared out” from the company. Today that’s the term used for the workers who’ve been sacked: “cleared out”, as though they were tenants who were unauthorised or not paying the rent who have been shifted out of their homes. In front of the gates so as to prevent anyone from going back in, there are fully armed police officers. They were arranged in a neat line. You could see from their faces that they did not wish to be there. They looked at the people who were in a cluster around me who could have been their fathers and mothers and they lowered their eyes. They could see people who were truly desperate, with no salary or other income for months with a family to provide for. It reminded me of words of Henry Ford, the greatest car maker who ever existed: “When I see an Alfa Romeo I take my hat off.” And I thought of Prodi who gifted it to the gravediggers at Fiat in 1986.
In a car I went through the gigantic empty factory that covers two million square metres. I experienced a feeling of bewilderment and of anguish in the face of this vast emptiness.

I’ve been told that the area will be used for creating shopping centres and new real estate units. I then went towards Palazzolo in the camper and I read about the 146,000 companies that have closed down in the first quarter of 2012. That means that 600,000 companies, almost all small and medium sized enterprises, will close down in 2012. But are there 600,000 companies in the whole of Italy? These are numbers that go well beyond any negative predictions. It’s true that in 2012 new companies have started up and that the difference between those closing down and those starting up is 26,000. But a company that closes down has a supply chain, employees and turnover.
A company that starts up is a gamble, an investment whose profits are uncertain. In fact 50% of the new companies will not last more than 5 years. The new SMEs almost always die in their infancy. 58% of new jobs are created by the small companies with fewer than 10 employees. The big companies delocalize and the small entrepreneurs go bust or commit suicide out of shame, for a collapse that they blame themselves for and that instead is the fault of a political class that is incompetent and scurrilous. Italy is like Alfa Romeo. An empty shed, getting ever larger, that’s getting filled up with banks, cement and hypermarkets. It cannot last and it won’t last. Either there’s a renewal of production together with innovation or the country will close up shop.

PS: Follow the 2012 electoral tour. Participate using the hash tag #m5sTour on Twitter and on Youtube or using the tag "MoVimento Cinque Stelle” on your photos and Facebook posts.

Today, 20 April, I’ll be in piazza Petazzi in Sesto San Giovanni at 7pm, then in piazza Cavour in Como at 9:30pm.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 06:42 AM in Information | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 18, 2012

The democracy of tea


In Rigor Montis’ tea room they are celebrating the end of parliamentary democracy. Yesterday, in the usual meeting of the carboneria secret society, Monti Alfano Bersani and Casini sipped tea and ate biscuits. Their placid limbs on the nineteenth century armchairs, amiably chatting for five hours about Save-Italy and Grow-Italy. The democracy of tea. A completely Italian innovation.
Parliament has ceased its impoverished existence with the arrival of Rigor Montis. The Italians have bartered that 10% of democracy that they had left for 150 in spread. It’s a nasty precedence that has arrived in silence. Democracy has become merchandise to be traded. Tomorrow in the face of a world crisis in energy, we could even find we have Scaroni as head of the Government with 10 nuclear power stations of the latest generation. Life senator in the afternoon thanks to Napolitano, and President of the Council the next day with Chicco Testa as Minister of Development Democracy is on the counter and its price has been devalued like our public bonds. Democracy is a nuisance for those who want to make decisions excluding the citizens.
The democracy of tea came into being before the summer, when the Italians started to do politics once more, after a break lasting years, with the referenda. Saying “no” to nuclear and “yes” to public water has been devastating for the System, for the banks and for the multinationals. Intolerable. It wasn’t possible to continue on this route.
In the tea room, while Frignero was clearing away the things from the Louis XVI table, they let themselves go, as though they were old friends who had had their career together. The laughter and the banter were wasted. What was exhilarating were the words of Rigor Montis at the head of the table: “I am profoundly grateful for the attitude of the Italians who even in the greatest suffering are giving an exemplary example.” It’s as though Nero were to have complimented the Christians while they were praying in the Colosseum before being torn apart by the lions. Who knows whether Rigor Montis shed a tear into his cup giving flavour to the slice of lemon, thinking of the dozens of entrepreneurs that have committed suicide. While the Four of the Apocalypse were discussing development, it became known that in the first quarter of 2012, 146,000 companies closed down. Bersani, with the face of one who has saved his arse one more time and doesn’t know why, said “There’s a new political pact!” Another one? Again? And between whom? Between four shirkers in a room who are ignorant of public opinion and who are exploiting Parliament to the maximum I want a web cam in that blasted room while they are discussing the future of OUR nation and OUR future and that of OUR offspring. No one can make decisions for us.

PS: Follow the 2012 electoral tour. Participate using the hash tag #m5sTour on Twitter and on Youtube or using the tag "MoVimento Cinque Stelle” on your photos and Facebook posts.

Today, 18 April I’m at "Parco le Robinie - G. Metelli", zona ospedale in via Sgrazzuti in Palazzolo sull'Oglio At 9:30 pm I’m in the parco delle Piscine in Desenzano.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:38 PM in Wailing Wall | Comments (5) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 17, 2012

No One Here Gets Out Alive


Hey! Don’t think you can get away with it like that. With the odd appearance on TV and a Rigor Montis who can be controlled with the TV remote, keeping you at a safe distance from the citizens by spitting out stock phrases about anti-politics. I know that you place your trust in the short memory of the Italian people. Once more, you want to present yourselves, revirginised by the media, at the 2013 elections. You are terrified of losing control of the operations. You are well aware of what it means not to have the availability of the newspapers and TV channels stuffed with your servants and with the Security Services under your command. It means being put on trial by the Nation that you have destroyed.
To paraphrase Jim Morrison, no one here gets out without a public debate. Without exemplary punishment. Italy has a shocking debt created by corruption, by the squandering of public money in Great Useless Public Works, by the closeness with the mafias based on keeping mum, the mafias that have a turnover of 130 billion a year, and even by tax dodging, naturally, but the great tax dodgers protected by the Fiscal Shield have been rewarded with taxation at 5%, while the pensioners and the unemployed are having their homes foreclosed on, for a few hundred euro. I’m accusing you of having taken away the future for two generations. I’m accusing you of colluding with the mafias, of stealing from the State with public financing to the parties when that was abolished in a referendum. I’m accusing you of having declared war on Libya while going against the Constitution. I’m accusing you of having occupied Afghanistan for no reason, of squandering billions of euro in fighter-bombers, while construction workers are dying on construction sites for lack of checks and lack of safety and the entrepreneurs are committing suicide because they cannot pay the premiums to Equitalia. I’m accusing you of having destroyed innovation and research, of having transformed our best schools into useless diploma-factories. I’m accusing you of having hidden the truth while you were frittering away a thousand billion euro in twelve years finishing with the current abyss for the public debt. I’m accusing you of having condemned a people to poverty for decades so as to honour 100 billion euro in interest each year on State bonds, money taken away from spending on social affairs, on the primary rights of every citizen. I’m accusing you of having repudiated the Constitution every time you could. I’m accusing you of having occupied every space in society with your voraciousness, with your jaws, and with your kickbacks. Insatiable like a metastasis. I’m accusing you of being imbeciles, amateurs, Mr Nothings who have won the lottery ticket to Parliament, people who only a year ago were denying the existence of the crisis. For you, a public position is the only possible resource. You would do anything, as you have already done in the past during the gloomy history of the Republic, so as not to lose it.
I’ll give you some advice. Look for a lawyer, perhaps Ghedini, who seems to me to be fairly free at the moment. Perhaps they will allow you the odd mitigating circumstance and you will only get punished with the sequestration of the goods accumulated during your political career and the duty to carry out work that is socially useful. What you do in the future will be decided by a jury of citizens with clean records chosen at random. Basically the Italians are good people. Don’t worry too much when your passports are taken from you.

PS: Follow the 2012 electoral tour. Participate using the hash tag #m5sTour on Twitter and on Youtube or using the tag "MoVimento Cinque Stelle” on your photos and Facebook posts.

Today 17 April I’ll be in piazzale Aldo Moro in Borgomanero at 7 pm and at 9:30 pm in the Auditorium Aldo Moro in Arese.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:14 PM in Wailing Wall | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 16, 2012

Passaparola - The wheeling and dealing of the Pdl and the Pdwithoutanel - Ferruccio Sansa

The wheeling and dealing of the Pdl and the Pdwithoutanel
"The current levels of intermixing between the centre-right and the centre-left have reached a point where it is no longer merely political or wheeling and dealing, but is now absolutely anthropological and cultural. The Berlusconians of the centre-right are increasingly resembling the Berlusconians of the centre-left, and that is the true result of Berlusconism. We obviously kept Berlusconi hanging around for so many years for precisely this reason, because while the left wingers, the centre-left, had often done very similar, if not precisely the same things in the past, the guys of the majority were in no position to cast the first stone because they themselves were guilty of many things." Ferruccio Sansa

Journalist and author Ferruccio Sansa's Passaparola

Total short-circuit
Firstly I want to say hello to all the friends of Beppe Grillo’s Blog, many of whom I have seen and met when we gathered at Cesena and now I am amazed by the fact that I am able to touch bases with them again via the computer. I am Ferruccio Sansa and I’m a reporter for the Il Fatto Quotidiano newspaper. Together with my colleague Claudio Gatti, I wrote the book entitled “Il sottobosco” (literally “The Undergrowth”), a book that is bound to earn us more grey hairs than anything else, however, we were very keen to write it because I think it addresses one of the most basic issues and one of the greatest evils in Italy in recent years, namely the rotten relationship between politics and the economy, between politics and business and between politics and public finance.
For many years now we have spoken about the Caste. The Caste is made up of the highest echelons of the ruling class, those who are responsible for the major political decisions made at Palazzo Chigi and at Montecitorio, however, the decisions that truly change our lives are actually made elsewhere. The tender contract that is awarded to the businessman friend of a friend instead of to those of you who run a healthy business, or the place at university that is allocated to a recommended individual rather than to one of you who qualifies, or the hospital post that is given to a friend of the Healthcare Director who is in the party up to his neck. All of these things depend not so much from the Caste, but rather they depend on what we have called the undergrowth. The undergrowth is what grows in the shadow of large trees and gets its nourishment from them. The undergrowth is that place where politics and business meet and this is precisely the central theme of our argument. Look at the Pd (Democratic Party), the Pdl and the Udc for example. Under the spotlight on Bruno Vespa’s television programme, they may even get into heated, and let’s say official exchanges, however, when we dig a little deeper, when they are out of the glare of the spotlights, more often than not they are in cahoots and making deals.
We did not venture into any abstract speculation. We looked at actual cases, often based on wiretapped telephone conversations and lots and lots of hard work that included poring through Chamber records and gathering testimonies. We spoke about the Livorno – Civitavecchia, one of the most highly criticised stretches of motorway in the whole of Italy. The Livorno – Civitavecchia is a prime example in that it was equally dear to both the Centre-right and the centre-left. Within the centre-right there are the usual Matteolis and Verdinis, whom you all know only too well and who are in favour of this public work, and who’s CVs alone should perhaps be sufficient to make anyone somewhat cautious, as well as the usual Lunardis, who are also in favour. On the other side there are the usual members of the centre-left, particularly those of the D’Alema persuasion, such as Mr. Conti, for example. Conti is a former councillor of the Tuscany Regional Council who, just two weeks after vacating the post as Councillor responsible for Infrastructure, he was nominated by the Monte dei Paschi di Sienna (the so-called Red Bank) and then appointed to the Board of Directors of public fund, which I think also has private partners, but nevertheless a fund that would apparently have been involved in the very same infrastructure projects that Mr. Conti had been responsible for as Regional Councillor. This sort of thing can only be classified as a short-circuit, this extremely frequently occurring handover in the undergrowth from public hands to business hands. And so this group of people begins to attempt to realise their greatest ambition, namely infrastructure, involving the new airports for Florence and the Siena Airport, regarding which there is currently a major ongoing investigation in which a number of the Monte dei Paschi di Sienna Bank’s senior managers are under investigation, as well as and above all the Livorno – Civitavecchia motorway, a so-called “environmentalised” motorway. “Environmentalised” my arse, especially since this highway actually runs right through the Maremma area, which just happens to be one of the most beautiful areas in Italy. A highway built by a company headed up by Antonio Bargone? But who the hell is this Antonio Bargone guy anyway, you ask? He is a diehard member of D’Alema’s party who also happened to be undersecretary for infrastructure and public works in the D’Alema Government. Having abandoned his political career in which he dealt with infrastructure, he became Chairman of the company that is scheduled to build that same infrastructure, namely the Livorno – Civitavecchia motorway. A total short-circuit. Then the Berlusconi Government selected him to act as Commissioner and appointed him to ensure that the work was done properly, so this became a three-way short-circuit since we now have this Mr. Bargone, who was appointed by the Government to oversee the work done by a company that was awarded the motorway construction contract but is headed up by none other than the very same Mr. Bargone himself. These continuous moves from politics to business and these alliances show just how, more often than not, the Pd and the Pdl are one and the same thing. But this is not only true of the Pd and the Pdl, we also often find the same thing happening with the Udc, for example in the case of the major Mestre – Civitavecchia motorway. The Mestre – Civitavecchia motorway, a public work that was very dear to Napolitano, was also very dear to Bersani who was President of the association that was promoting the project, but who do you think is scheduled to build this motorway? Well, none other than former Udc and later Pdl Europarlamentarian Vito Bonsignore.

Who will cast the first stone?
This is the real alliance here in Italy, so don’t believe what is written on the election lists because sooner rather than later they will all be back to wheeling and dealing together. For example, let’s talk Bingo, the Bingo approved by the centre-left Governments between 1996 and 2000. That great con, namely legalised gambling, that the government introduced without giving a damn about the potential social consequences associated thereto, took off and became one of the major ways for the political parties to balance their books. The usual culprits were quick to seize on the opportunities, namely the former Ds (Social Democratic Party), now part of the Pd (Democratic Party, and the Lega Nord. They were banking on using the revenues from the bets, made by poor buggers who were blowing all of their savings on Bingo, in order to try to fill the political parties’ coffers. This never happened because most of these businesses landed up going under rather ignominiously, however, it just goes to show how low they are prepared to sink. The Chairman of the Ds-aligned Bingo company was Vincenzo Scotti, who subsequently became undersecretary in the Belusconi Government. So here we have a centre-left Social Democrat heading up a company in which there were many people that were very close to D’Alema. On the other side, there was the Lega Nord, which set up another Bingo company, can you believe that! At this point, since they are all involved in these kinds of business dealings, what is the likelihood of finding anyone who is actually in a position to cast the first stone? It’s impossible because, if the majority is doing exactly the same thing as the opposition is doing, how can they possibly say anything at all? No way! So it seems that we are destined to stay precisely where we are now, without any chance that things are going to change anytime soon. Major public works, Bingo, marinas, etc. The number of marinas has doubled. In a number of regions, such as Molise for example, the number of marinas has increased by 600% over the past 15 years, but how come you ask? The law that has resulted in this obscene proliferation of marinas that have destroyed our coasts was tabled by D’Alema party member Burlando, then the marinas began springing up, built, for example, by Caltagirone and Bellavista in Imperia and sponsored for all he was worth by Minister Scajola. Then there are the public companies, such as “Italia Navigando”, that took an interest in the construction of these marinas, companies that are headed up by yet other D’Alema party members.
I just want to mention one more case before I finish up. Think back to the case of Tarantino’s escort-girls, which has been improperly classified as a right wing matter although it really is not, but why not, you say? Well because this case has also affected the centre-left in that Tarantino was supplying the escort girls for Berlusconi and, in return, he asked Berlusconi if he could somehow help a number of Tarantino’s centre-left aligned businessman friends, individuals whose names appeared on the list of sponsors of D’Alema’s foundation. This is the great “apparent” paradox because, while we were writing “Il sottobosco”, we realised that it is not really a paradox at all, but rather just a rule, namely that the centre-right is involved in wheeling and dealing with the centre-left. There is therefore no hope whatsoever that these guys are going to change their ways, reform or for that matter set up any rules aimed at preparing for any sort of succession. This will never happen because they are all one and the same.
I would like to conclude by saying that the current levels of intermixing between the centre-right and the centre-left have reached a point where the problem is no longer merely political or wheeling and dealing, but is now absolutely anthropological and cultural. The Berlusconians of the centre-right are increasingly resembling the Berlusconians of the centre-left, and that is the true result of Berlusconism. We obviously kept Berlusconi hanging around for so many years for precisely this reason, because while the left wingers, the centre-left, had often done very similar, if not precisely the same things in the past, the guys of the majority were in no position to cast the first stone because they themselves were guilty of many things. At a time of crisis such as the one we are living through at the moment, major issues such as legality and transparency are pusher into the background and indeed, they are most probably going to tell us “Look guys, the most important thing is to try not to land up in the same boat as Greece”, but the only way for us not to land up in the same boat as Greece is for us to concentrate specifically on legality, meaning efficient tender management and, also and above all, meaning replacing the people that govern us, replacing the people involved in politics, or rather those that claim to be involved in politics. Most importantly, however, is for us to be aware of the importance of our role as citizens. Spread the word!

Ps. Follow the 2012 election tour . Participate by using #m5sTour on twitter and YouTube, or by tagging "MoVimento Cinque Stelle" on your photographs and posts on Facebook.

Today, 16 April, I will be in Cesano Maderno, at piazza Esedra at 19h00 and then, at 21h00, I will be in Piazza San Magno in Legnano.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 05:31 PM in Information | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 15, 2012

The live one and the dead ones


In the five months he’s spent in government, Rigor Montis has become young again. The air of palazzo Chigi is good for him after the years of sitting around in La Bocconi university. However the PDL and the PDminusL seem to have aged by a hundred years. The Final Liquidator is ever more alive while the Public Debt Twins are ever more dead. They have no alternative. They have to support the government and hide beneath the skirts of the Governess of Varese so as not to end up lynched. The harsher Monti is, the more they waste away. However, the System cannot allow them to lose their electoral weight. If Bersani were to go down to 15% or Alfano to 12%, that would provoke a “night of the long knives” and they would have to withdraw their confidence in the government . I suspect that both of them have been below 20% for months but that the news cannot be made public. It’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is to find someone declaring that they will vote PDL or PDminusL at the next elections. The opinion polls that put the PDL at 24.2% and the PDminusL at 24.9% , where are they carried out? In Arcore? In the HQ of the red cooperatives. This situation cannot last long. The more that taxes cut into the living flesh of the Italians, the more they will remember that the collapse of the country is due to the major parties. It’s unlikely that the PDL and the PDminusL, the "de fero” {very resistant} couple will hang on from now to the 2013 elections with significant percentages. And they know that.
In 1993, the landslide of the System was put a stop to by the transformism of Forza Italia, a “new” party that was a container for former Socialists and former Christian Democrats. Twenty years later that exercise is more difficult. The country is at a hairsbreadth from the economic abyss. They’ll have a go all the same by talking about the emergency. In a year’s time, the only thing that’s certain is that we’ll be much worse than we are now. Among the possible alternatives: a super-government with the de facto fusion of the PDL and the PDminusL and an exorbitant majority party reward, an electoral law that allows the PDL and the PDminusL not to form an alliance before the election and to form a government immediately afterwards, the postponement of elections “sine die” until Rigor Montis can finish his work (a hypothesis that is perfectly constitutional) or some electoral misdemeanours worked out beforehand. It depends to what extent Italy is in difficulty and it depends on what the ECB decides. Meanwhile, anyone disturbing those carrying out the manoeuvres has to be silenced. That’s easy in relation to those who have been playing the game, like Boss(ol)i and Vendola, the benefactor of Marcegaglia and Don Verzè using public money. The parties are vanishing in the air like dreams in the morning. Their masters no longer need them. The next President of the Republic will be one of their representatives, Ms Bonino, for example. See you in Parliament! Outside or inside.

PS: Follow the 2012 electoral tour. Participate using the hash tag #m5sTour on Twitter and on Youtube or using the tag "MoVimento Cinque Stelle” on your photos and Facebook posts.

Today !5 April I’ll be in piazza Garibaldi in Forte dei Marmi at 3 pm. At 5 pm, I’ll be in largo Marinai d’Italia in Carrara. At 7 pm in piazza Del Bastione in La Spezia and finally at 9 pm in piazza San Lorenzo in Genoa.

Today 15 April, Beppe Grillo in Genoa - M5S Genova - Follow the live streaming from 9 pm.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 06:58 PM in Politics | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 13, 2012

Article 18 bis


There’s a lot of discussion about the cost of labour and of flexibility, about altering article 18 to relaunch the economy, but what’s ignored is that the cost of labour is increased by various taxes and contributions that are worthy of a loan shark, that are among the highest in the world, and that Italian salaries are among the lowest in Europe In any company there are three sets of people in the discussion: the entrepreneur, the worker, and the State. Like the bank, the latter always rakes the money in and, not being satisfied with that, it even gets you into debt without your knowledge. The entrepreneur isn’t moving abroad because of what he’s paying out to his employees, but because of the taxation on employing labour without even considering other reasons for the love of the fatherland, like the bureaucracy and corruption. Results of Eurostat research on the euro (*) confirm the low salaries in Italy. Average gross wages in Italian manufacturing industries are 17 euro per hour, that’s 3.5 euro less than the average of 20.5 euro in the Euro area. We come below everyone except for Spain, Greece and Portugal. In Germany the average is 9.10 euro higher, in Belgium 7 euro higher, in Ireland 6.4 euro higher, and in France 5.1 euro higher. From March 2012 the situation has got worse with the addition of the local taxes for employees and pension contributions for employees and companies. In Italy, companies are taxed even if they are making a loss as they have to pay IRAP {the local tax based on turnover}. It’s the marvellous world of taxes. A tax that’s proportional to the total value of the invoices and not the profit of the activity.
When a company recruits an office worker or a labourer, in reality they are recruiting the State. Pay two, get one. In these conditions it’s difficult to stop Italian companies from leaving, often for reasons purely of survival. Instead of getting fixated with article 18 and the opportunity to sack people freely, what’s urgently needed is a new article 18 bis to reduce the tax burden associated with employees and the companies. IRAP (the local tax based on invoiced values) has to go. Wages and salaries have to be brought into line with the average in Europe. The State must give absolute priority to the small and medium enterprises to stop them from moving abroad. Italy is becoming a production desert. A mule carrying an incredible load, can be brought crashing to the ground by just one extra piece of straw. It’s the time for cuts, dear Rigor Montis. Start with the most unproductive and damaging businesses in the country. Start with the parties and the newspapers that together cost almost a billion and a half euro. They will never give up. Neither will we. See you in Parliament!
(*) 2008 data

PS: Follow the 2012 electoral tour. Participate using the hash tag #m5sTour on Twitter and on Youtube or using the tag "MoVimento Cinque Stelle” on your photos and Facebook posts. Today, 13 April at 7:00pm, I’ll be in piazza Repubblica in Jesi. At 9:00pm, I’ll be in piazza Del Comune in Fabriano.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 07:15 PM in Economics | Comments (3) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 12, 2012

How good you are, what fools we are!


In “The Day of the Owl“ by Leonardo Sciascia, don Mariano Arena, says this to Captain Bellodi: “ what we call humanity ... a beautiful word full of wind, I divide it into five categories: men, half men, little men (with all due respect) those that get-it-in-the-arse, and the windbags .... Very few are men; there are a few half-men and I would be content with humanity if it stopped at the half-men ... But no - it keeps going down to the little men: the ones that are like children that think they are big, monkeys that perform the same actions as adults ... And still further down: those that get-it-in-the-arse that are turning into an army ... And finally the windbags: that should live in the puddles like the ducks. The Parliament that set up the “Commission for transparency and auditing of accounts of political parties” in response to the scandals that are overwhelming the parties, is made up of little men that believe that the vast majority of the Italians are those that get-it-in-the-arse. There are the macaques, like Bersani, the lemurs, like Alfano with his eyes wide open in the dark and there’s Casini, the bonobo for ladies (*). Parliament has said that the Commission will oversee the accounts starting from 2011, as though to say: "Chi ha avuto, avuto, avuto... chi ha dato, ha dato, ha dato... scurdàmmoce 'o ppassato”. {Those who’ve received have received, received ... Those who’ve given, have given, have given ... let’s forget the past.} The previous accounts will remain of unknown mother and multiple fathers like Belsito and Lusi who really were screwing on behalf of third parties.
Electoral financing, passed off as reimbursements, is simply a fraud to the detriment of the citizens who abolished this with a referendum. The money has to be paid back. Those who have received the financing couldn’t not know that they exceeded by hundreds of millions the actual costs of the election campaign, as certified by the Court of Accounts. Well then why have all the parties hung onto the billions of euro? Someone even wants a new law to give it back .... Are they thinking we are those that get-it-in-the-arse or windbags? It’s not necessary to do anything other than to give back the money with a cheque to the Treasury, as the M5S has done by refusing one million seven hundred thousand euro.
The parties are like thieves who after robbing a bank and being caught in the act, hurriedly set up a commission to be used by the robbers to allow them to check up on how the money from the robbery will be spent. In the face of complaints from those who have been robbed, the robbers would appeal for transparency by publishing on the Internet how the loot has been spent. As well as that they would forgo taking the latest payment of 100 million for a few months leaving it in a safe deposit box. How good you are, what fools we are!
(*) without wishing to offend the monkeys

PS: Follow the 2012 electoral tour. Participate using the hash tag #m5sTour on Twitter and on Youtube or using the tag "MoVimento Cinque Stelle” on your photos and Facebook posts.
Today, 12 April at 5:30 pm, I’ll be in piazza Duomo in L’Aquila. At 8pm I’ll be in piazza Diaz in Montesilvano and finally at 9:30 pm I’ll be in piazza XX settembre in Civitanova.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 06:24 PM in Wailing Wall | Comments (3) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 11, 2012

The bottomless pit of taxes


Taxes are really beautiful.” So said Padoa Schioppa. However I would add: “It depends on the use they are put to.Taxes to buy bomber planes, to finance fictitious peace missions in Iraq and in Afghanistan, for the reimbursed election expenses amounting to a billion euro to the parties, for the hundreds of millions of funding to the newspapers? For the annuities to the parliamentarians that are accrued after one term of office, for keeping the provinces going, for the costs of the Quirinale Palace like those of a renaissance monarchy, for the Great Useless Public Works like the TAV, the Gronda or Expo 2015? For the maxi remuneration packages of the parliamentarians, of the regional or provincial councillors, for the double and triple pensions, for hundreds of thousands of dark blue official cars? I could go on for hours. Up until now, there has been a tacit pact with the State. I pay and in return you provide me with services. The taxpayer has not worried about where his money ends up, for two reasons, the first is that the level of taxation was manageable whereas now you are just working for the State until well into August, the second reason is that the services were acceptable or at low cost. Now this is no longer true. The services are disgusting and we are paying for them twice over with private schools, private hospital, security at our own expense with security doors, alarm systems and bars over the windows. One of the top expenditure items are the interest payments on the public debt, amounting to about 100 billion a year. We are paying for them with our taxes. But why have we got into debt to the value of two thousand billion? To do what? Has someone asked our permission to bring us to this state of poverty? While Rigor Montis acts as the receiver, the one who has caused the bankruptcy of the country is still a free man, spouting out bullshit.
It’s' right to pay taxes. It’s right that everyone pays a proportion of their income. It’s not right to work like slaves at the time of the Pharaohs to see the fruit of our work squandered by presumptuous and incompetent people at best, corrupt and thieving people at worst, who pass themselves off as statesmen and who offer us their recipes for the crisis in the early evening TV programmes. The Pact with the State has to be re-examined soon and with other interlocutors. If for example there were to be a doubling of the tax revenue, I am more than certain that, without changing the rules and giving the citizens the possibility of examining the benefits of the mechanics of public spending to make decisions on the basis of online referenda, for example for the intervention in Afghanistan, or the abolition of the Provinces, the situation would get worse. Greece would seem to us like Paradise. The State accounts would get worse. It’s like throwing money into a bottomless pit. We need to introduce the concept of the destination of where our taxes are to be used. I’ll pay if I know where my money will end up. The time of trusting the word of this lot is way in the past. They will never give up. Neither will we. See you in Parliament!

PS: Follow the 2012 electoral tour. Participate using the hash tag #m5sTour on Twitter and on Youtube or using the tag "MoVimento Cinque Stelle” on your photos and Facebook posts.
Today, 11 April at 3 pm I’m at Caffè Minotti in via Marittima, 309 in Frosinone. At 6 pm I’m at the market of Marina di Cerveteri in Cerveteri and at 9 pm I’m in Fratti (ghetto) in Civitavecchia.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 07:58 PM in Economics | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 10, 2012

The disappeared worker


The concept of the “precarious worker” brought in with the Maroni law, when Maroni was Minister of Labour, the law that Maroni labelled with Biagi’s name, was to facilitate the employment of the younger generations. Instead it produced the highest rates of youth unemployment since the war. We have got to a third of young people and we are moving towards half if we include the Italians who have emigrated abroad in the last few years. The migratory flow of our young people, one million two hundred thousand, mostly people with degrees and diplomas, has been second only to Romania.
In Italy, engineers, physicists and mathematicians have landed up on a long term basis in call centres selling the services of this, that or the other company over the phone. With starvation wages. With no possibility of thinking of the future or of having a family. They have often been living on their parent’s pension. Meanwhile many, very many companies have shifted production abroad with a further loss of jobs. Immigration into Italy of millions of people from the East and from Africa engaged at low wages in the building industry and in agriculture has kept down the wages of farm labourers, factory workers and various skilled workers. Less work and less money for farm workers and labourers, but more profits for a few, particularly for the big construction companies closely connected to the parties and to the Great Useless Public Works. Not a trace of development, and no one could be bothered at all with innovation. They recite the usual liturgy of the brain-damaged person: “Work, Grow, Work, Grow” that means absolutely nothing. Who are we competing with at an international level these days? With the concrete companies?
To get round the problem, they are now thinking of making it easier to sack people and so are rethinking article 18. So the companies from all over the world (starting with the Chinese companies) will be able to invest in Italy. That’s what Rigor Montis says. We already know how things will end up. The phenomenon of being “precarious” as well as unemployment and the social instability that has struck 4 to 5 million people in their twenties and thirties, will tomorrow be extended to those in their forties and fifties. On the other hand, the pensions of the old folk who have kept everything going, are going down in value as they get phased out and because of inflation are worth ever less. And to this dramatic situation, there’s the addition of 350,000 people who are nearly sixty years old who have been “exited” and who won’t receive a pension for 7 or 8 years and who no longer have a job. The ones who are OK are those in their sixties, seventies and eighties, the average age of the politicians. Once they’re dead , the country will no longer have pensions, work or even workers.

PS: Follow the 2012 electoral tour. Participate using the hash tag #m5sTour on Twitter and on Youtube or using the tag "MoVimento Cinque Stelle” on your photos and Facebook posts.
Today, 10 April, I’m at Bar Dalì in Acerra at 6 pm - at Villa Avellino in San Giorgio a Cremano at 8 pm and in Piazza della Repubblica in Pozzuoli - at 9 pm.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 08:40 PM in Economics | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 09, 2012

Passaparola - The Italy of the tax evaders - Bruno Tinti

The Italy of the tax evaders
"Each and every year tax evasion eats up around 160 billion, which means that tax evasion is greater than the actual amount that the Country collects in taxes. Italian citizens currently pay around 45 billion Euro in taxes each year while tax evasion amounts to 160 billion. Another terrifying figure is our public debt, which currently sits at around two-thousand billion Euro, a figure that is greater than the Country’s entire annual production. However, if only we could somehow find some way to bring in that 160 billion Euro of tax revenue that is currently evading the taxman, we could wipe out our entire public debt in a matter of ten or so years and Italy would become a prosperous and happy Country. So how come we just can’t seem to get this right?" Bruno Tinti

Columnist and former magistrate Bruno Tinti's Passaparola

Lining avoid paying taxes
Good day to you all. My name is Bruno Tinti and I have spent much of my life, in other words just over 40 years, working as a Magistrate before deciding to change profession. It just seemed to me that spending as much time as I did as an economic crime magistrate and watching the vast majority, indeed virtually all the trials I was handling ending up being statute barred was just too masochistic, so I turned my hand to writing. Since then, I have written books, I also write for “Il Fatto Quotidiano” and I attempt to explain this sector that I have got to know via my writing. Today I would like to speak to you about taxes so let’s begin with a terrifying reality. Every year tax evasion eats up around 160 billion, which means that tax evasion is greater than the actual amount that the Country collects in taxes. Italian citizens currently pay around 45 billion Euro in taxes each year while tax evasion amounts to 160 billion. Another terrifying figure is our public debt, which currently sits at around two-thousand billion Euro, a figure that is greater than the Country’s entire annual production. However, if only we could somehow find some way to bring in that 160 billion Euro of tax revenue that is currently evading the taxman, we could wipe out our entire public debt in a matter of ten or so years and Italy would become a prosperous and happy Country. So how come we just can’t seem to get this right? I have tried to explain the reason why right here, in this little booklet entitled “The tax revolution” and the reason why we cannot seem to get this right is because the system is designed not to work. The very system that should be encouraging Italians to pay their taxes and hammering those that don’t, either administratively by confiscating their money or legally by chucking them in jail, was specifically designed to stop this from happening. Italians can evade the taxman with impunity and, in the highly unlikely event that they are caught out, absolutely nothing will happen to them and, more importantly, they will never land up in prison! The Tax Amnesty is a prime example of poor governance and of the favours that the Government hands out to those citizens who promise to vote for them. They say:”We need money. I know that you are guilty of tax evasion and that the profits of that tax evasion have been transferred abroad, so bring the money back to Italy and we will promise you that we will only make you pay a very small amount, indeed as little as 5% on the most recent amnesty”. Well, this amounts to fraud: 1) because what we’re saying to all Italian citizens for the umpteenth time is: "Go ahead, avoid paying your taxes because nothing will happen to you anyway". From 1973 to date there have been 15 separate pardons and tax amnesties with an average of 3.8 years between any two consecutive pardons, so any citizen simply needs to hunker down and wait patiently for the next pardon to be announced and, in the meantime, he continues to not pay his due taxes because the next pardon is bound to arrive long before any potential tax audit. Pardons encourage criminal behaviour and invite the citizens not to pay his taxes and giving him guaranteed impunity. Above all, however, pardons are effectively a form of money laundering, not only the laundering of profits from tax evasion, but also the laundering of profits from all sorts of other crimes such as drug trafficking, arms smuggling, human trafficking and robbery. Do you honestly think that the money earned from tax evasion is a different colour to that earned from drug trafficking? What is stopping a common criminal, as opposed to a tax criminal, from taking the billions that he has earned from his crimes to Switzerland, the Cayman Islands, Austria or anywhere else for that matter, and then to bring them back into the Country by exploiting the tax amnesty and paying a mere 5%? Are you aware that Columbian drug traffickers stuff small aircraft headed for Miami full of dirty banknotes that are the proceeds of drug trafficking activities. When the planes land in Miami there are people that launder these drug trafficking proceeds for a fee of 40 or 45%, yet here in Italy we are laundering their money for a mere 5%. By making use of the tax amnesty, Totò Riina will suddenly land up with a ton of money in hand and if anyone asks him: "Where did you get the money to you buy this hotel or that pizza parlour?” or “Where did you get the money to buy this building?", his response will be: "What’s it got to do with you, I simply took up the offer of tax amnesty!"

Every tax evasion equals one vote
Perhaps things will change now that we have the Monti Government in charge, which is a so-called technical government. I remember when, back in August last year, Minister Alfano, who is an extremely intelligent person notwithstanding the fact that he chose the wrong side, appeared on a Sky television programme. At that time, back in August, no one knew whether or not the Italian State would be able to make the public service salary and government pension payments for September since the Country was on the verge of bankruptcy. Alfano stated that: "Dear citizens, beware of what you are asking for when you call for a technical government because these guys just move in, raise taxes and then they simply move on." According to Alfano, this was the reason why we should actually prefer to have a political government, one of the many governments that had eventually led Italy into the very situation that we were in back in August. Well, as it turns out, he was absolutely right! The Technical Government came in, raised taxes and there is now a risk that they will actually have to simply move on in 2013, when the Caste will want to take back the position that they made their own for decades. But how could such a thing happen? At the moment we are talking specifically about taxes but the same argument holds true for pretty much anything else too. The rate of taxation and particularly the impunity enjoyed by tax evaders is a form of currency that is exchanged for votes. No politician in any government has ever dared to do anything against the tax evaders for the very simple and excellent reason that they have used this guarantee, this concession to avoid paying tax, to buy these people’s votes. Today, however, perhaps things are changing. Let’s start by saying that the Monti Government has introduce what we could call the weapon of mass destruction against tax evasion, namely, the obligation for financial intermediaries to inform the contribution registry, namely the Internal Revenue Department, of their clients’ bank account movements. Not the existence of these accounts mind you, because the Revenue Department already knows about them, but rather how much money there is in the accounts in question, which the Government could use to identify those citizens that should be subjected to a tax audit. I would say that someone who drives around in a Ferrari and has 500 million in his bank account while declaring an annual income of 15-thousand Euro should not be allowed to escape from us any longer. Today, the Monti Government is the only one to date that has encouraged, permitted and indeed guaranteed that tax blitzes like the ones carried out in Cortina and Via Monte Napoleone in Rome will be ongoing. These are measures that have a dual value: firstly, if we manage to find out that, on the same day last year, a certain establishment declared a sales turnover that was 400 times less than the declared sales turnover for the day of the blitz this year, I would say that the blitz was an unmitigated success. Secondly, and more importantly, is the intimidatory effect of these blitzes because, as I said right from the outset, why should anyone pay any tax if the taxation system was designed to fail in the first place? This is especially true if the person knows full well that nothing is going to happen to him and that there is a strong likelihood that he will never be audited anyway since the Inland Revenue Department only manages to audit about 10% of the country’s taxpayers in any single year.

90% of the tax evasion is never picked up
You should know that 90% of potential audits are never done. If any one of you had a 90% probability of winning at Bingo, Enalotto or the Totocalcio lotteries, wouldn’t you play some numbers each and every week? If you didn’t win anything this week, you will surely win something next week. This is the position that the tax evaders are currently in. They know that 90% of cases are not checked. Well, now that assurance has been dealt a blow. They no longer know whether or not they will be audited. On the contrary, there is a very real risk that they may well be audited! Obviously there is a lot more to be done. A radical idea would be to allow people to deduct all expenses incurred. We all know what happens when we want to renovate a bathroom at home, when we have our motorcar repaired or when we go to a lawyer, a doctor or a restaurant: the bill comes to 100, 1000 or 3000 Euro, however, if you insist on having an invoice, then the bill comes to 120, 1200 or 3600 Euro because of VAT. So, all of us, well perhaps not all of us but certainly most of us will say “No, I don’t need an invoice because I cannot do anything with it because I cannot claim back the VAT anyway", and so the citizen and the tax evader enter into a new pact in which the citizen himself becomes a tax evader like the independent businessman and the State loses out on the VAT and on the income tax that the businessman should pay, but doesn’t because he has not issued an invoice. But what if we were to create a conflict of interests, if we could somehow convert this alliance between the citizen and the businessman against the State into a competition between citizens? What if I could say to the State: "Yes, it is true that I must pay my taxes, but first you must allow me to deduct the 3,000 Euro that I paid the Plumber, look here’s his invoice!" then there would no longer be this alliance and I would say to the plumber: "No, look, I’m very sorry but I need an invoice because, with this invoice, I will pay less tax so, I’m sorry for you, but you must see to your own taxes and I’ll see to mine”, so it’s not difficult at all! Obviously, there are a number of technical issues to be finalised, such as computerisation for example. What do you think happens behind the scenes when we use our credit cards to pay for something? The simple fact is that when a credit card is inserted into the POS machine, the machine is sending out a flow of information without us even realising what is happening. This goes on behind the scenes each and every day. If my bank has to pay over 500 Euro and the bank that supplied the POS machine knows that it is due to receive that money and the money will be credited to their credit card, how difficult would it be to send two additional information flows to the taxman, one for my side of the transaction and one for the party to whom I am paying out the money in question. In the end, all the taxman needs to do is to do the calculations, after all, he knows that Mr. Tinti has spent 500 Euro and he knows that Tom, Dick or Harry has taken 500 Euro, how difficult can it be? This would not only enable the tax authorities to collect their money, but it would also re-establish our trust in the Government. The people currently have no faith in the Government, and quite rightly so because for them, the Government is merely a political class characterised by two overriding features, namely a high level of technical incompetence and an extremely high level of criminal behaviour, indeed with what is probably the highest rate of criminal behaviour in the entire Country and even higher than in notorious places such as Via Prè in Genoa or Porta Palazzo in Turin. So the Italian citizens equate this criminal environment, infested with criminal behaviour, with the Government and so they don’t trust the Government and ask themselves: "But where the hell does all our money go to? What do they do with it?" The truth is that no one knows the answers to these questions in a modern Country. No one knows how those 150, 200 or 300 billion Euro are allocated each year, however, their representatives are there to ensure that they are properly allocated. Obviously we have to trust them. So the vicious circle should be turned into a virtuous cycle. On the one hand, the ruling class should be absolutely above suspicion and should perhaps be made up of people just like us, where our Deputy would be someone just like us, just like us but looking after our interests and get paid the same as anyone of us because he provides a service while, on the other hand, there should be citizens who do their duty and who report anyone that doesn’t, at which point they know that what they are doing is not useless but that in order to live a prosperous life they will have to obey the Government’s laws, particularly those pertaining to taxes.

Ps. Follow the 2012 election tour. Participate by using the #m5sTour tag on Twitter and YouTube, or by tagging the "MoVimento Cinque Stelle" on your photographs and postings on Facebook.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 05:34 PM in Information | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 08, 2012

Maroni - spring cleaning


If there was only one withered face of the First Republic: that of “Bottino Craxi”, the end of the Second Republic has many faces. The circus dwarf with red goggles, destined for the end of Martelli, who is asking for “Cleansing, cleansing, cleansing”, he, the one who is so intimate with Boss(ol)i, who tried to cause the failure to achieve the quorum for the referenda for nuclear - and public water by not having them on the same date as the local elections. The cost of having two voting days was 400 million euro. What’s Maroni doing? Is he reimbursing the Italians or is he calling Belsito? The “Anthony Perkins” for ladies of a certain age in the shower, the “Azzurro Caltagirone” who proclaims “one thing is to be done immediately: let the presidents of the Upper and Lower Houses choose an auditing company and ask the parties to accept an immediate audit.” He’s saying that only now that the parties have been caught red handed. He’s desperate. Who will give him back Cuffaro’s votes? Bersani has the appearance of a dried up prune, of a Gargamel of the Bassa, of a run of the mill pholosopher who is always crossing his fingers in the hope of not being knocked over by the countless folk of the PDminusL like Penati and Tedesco and calling for an urgent law on transparency and the audit of party accounts. And who is he asking? The magistracy, the Court of Accounts? No. He’s asking his fellow-public-expense-reimbursement-receiver-Casini and Alfano who replied “With me they are trying to crash through an open door!” Crikey. They seem like revirginised whores. Alfano has the expression of the butler before being discovered at the scene of the crime. Rutelli with the face of a falling whore to be used by the next gentleman that turns up and Lusi seems like two formerly engaged folk who exchange insults and give back the letters of their lost love. Who has received the money from the Margherita party’s current account? The warning from “the hill” had to come. It called for “Appropriate measures”. What these are is a Mystery of Faith and a mystery of the Quirinale Palace. Today I hear the birds celebrating. They are starting their spring cleaning. Happy Easter to all honest people.

PS: Follow the 2012 electoral tour. Participate using the hash tag #m5sTour on Twitter and on Youtube or using the tag "MoVimento Cinque Stelle” on your photos and Facebook posts.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:08 PM in Wailing Wall | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 06, 2012

Bossi out of our hair


The Lega is dead. We won’t weep for it. Whereas, the PDL, the PDminusL and the UDC are experiencing optimum health. Boss(ol)i has resigned because of the private handling of reimbursed election expenses. Casini didn’t think of removing himself from our hair even when his Great Elector Cuffaro ended up in prison. Berlusconi now is only the president of AC Milan and his only interlocutor is Allegri. After his departure, accompanied by the unconditional support for Rigor Montis, he raked in an “out of time” in the Mills trial and the cancellation of Dell’Utri’s 7 year sentence by the Court of Cassation. Who knows whether that’s a golden handshake? A winner’s bonus? Chance? No one is speaking about Penati and the System of Kickbacks in Lombardy any more. Is that because of the support given by Bersani to the Governess of Varese? And Lusi, the treasurer for third parties? To whom was he answering? Who paid? Rutelli denies being involved and no one questions his word. The Lega is not paying just for its mistakes. Just for those it would have been deleted from History more than a decade ago. The Lega is paying for its Opposition to the government It’s like an internal settling of accounts, like in the finale of the film “Reservoir Dogs”, they kill off each other: anyone who is not playing the game is eliminated. Is there someone that can believe that the handling of their quota of a billion in “reimbursements” of election expenses by the pro-Rigor Montis parties was done in accordance with maximum transparency? I want to believe it but I will be fully convinced only when the Finance Police inspects their HQs and publishes all the costs they have sustained, item by item, explanation by explanation. Parliament is an empty skeleton, it’s only use is to give a salary to a thousand folk who are maintained from our taxes. People who have brought us to the point of ruin and haven’t the dignity to leave. Everything is decided in Rigor Montis’s tea room with the three “arse faces” Alfano, Bersan, and Casini taking orders. This lot are even capable of putting off the national elections of 2013 in order to save themselves. Anyone who is opposed to the New Order is eliminated, and the first ones to go are the old accomplices like Boss(ol)i. Who will be next?

PS: Follow the 2012 electoral tour. Participate using the hash tag #m5sTour on Twitter and on Youtube or using the tag "MoVimento Cinque Stelle” on your photos and Facebook posts.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 07:10 PM in Politics | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 05, 2012

Italy illegal operation


They need to face up to reality and tell us what the situation is. And things are bad. Really bad. This year, public bonds with a value of 450 billion euro , will fall due. A quarter have been bought mainly by Italian banks thanks in part to the loan of a billion euro from the ECB. There are still bonds to the value of 330 to be placed in 2012 if there is not to be a collapse. The banks are no longer making loans as they have to buy the public debt to stop the country from defaulting. This is why they are not providing finance to the companies. Meanwhile, obviously, we cannot create a new debt to be financed with the issue of more public bonds. And this brings us to the arrival of Rigor Montis’ cure between two possible routes: cut costs or increase taxes. He’s chosen the latter. An inevitable choice. Anyone who is inside the System cannot reform the System. Thus things that are not on the government’s agenda are cutting out the Provinces, cutting the salaries of parliamentarians, cutting out financing to the newspapers and the parties, cutting the Great Useless Public Works (Gronda di Genova, TAV Val di Susa, EXPO 2015 in Milan, etc.), the American fighter bombers, the “peace missions” abroad, bureaucracy. The 30 billion finance package dated December 2011 is hitting the country violently with the reduction in salaries from March and the increase in the prices of electricity, petrol and consumer goods. The IMU property tax and the increase in sales tax will make the situation worse. And we are just at the beginning.
The small and medium sized companies are going bust because of a lack of liquidity. It’s a “chain letter”. If I’m not paid by my client I cannot pay my supplier who in turn cannot pay his suppliers. And the first one not paying is the State that owes 100 billion to the companies. The State is not honouring its debts for a simple reason: it doesn’t have a euro in its coffers. The Italy Machine is grinding to a halt. Anyone producing wealth is closing up shop, is going bust, is committing suicide or is moving abroad. The number of people unemployed is increasing. The overall effect means there’s a brake being applied to spending and the economy of such proportions that have never been seen before. We are in recession and to get the country to take off again the only objective is to make it easier to sack people with the “restructuring” of article 18. To get to the end of the year, Rigor Montis will be obliged to bring in other recessionary measures, but they won’t be enough. The reassurances given by the trio Monti, Fornero and Passera have the appeal of a colonoscopy. Vis pacem, para bellum. Let’s get ready for the worst.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 04:32 PM in Economics | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 04, 2012

Adagio: books to start living again

Adagio, conoscere per tornare a vivere
“Let’s do a new project, a sales initiative to support the Blog. It’s called Adagio. It’s selling books about 100 pages long by new authors. We are trying to promote people who are still brand new to the sector. This is “direct democracy”. Here in the corner it shows how long it takes to read. The time it takes to read could be half an hour, an hour and a half, three hours ... “War and Peace ...” if it said 12 and a half hours, who would read it?
57 euros a year for 10 books, including postage, thus including everything, different topics, here there’s the TAV valley, the Valle di Susa viewed with a critical eye by one who lives in the Valley. There’s “Bar Blog” all the mad people of the Blog, all the mad people who write to me at 4 am, but why then are there chemtrails ... at 4 o’clock in the morning. Or Seigniorage, there’s a load of folk, eccentric geniuses but mad as hatters. And yet there’s the phenomenon of contract killing. I've read this one about contract killing. It’s something incredible. Today in South America the contract killer goes ... In South America you can hire a contract killer for 5 Euro, it’s a bit like what’s happening with cocaine. Some time ago, a dose cost a lot. Today anyone can afford a dose. Interesting things, written by interesting people and with this project we are trying to move ahead with the initiatives of the Blog. Thus I’m sending a hug to everyone and remember: Adagio, Adagio to make our lives better!” Beppe Grillo

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 04:52 PM in Information | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 03, 2012

Marchionne’s secret


In the photo: Giorgio Napolitano with the Minister of Economic Development Bersani, awarding the Insignia of a Knight of Labour to Sergio Marchionne

The words of Minchionne, one of the modern three kings from the East that brings for the workers the closure of the factories instead of myrrh and trade union rights, are important. They are words of zen reflection for every sacked worker. For meditation with a spanner in your hand. Minchionne deals with petrol-fuelled cars, a sector that has been in decline for 12 years. Finished. Completely done for. He admits that. No problem. The car market is “horrible”. More so for Fiat than for the other manufacturers. But that’s a detail. Anyway his income remains extraordinary. He has succeeded in this task where there was failure on the part of the the Triple Trade Union of the 1970s. He’s managed to make his salary a variable that is independent of the market. The causes for Fiat’s losses are to be sought elsewhere, definitely not in the management, in fact “The problem of excess capacity has to be tackled at a European level. I trust that we will find a solution. We cannot continue to lose at the current levels: the system would not stand up.” Minchionne however is standing up like no one else with a salary package and stock options. In March, Fiat lost 36.08% of sales in relation to the same month in 2011. Alfa lost 45.59%, almost half its production. The worst result in the last 32 years. Minchionne is reassuringFiat is not leaving Italy”, but the country “has to change, abandoning a passive attitude in relation to the present.” He’s a decisionist in relation to labour reform that “has to be done. There’s no alternative.” He’s a mentor for the new class of leaders in a conference at La Bocconi university (but who invited him, perhaps Rigor Montis to explain how Fiat will kick the bucket? And why did the students not boo him?) “Rights have to be protected but if we continue to live only by rights, we will die of rights.The rights of the workers, this is the problem. And especially for a Knights of Labour appointed by Napolitano. Minchionne, from Chieti in the region of Abruzzo, “vuò fà l’americano,” {wants to be like an American}, but he was born in Italy and in the period 2004-2009 he received payment in shares valued at 255 million euro, that’s about 38 million euro a year: 1,037 times the wage of one of his average workers. To make up for this, over a five year period, the share price of the Fiat Group has gone from 23 euro in July 2007 to the value at the start of April (after the spin off) of about 4.3 euro. With figures like these (collapse in share price and collapse in sales) any CEO would have been sacked instantly. Marchionne, what’s your secret?

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 07:39 PM in Wailing Wall | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 02, 2012

Passaparola - The charge of the 101 - Beppe Grillo

The charge of the 101

Beppe Grillo’s Passaparola

Let’s start living again

“Here we go again and so begins another adventure involving election lists. There are 101 of them in all, so this is going to be like the charge of the 101 and I’ll be out there in my usual camper van. This will be a tour aimed at once again proposing a different way of life and we’re calling it “Let’s start living again” because we simply cannot continue waking up every morning with this feeling of anxiety and sense of impending disaster that we are living with each and every day. Let’s start living again, without having to keep seeing these people. It not that I have it in for politics in general, but rather with these political parties that are stone dead, something which everyone is now saying but that we have been saying for the past 4 or 5 years. I have it in for these two-faced frauds, for the individuals themselves, and I get this feeling of depression at the mere sight of these people, these mothers and fathers of this object of shame that Italy has become, standing there and claiming to be saviours, the ones that have all the answers. First they cause the illness and then they try to sell you the medicine and the remedy. Let’s start living again!
Let’s take back our towns. We are going on tour and we will be visiting 101 towns. Wherever I can physically get to, that’s where I will be. Starting from Lecce and Taranto, moving up through Alessandria, Acqui, Genoa, Verona, Parma, Piacenza and we’ll be in all the provincial capitals. The percentage of election lists have doubled since last year. We are like a virus, we double in size year by year, like a geometric progression if you will. It’s incredible how well we are doing, and that without money. All the election lists that I have certified so far are those of youngsters that I have never even met before, so I will be getting to know them on this tour. These candidates are self-nominated and self-funded and they are the true warriors of our times, youngsters, citizens, temporary workers, women, men and elderly people, there are truly all sorts in there!
We are running a sort of apocalyptic race towards a new and different way of life. We want a totally different way of life in which each community will manage its own resources. Production, local consumption, air, water, the lot. The banks must stick to banking. The banks are no longer lending money and it’s not merely a question of liquidity, it’s simply because they no longer know their customers. I always think back to my father and the fact that everyone at the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro knew my father’s affairs in detail. The banks should go back to being banks and knowing precisely to whom they are lending money. These days they have no idea who the money is going to go to, so they simply don’t lend out any money because they are afraid of losing it.

The Municipalities are the lifeline of politics

We simply cannot carry on living with the same currency as Germany. We have become globalised but we have not participated in the globalisation. In fact, the opposite is true because these pseudo industrialists, these people that have made a killing on the “Made in Italy” brand while living off government subsidies and relocating their production facilities abroad, should be taxed on their so-called “Made in Italy” production abroad. So you’re saving 30% on labour costs? Ok, then you must pay the same amount back in taxes. They open foreign subsidiaries that sell to trading companies in Dubai, then they simply attach a “Made in Italy” tag, no way!
We are all having to make some incredible sacrifices, including salary cuts, the IMU property tax and other incredible things, all merely in order to stay within the Eurozone, so let’s make these sacrifices for a reason. We have Italian researchers all over the world, Italians that are doing some amazing work, yet we are living in this system in which efforts are being made piecemeal and in which companies are busy closing up shop, but to what end? All just to barely survive with a currency that is not our own? Are we going to take back our humble little Italian Lira or are we going to stay in this Union, but without the megalomaniacs that are only able to think about production, of motorcars, of steel, of coal, producing whatever? What should we be producing? We have to produce intelligence.
So I say, let’s make these sacrifices, perhaps for three years, but let’s do it in order to get ourselves out of the Eurozone because we simply have to get ourselves off this treadmill that we are currently on. We simply have to change our lives for the better.
We want to get into the Municipalities because the Municipalities are the lifeblood of politics and enable us to manage our own areas. That’s all we have that is real. This is going to be an epic battle to conserve our territory, our water resources and the air that we breathe, and go back to a different way of life without any anxiety. Let’s start living again, I beg of you! I will be appearing in some 90 town squares, standing on a camper van. I’m busy having the camper van equipped with a platform for this very purpose. You will be introduced to a number of youngsters that have developed a specific programme for your respective towns. But don’t just vote for us for the hell of it or because you think we are the lesser of two or more evils. We are not merely the lesser of a number of evils, indeed we are something totally different and if you choose to cast your vote for the Five-Star Movement you should do so because you have decided that your life could do with a little shake-up in terms of what you buy and where you buy it, choosing your battles, attending some Five-Star Movement meetings and participating, otherwise we are not interested in getting your vote. I am not in the least bit interested in trying to convince you that we are more honest and we are not going to accept any funding, nor are we going to start any campaigns for referendums to put a stop to the funding of political parties. The Five-Star Movement was entitled to get 1,700,000 Euro in party funding, but we refused to accept that funding! Unlike the political parties, we don’t run campaigns against the provinces and then nominate people to stand in provincial elections.
We already have some 150 youngsters sitting on various Municipal and Regional Councils and these guys are doing some sterling work that the traditional media is ignoring totally because they are terrified. Now they are going to introduce a 5, 6, 7 or 8% cut-off for the next general elections, but we are going to exceed that cut-off point, indeed we have already surpassed it, go ahead, you do whatever surveys you want, we will continue to be one step ahead of you. You are now saying the very same things that we were already saying 4 or 5 years ago. I want to get these people out of my hair and their faces off our television screens. I’ve had enough of these faces on television telling us how Italy should be run. We are Italy and we want to change our way of life, without any more businessmen setting themselves on fire, enough is enough! We have to go above and beyond and start with the Municipalities in order to change our way of life, to improve our lives and to start living once again!"

Ps. Participate in the 2012 Election Tour on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Youtube, using the #m5sTour tag.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 04:47 PM in Information | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 01, 2012

Who are we talking about?


Who are we talking about? “My main collaborator between 1989 and 1992, when I was Minister of the Treasury, Budget and Economic Planning in the government led by Giulio Andreotti”, words of Cirino Pomicino. Mister X was present on the committees of the public debt and the scientific committee for economic planning. In 1989 the public debt, before Pomicino and Mister X, had a value of about 553 billion euro in today’s terms. In 1992 it was 799 billion. An increase of 246 billion. A growth rate of 44.53%. In 1989, public expenditure was about 254 billion. In 1992 it was at 371 billion, so it had grown by 116 billion, an additional 45.90%. One of the worst economic results of any government of the Italian Republic. Soon after that, Amato arrived and said that in order not to go bust we needed measures to a value of 103,000 billion lira with a housing tax and money getting picked up from current accounts. Paolo Cirino Pomicino was one of the sponsors for the election of Mister X.
The one that cannot be named was the European chairman of the Trilateral Commission, a neo-liberal interest group founded in 1973 by David Rockefeller and a member of the Steering Committee of Bilderberg The latter organisation is made up of about a hundred people: people in high finance, in government and in the economic newspapers. They meet up every year in a hotel protected by the CIA. Names of its members are well known. Anyone participating is obliged to maintain silence. What they decide, what they discuss, can change the outcomes for the planet. It’s a semi-secret club of which nothing is known. Mister X has also been an international adviser of the well known philanthropic organisation Goldman Sachs International, Peter Sutherland, Goldman Sachs’ Chair said the following about him “Mister X is a very well respected policy maker and economist and he is bringing to Goldman Sachs the benefit of his considerable experience.” The banks are in good hands, the Italians a bit less so.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 07:02 PM in Wailing Wall | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

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Cities 281 Countries 10

Books and DVDs


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


Clean Up Parliament

Map of Power


Webby award
14th Annual Webby Awards Official Honoree Selections


Tegenlicht - Beppe Grillo's Interview

"De toekomst van Europa volgens Beppe Grillo"

(Tegenlicht TV)

International Press Review

The New Yorker
"Beppe's Inferno"

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

"The Web Celeb 25"
(Related post)

"Meeting Italy's silenced satirist"

People and power: "Beppe's Blog"

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