The least worst


Marco Travaglio doesn't agree with me about Fassino.

I'm sticking to my opinion: that he's the least worst of the DS.
It's possible to say that he's guilty of political naivety and ignorance, in a way that he probably didn't know.
And it's true that, in his role as Secretary of the Party, if you don't know, you don't exist.

But if Fassino were obliged to resign for this reason, what about the rest of the Parliament, the “prescritti”, those definitively convicted of crimes, those who have colluded with the mafia, what should they do?

I’d have an idea for them.

Dear Beppe,

I don’t agree with the distinction you make between D’Alema and Fassino. While waiting for the magistrates to establish who has contravened laws and in what way, we already know (from secret intercepts, but published in Il Giornale) that Fassino did not tell the truth when he affirmed that he merely asked Consorte for information without intervening in Unipol’s bid to take over the BNL.

As well as getting information, he forgot to inform Consorte that what he was telling him  - the “concert” between Unipol and his murky allies, before starting on the hostile bid obligatory by law – was a crime. In fact he participated sentimentally in the operation, giving advice, giving support (“We are owners of a Bank …- Let’s take everything home…”) Exactly as was done by Ugo Sposetti, the Treasurer of the party, evidently in crisis about his identity (“We of Unipol…”).

We will see if and when we get to see his part of the chat line, what D’Alema said. Unfortunately, as I happened to say on 14 January 2004 at the assembly of the spinning tops (the complete text is available on the site:, at the pinnacle of the DS there are characters who have come from far away and who have never wanted to engage with Tangentopoli.

That is what has come out that is politically and morally relevant in the “Clean Hands” trials. Fassino, as you have reminded us, is from Turin. Even Primo Greganti, was from Turin and he has been convicted three times (for corruption, and for illicit financing) for having made a hole in the PCI-PDS. And who was the most prominent spokesperson for the PCI-PDS in Turin?

On a penal level, nothing has ever come out against Fassino. But on a political level? In 2000, when he was Minister of Justice, Fassino proposed – to “de-criminalize financial offences” including bankruptcy.

What was he dreaming of? There’s a little story that I told at the Anti-TAV demonstrations: about the Hypermarket “Le Gru” in the red town of Grugliasco. The biggest hypermarket in Europe. It was constructed by the red co-ops on behalf of the French company Trema, and Euromercato (originally Montedison, then Standa that is Berlusconi). The agent Alberto Milan confessed that he had paid backhanders to local politicians, including 2 communist mayors Ferrara and Bernardi.
”If Bernardi has accepted back-handers, I am a cretin”, declared solemnly the then provincial secretary Sergio Chiamparino. Two days later Bernardi confessed. And at the end it turned out that the secretary who declared himself a “cretin” had received a little gift from the agent: a mobile phone. It also turned out that others interested in the Le Gru affair included Greganti, and his semi-partner Aldo Brancher, who was at that time the right hand of

Confalonieri, who is today a member of Parliament of Forza Italia and is the under secretary of the Institutional Reforms.(the one identified by the documentation of the Milan Inquiry as the collector of the payments made by Fiorani & Co. to the politicians of the centre right). As well as Fassino. In 1993 the president of Euromercato, Carlo Orlandini told the judges that in 1989 he met up with Fassino, who was at that time the provincial secretary of the PCI, to talk about the Le Gru project. And straight after the interrogation, he sent a fax to Fassino to tell him about what he had said to the judges. Why did he have to send that fax and thus violate the secrecy of the investigation? And what was the connection of the secretary of a Party with a hypermarket? Here there’s nothing that’s criminally relevant. There’s something that is perhaps more serious: an old and sick conception of politics, that doesn’t manage to keep itself separate from business activity.

What is criminally relevant, however, is the affair of the Honourable Cesare De Piccoli. When he was a PDS member of the European Parliament, elected in Venice, (and following the dalemian line), he was interrogated by Di Pietro about some Fiat money: 200 million in a Swiss account named “Accademia”.

He asked the judge to absolve him, but he got “prescription”: he had taken the money, there was a proper crime (illicit financing), but he was lucky that the time had run out. Straight after this, D’Alema promoted him to the position of undersecretary in the Government, and as it turned out – of Industry. Recently he has passed to Fassino, who elected him head of his secretariat. Now he is responsible for the economic and industrial sectors of the Party. He certainly knows about industry. Or at least about Fiat.”

Marco Travaglio.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 04:17 PM in | Comments (5)
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"Dear Marco, I read your intervention and kinda liked it. I am a professional interpreter and translator and next time, for the sake of the English language, I'd love you to e-mail me what you have written and let me correct it before you publish it. I'd do this for free, and because I appreciate you.This way a lot of people would really get the meaning of what you wrote, and wouldn't be let down by the poor level of the translation. Sorry to say that :-(
Best regards, Vico Bonfioli"

WELL DONE VICO !!! Look forward to reading the newer translations as yes, I am sorry to say, sometimes the engrish here is a bit wobbly

More power to Beppe's elbow though --- there is NO OTHER blog like this on the net

Posted by: doggy bag | January 10, 2006 05:49 PM

The scandinavian press is too generous! If we go on like this, we'll live in a whole dictatorship!

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | January 10, 2006 10:24 AM

From Scandinavia with all but love
My old parents look at italian affairs on television. They've their opinions clear. Italians are sheep says my mother, born in Puglia 85 years ago. They've voted him so they got him ( Berlusconi ) says my father, from Liguria, aged 91. I follow the farce by reading italian newspaper and picking up news on the Net. The only
thing I can say that's printable is "Im' thankful that my parents emigrated 50 years ago". Get rid of those gangsters not in april but now. Do you like living in a "soft dictatorship"? Thats what the liberal-right wing scandinavian press calls Italy.

Posted by: Pierangelo Sassola | January 10, 2006 09:08 AM

What is with everyone all of a sudden? This is the fifth complaint I've read in two days about the "poor quality of translations!" I got M.Travaglio's meaning pretty well. Perhaps it wasn't even "translated" but just written directly in English.....
Of course it would be interesting to read Vico's corrections and compare them with the original, but .....does anyone have time to do all this? I mean this is a blog not the ECONOMIST for gawd's sake!!!!!!!
Anyway, good for Vico - "I kinda liked (sic)" his idea of doing something for the sake of the English language.

Posted by: Maureen Lister | January 7, 2006 08:06 PM

Dear Marco, I read your intervention and kinda liked it. I am a professional interpreter and translator and next time, for the sake of the English language, I'd love you to e-mail me what you have written and let me correct it before you publish it. I'd do this for free, and because I appreciate you.This way a lot of people would really get the meaning of what you wrote, and wouldn't be let down by the poor level of the translation. Sorry to say that :-(
Best regards,
Vico Bonfioli

Posted by: Vico Bonfioli | January 6, 2006 08:37 PM

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