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June 29, 2006

Corridor 5, the Scourge of God


The barbarians passed through Italy and did loads of damage. Attila stopped the grass growing but he left in peace the trees, the water sources and all the rest. From then on, Italy has survived everything, the plague, wars, the Savoys, Bossi and Giovanardi. However it’s possible that it won’t survive Corridor 5 that will drill through the Alps, the Apennines and the Po Valley so that mozzarellas can be speedily transported from Kiev to Lisbon.

This’ll be in 20 years time when those responsible for this stupidity will probably be dead. We will see trains pass by fasterthanfast across the whole of the North while thousands of millions of Euro will have finished up at normal speeds into the pockets of the red co-operatives (Perhaps this is why the Ds chiamparinobressofassino have all joined forces?) and of lunardian companies (perhaps this is why the Centre Right agrees? Including the Lega of the valleys hard and pure?)

The Tav/Tac is not only Val di Susa, it’s also Liguria, Lombardy, Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia.
A Friulan friend has written to me.

“Dear Beppe,

Thank goodness that you are lending us a hand with the TAV affair.
However I’d like to remind you that it’s not just Val Susa. Of course, Val Susa is extremely important as it is the first stage in a monstrous system. Corridor 5 will involve Lombardy, Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia (but also your Liguria with the second pass, ask Lenzi of WWF Italy…) And then there’s Slovenia where we are trying to establish contacts.

For the North East and in particular Friuli Venezia Giulia I invite you to visit our site and in particular the sections "progetto" and "opinioni".

A preliminary project of RFI/Italferr between Ronchi dei Legionari (GO) and Trieste in 2004 was turned down by the Commissione Speciale di Valutazione d'Impatto Ambientale {Environmental Impact Committee} and by the Ministry of Cultural and Environmental Affairs (Minister Urbani, who was immediately substituted by Buttiglione, who knows why). More than 26 kilometres of double tunnels (in some cases triple tunnels) underneath il Carso di Gorizia and Trieste, in one of the territories that is the richest in caves in the world. An authentic folly!

It’s not yet come out publicly, but it’s said that another preliminary project is already ready for the stretch Portogruaro (VE)-Ronchi dei Legionari (GO) that goes through and massacres all the lower Friuli plain, an agricultural zone, a zone of many springs, rich in vineyards, many agritourism establishments and with ambitions to develop tourism as the hinterland of the beach resorts of Lignano Sabbiadoro, Grado and the archaeological site of Aquileia.

But if the Corridor 5 goes ahead, it’s good-bye to all that. Who would want to go to an agritourism establishment with the din of the super-train?

Beppe, keep thinking of your friends! Ciao".


For the Campaign against Corridor 5
- Comitât Cuintra al Coridôr Sinc
- Odbor Proti Petemu Koridoju

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 06:28 PM in Transport/Getting About | Comments (6)
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Double fifth and triple organ


Now that we have got Italy into debt with one of the most massive public debts in the world, we must get the Italians into debt. The route of individual debt, family debt, and company debt is the real challenge for Italians as they face their future. The more they get into debt, the more they risk becoming beggars. We are the country of “Carpe Diem”, of “let he who wants to be happy, be happy, for tomorrow there’s no certainty”, of Divine Providence and of business people that are proud of the solidity of their debts. But the problem is that Italians are already in debt and the only possibility for them is to get more into debt. A debt on top of a debt.

Today there’s the double fifth. It’s a cheery proposal that overcomes the limit of a fifth of your salary to be able to get a loan. It sounds great. It’s pure marketing. Double fifth. Great.

And then there’s the financing of finance. If you no longer have the money to pay off the regular loan repayments, you are refinanced, even for a greater amount. If you’ve got a yoke round your neck, they offer you another one, a bit tighter. The future will be the triple organ, kidneytesticlelung (anyway you’ve still got one left) as a final solution for sorting out your debts.

Or the neighbourhood loan shark, who if things go really badly, can be paid in kind with wife or sister. But do you want the satisfaction of an exotic holiday or a new car? There’s no comparison.

A debt is a promise and every promise is a debt. The posters and advertising are full of promises of the banks and finance people. But instigation to poverty, shouldn’t that be a crime? To make money out of getting families into debt for futile reasons is that not deceitful advertising? What is superfluous becomes necessary. Savings become debts. The banks get fatter, but the standard of living is OK.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 12:01 PM in Economics | Comments (3)
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June 28, 2006

Heil Spiegel!


I read Der Spiegel. A friend translated it for me. After reading it I felt like one of those dads that hit their offspring every time they make a mistake, but if someone else does it they become like an angry beast. For many reasons, we Italians are disgusting, but compared to other people, for example the Germans, at least we recognise this. We know our defects and we are certainly not proud of them. If there’s people that talk ill of themselves, it’s Italians. Self-criticism is our personal pleasure.

Der Spiegel, taking the image of our footballers and broadening the concept to all Italians, calls us forms of parasites, malignant mother lovers who take advantage of women, beach people, vainglorious, slimy, unable to live without an animal guest from which we suck as much as possible, with a primary objective in life that is continuous ostentation to seem tired, and in the case of footballers, preferring to play the ball to the ground so as to have a better chance of hitting the bones of the others.
Der Spiegel concludes by threatening the Italian footballers by declaring that if Germany meets them in the semi-finals, they, the Germans, have still got a couple of accounts open since their last Italian holiday.

Der Spiegel is one of Germany’s most widely read weeklies. I don’t know whether the opinion of their numerous readers is represented by what they have written.

It’s certain that traditional German hospitality is not like it was once upon a time if no Government source has yet taken up a position against the insults of Der Spiegel towards a guest nation.

A gesture of pride, employee Prodi! A telephone call to Chancellor Merkel to ask for action.
To the director of Der Spiegel and to the europenpusher author of the article, I can simply say that their words unjustly dishonour the German people, and not the Italians.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:40 AM in Wailing Wall | Comments (69)
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The Voice of the Susa Valley / 12


A great letter from the Mayor of Condove in Valle di Susa about life at low speed.

“Dear Beppe,
Journalists and ministers talk on and on about topics that they know nothing or little about, using stock phrases or made up ones, by now over-used and squeezed of meaning (“the TAV in Valle di Susa cannot be renounced”, “it is for the development of the country”, “it is needed to stay connected to Europe” and bla bla bla). Meanwhile we mountain people headstrong-layabout-destructive-anarchist-revolutionaries (and more) continue our lives slowly, since we believe not only that another world is possible but that it is also accessible, just hidden there, round the corner.

An example? This evening with a number of no-TAV committees we are meeting here at my place in the town hall to try and work out new perspectives for the local economy in the Valle, to talk about organic agriculture and of a slow down in growth, of considered consumption, of ethical financing and of co-operatives…

Another example? Friday at 8:00am we will leave Venaus on foot.
”We’ll leave”? Who? “Us”. Those who want to move at the speed of a person and not at the speed of profit. Those who say “No” to the TAV, but “YES” to the train (and if possible clean, safe and on time).

Those who in recent months have made it to the front pages of the newspapers, because, even getting beaten up, they’ve had the bottle to “block the Progress of our Country”. That’s what they’ve said to us. Those who in the last 15 years, without getting to the front pages of the newspapers, have silently worked to save not only their own kitchen garden, their own backyard, but also the wallets of the Italians…

Let’s set off to go where? To Rome, obviously. To do what? To meet up with Prodi, after 15 years of journeying. But above all to meet up with other people in other backyards. To see other kitchen gardens.
To exchange ideas and to gather information. To sit down round a table, and eat bread and cheese with those who are happy to invite us along the way. I’d like to repeat what I wrote earlier: that another world is possible, it is accessible and I would add – it is our moral duty to search for it.

But to do all this we need a speed that matches our pace. Low speed, not high speed. The speed of a person, in fact. I’d already explained this to Prodi before he became President. At that time he was writing Programmes in his factory. I told him that no-one would want to live in a corridor, not even one called Corridor number 5. On Thursday, if the political round table really happens and if I am invited to be part of the delegation, I will try to explain the concept one more time…

I don’t know if “it’ll be hard”, but I will continue to believe that we can do it.
Good Bye and thanks for what you are doing.

Barbara Debernardi – mayor of Condove

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:24 AM in Transport/Getting About | Comments (4)
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June 27, 2006

The end of the bear called Bruno!


A dangerous carnivore in a brown national socialist uniform and of the dimensions of the war criminal Goering has finally been tracked and killed in Germany. Thus the bear will avoid a severe trial for having killed some sheep in Bavaria. The skin of the bear has been delivered to Chancellor Angela Merkel who will wear it at the Oktoberfest in Munich. This end is a warning to every animal that wishes to make a clandestine entry into Germany without a passport.

However there is always someone who is ready to justify the cruelty of the bears. Unwillingly I publish his letter.

“Dear Beppe,
I’m writing to point out the umpteenth “act of supremacy” by human beings in relation to the nature that surrounds us.
This time however it wasn’t the country of Pulcinella to supply the spark for the bitter reflections that follow, but the great Germany.
A two-year-old brown bear has been killed tonight in Bavaria. The plantigrad was part of an ambitious Italian project for the reintroduction of the brown bear to the central Alps.
This is a costly project that is trying to reintroduce this native animal that has disappeared. The project is reintroducing bears into adjacent countries where the bear (for not much longer) is still in existence.

The animal killed was one of the sons of a couple that was reintroduced and it was thus the first feeble witness that the project is succeeding. The animal’s death sentence came after the carcasses of some sheep were found. Considering the rarity of the animal there was no danger for man, who for centuries has been living with the plantigrads without mutual dis-harmony.

The most absurd thing is that a group of hunters from Finland were called in. They were accompanied by vets and trained dogs and were to put him to sleep and transfer the animal to a “safer” area. Safer for the animal away from the easy trigger of Teutonic hunters. But the killers got there first. I wonder what’s the point in calling in super-specialised hunters to put him to sleep and at the same time to call in the hunters to kill him.

Now with all the respect for the sheep, but I’d say, could we not have made compensation payments to the sheep farmers and then transfer this poor beast at risk of extinction, into our zones? Just as they have done and are continuing to do for the reintroduction of the wolf in the Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo. Have you lost a sheep? Here’s 200 Euro… OK I’ll give it to you from my own pocket. An adult wolf that is sexually active is worth much more.

Why has a sheep got value and biodiversity not? Speak to you soon. “

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 07:07 PM in Ecology | Comments (10)
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June 26, 2006

Don Abbondio’s words


New words. Don’t you feel the need for new words? Aren’t you tired of The Bridge over the Straits, the TAV, of Mastella, of D’Alema, of Alitalia that is about to go bust in 6 months every 6 months, of the political use of referendum, of public works, of ANAS, of construction work that starts and then stops, of Tronchetti, of Benetton, of wire taps, of laws to prevent wiretaps, of the public deficit, of conflict of interests, of the reform of TV and radio, of Authorities that haven’t a shred of authority, of names of politicians that are young at 50 and at age 70 are in the fullness of their career, of Scaroni, of privatised monopolies with the blessing of strong powers and of the rotten salons.

Words, the same words. The same faces. The same journalists with the same interviews. A daily nightmare.
This government had the opportunity to use new words, to reanimate the country. To throw out a scream. Words have a life of their own. They create hope, they become reality. They move people.

New words, prodifassinodalemarutellibertinottipecorarodipietrodiliberto pick up a vocabulary of the Italian language. Look for words; the ones that you never use, and shout them out. Just for once, perform an act of courage.

There’s need for pure air and not for following the elephant. Some tell me that when you meet him in Parliament you shit yourselves. Unblessed ones, this is not the reason you were voted in. Not to become elephantised excrement on behalf of others. Otherwise how can the nomination of Mastella be explained? Famous for his experience in jurisprudence, famous innovator.

Le Procure non hanno la carta e i fax e lui, conto terzi, si indigna per le telefonate di quattro delinquenti e non spende una parola per i 25 ragazzi incarcerati senza processo da più di tre mesi a San Vittore. Parole nuove. Anche in questo referendum, per farsi votare, si va al rilancio, a chi taglia più deputati.
Prosecutors have no paper and no fax and he, on behalf of others, gets indignant about telephone calls made by 4 delinquents and doesn’t say a word for the 25 young people in prison without trial for three months at San Vittore. New words. Even in this referendum, to get votes, aiming at a relaunch, about who can cut out the highest number of parliamentarians of the Lower House.

But do you think we are stupid? We need to cut out much more than 100 parliamentarians. We have 700,000 State pen pushers in excess and whole regions of Italy barely subsisting thanks to the mafias that govern in place of the State, with the State and prevent any development. We are talking about tens of millions of people who are supported. New words Prodi. New words.

The country, the one that I see in the mass demonstrations with the little politicians of the townprovinceregion shut in their offices and peeping out from behind the blinds, this country needs courage, happiness, challenges, innovation, immediate action, tough action, without discounts against the monopolies of the media, of telecommunications, (Gentiloni are you still there or have you already resigned?) of the motorwaysmotorwayservicestations, of electricity.

Of a relaunch of universities and research. Of important and symbolic gestures like the nomination of famous international people as consultants to the government. The few that we have, like Rubbia, Piano.

Without new words this government will not last. We have chosen the least worst, not the photocopy.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 08:25 PM in Politics | Comments (4)
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June 25, 2006

The family doctor and incinerators


Once upon a time who else did we trust but the good old family doctor? The one who told you to “say aaaahhhh” and then removed your tonsils. Every time he hit you on the shoulder you had to say “thirty three”. On one occasion I said “thirty four” and he sent me away and asked my mum for an explanation.
The family doctors have expressed their opinion about incinerators. Their report is below. It is dedicated to all those who live or who will live near an incinerator.

“The latest generation of incinerators, with their high temperatures in the ovens greatly contribute to the emission into the environment of very fine dust that constitutes a health risk that is much more serious than the well known PM10. The incineration of refuse, among all the techniques for getting rid of waste, is the most damaging for the environment and for human health.
The incinerators produce ash (whose weight is a third of the weight of the refuse and must be got rid of in special disposal units) and they send into the air millions of cubic metres a day of polluting fumes. These contain fairly big particles (PM10) and fine ones (PM2.5) made up of nanoparticles of heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), benzene, and dioxin, that are extremely dangerous and persistent and can accumulate in living organisms.
These “nanoparticles” go straight through the filters of the incinerators and are not even noticed by current incinerator emission monitoring systems and they are not mentioned in the legal limits that installations need to ad here to.

Furthermore when considering the carcinogenic emissions that have been identified for some time (dioxins, furans, heavy metals) the incinerators emit hundreds of substances whose impact on human health is unknown, just as the effect of combinations of various polluting products has not been investigated.
Every combustion process produces particles.

If it’s true that nature is a producer of these particles (volcanoes) it is also true that the particles that have a natural origin make up a minor fraction of the total that are in the atmosphere today.

Man is the great producer of particles, especially those that are the finest. The higher the temperature at which a combustion process takes place, the smaller is the dimension of the particles that are produced. They are inorganic particles, that are non-biodegradable and non biocompatible.

Combustion transforms even refuse that is innocuous, like packaging and waste food, into products that are toxic and dangerous in the form of gaseous emissions, fine particles, volatile ash and residue that requires costly systems to neutralise and store them.

For this reason, it is appropriate that there are incentives for a policy of production, differentiated waste collection, recycling and the recovery of refuse. The micro- and nano-particles produced in any way, once they get into the organism start off a whole series of reactions that can turn into illnesses.

The most common pathologies are neoplastic, but there are also foetal malformations, allergic inflammatory and even neurological illnesses.
Furthermore, the incineration of refuse is the most costly system for getting rid of refuse and all the Italians, unknown to them, pay generous incentives to support it.

Seven percent of the electricity bill that is paid is in fact put aside and used to give subsidies even to the construction of incinerators. It’s enough to take an electricity bill and read, on the back, in the part discussing various items and costs: “Component A3 – construction of installations for renewable sources”. The sum that is shown at the side is handed to the managers of refuse incinerators because Italian law puts on an equal footing the various non fossil renewable energy sources like wind and sun with energy obtained from incineration of every type of urban and industrial waste.

As well as this slice of incentives taken from the pockets of users, the managers of incinerators receive other money from the State. Thus Italy is the only European State that finances the incineration of refuse. All the other member Sates (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany) impose a tax on those who manage incinerators for each ton of refuse burned thus disincentivising the incineration of refuse.”

From Notiziario FIMMG - Italian Family Doctors' Federation, May 2006

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 02:23 PM in Health/Medicine | Comments (3)
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The Voice of the Susa Valley / 11


I didn’t want to talk about it any more. I hoped that once the technical centre at Venaus had been removed that the TAV discussion was closed forever. But after today’s outpourings form the employee minister Bianchi I couldn’t keep quiet. It’s stronger than me.

After reading his words that have a slight Stalinist flavour talking to the people of the Val di Susa: “It is unacceptable that someone blocks this”, “I am perplexed that people are following these sparks of protest”, “Democracy is based on the principle of the majority”, “the right of veto is a decadent form of democracy”, I’ve decided to once more make the Blog available for the people of the Val di Susa to speak. Available to the mayors, the Parish priests, the country people, the manual labourers, the students, the grandmas and the children.

To open up to this dangerous spark of “no global” that is unacceptable to our employees on the right and on the left, to their “arrogance of the majority” to their indifference and above all to their interests.

The passwords for the TAV are the usual: “It is an opportunity for the country”, “We cannot stay outside the European Union”. To me it seems that the arguments in favour of the TAV are still the usual reasons of money. And that’s lots and lots and lots: between 14,000,000,000 to 15,000,000,000 Euro. And only a tiny part of this will be financed by the European Community, the rest by us, with our taxes. What’s the point? A tunnel to transport goods, thus it’s TAC (Treni ad Alta Capacità = Trains at High Capacity) and not TAV. A tunnel that’s 53 kilometres long that if it goes well will be ready in 15 years. But do we want to stop playing around?

If the politicians must lend an ear to the economic groups connected with the TAV why don’t they get elected directly by them without messing around with political elections? But haven’t our employee Prodi and his groom Padoa Schioppa already said that there’s no more money? That the country is nearly bankrupt? So where are they going to find these thousands of millions to cut a hole through the mountain? The railways and the roads in Italy need urgent interventions and their priority is a hole in the mountain that’s of no use? The employee Bianchi can talk to any commuter to find out, with any truck driver, with the motorists driving on the Salerno-Reggio Calabria.

To refresh the memories of our new employees I’m republishing the opinion of Marco Ponti, a professor at the Milan Polytechnic, one of the most important experts in the economy of transport in Europe and consultant to the World Bank, seen in a post last year:

"... the Italian system is largely under-utilised. On a normal line with double track, 240 trains a day can travel on it. And on a High-speed track (AV) up to 350 can. It doesn't make sense to add this enormous capacity on some of the segments, as there is not the demand for rail transport of this magnitude. Note that the AV lines are very costly.”

“At the beginning it was promised that the AV project would pay for 60% of its costs. Then this came down to 40% and finally it was established that 40% of the costs excluding the costs for the “nodes” near the cities, (really expensive). According to my simulations it would be around 20%; others estimate 23%. "

The system is destined for the default: the State pays. Many of these projects will get off the ground and then there won’t be the money to continue them and they will be restarted every time there is an election. The Turin-Lyon is a monument to dissipation: it will cost at least 13 thousand million, like 3 or 4 bridges over the Straits of Messina.“

I invite the inhabitants of the Susa Valley to write to me and to send me photos, information, and film clips that can be published on the Blog.
It’s not going to be easy!

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 02:09 AM in Transport/Getting About | Comments (0)
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June 23, 2006

Just say no!


I’ll vote “No” in the referendum. Straight after that on this Blog, I will start a debate about the Constitution. It is evident that the parties cannot reform the Constitution because they are the ones who get the greatest benefit from the status quo.

The current Constitution has some values to be kept and others to be changed. But like everything else it gets worn out. Today it is a bit anti-historic and it is starting to smell. And as always, the fish starts to smell from the head. The head in this case are the professionals in politics whose cost and inefficiency are the true dead weight attached to the foot of Italy. Those who don’t want to change the Constitution (Centre Left) or who want to change it for the worse (Centre Right) haven’t been keeping us informed in these last few weeks. They have transformed the referendum into a little political theatre. If “yes” wins they will come to an agreement. If “no” wins they will come to an agreement. OK – but why are we voting at all?

Numbers on Italy:
- About 57 million inhabitants.
- Governments that have more than 100 people (ministers, vice ministers and undersecretaries).
- Parliament with 630 members of the Lower House, 315 members of the Upper House (senators) and 5 life senators.
- 20 regions (the Val d’Aosta with 121,000 inhabitants – equivalent to a quarter of Naples – given equal status to Lombardy with 9,000,000 inhabitants, corresponding to the regions of Friuli, Umbria, Marche, Abruzzo, Molise, Basilicata, Calabria and Sardinia all together) all with the same legislative competences and the same administrative powers.
- 8,102 comuni (villages, towns or cities) most of which are tiny or very tiny (Monterone – Lecco – 33 inhabitants that elect a mayor and a local council every 5 years just like the 2,500,000 inhabitants of Rome).
- 300,000 professionals of politics, going up to 700,000 with “amateur administrators” of the provinces, mountain communities, ASL, IACP, Autorità di Bacino, Consorzi, Mixed Companies and Regional Commissariati costing 15,000,000,000 Euro a year.
- The current spending handled by the regions, provinces, mountain communities adds up to 15% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Neither the devolution of the left nor of the right have thought to reorganise this parasite-like structure.
It would be possible to go ahead with a few measures that all those Italians who are not maintained by the State and are not part of the political class (thus very few) would agree on:

- Drastic and immediate reduction in the number of parliamentarians.
- Elimination of the provinces and the mountain communities.
- Setting up 3 macro regions of about 19,000,000 inhabitants each (a few more than Tokyo or San Paolo).
- Governments with no more than 12 ministers given that State competences are transferred to the regions.
- Grouping of the 8,000 comuni into 100.
- Suppression of privileges, salaries, golden pensions and of consultancies.

We are a country that has been mummified by the State machinery and without the certainty of rights. The Constitution is partly the cause of this obscene result. It should be changed. But changed for the better.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:56 AM in Politics | Comments (10)
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June 22, 2006

A lesson in journalism


Yesterday Piero Ricca asked Andreotti a few questions. After that he had to flee but he was caught and taken to the Police Station. Here is his story. (video)

“Early yesterday afternoon, in the big lecture theatre of the Università Bicocca, in Milan, I put a few questions to the life senator Giulio Andreotti, about the strange absolution that he got on the grounds of “prescription” {timed out} for the crime of associating to commit a crime, that the judges at least until 1980, considered to be “concretely reviewable”. Because I dared to do this, I was identified and threatened by police officers and kept at the Police Station for almost 2 hours. And I was lucky it was just that.
In the big lecture theatre of the Università Bicocca a few journalists were interviewing our life-long employee about other topics: Moggi, the national team, “the decline of public morality as can be seen from the recent intercepts”, the relationship between hopeful actresses and men in power and so on. Andreotti was comfortably seated, relaxed. Every so often he made a joke and the journalists laughed heartily. The university lecturers around formed a festive circle.

At a certain moment I entered the picture and I handed Andreotti a sheet of paper with an extract from the judgement of the Palermo Appeal Court that was then confirmed by the Supreme Court. With the most courteous tone possible I asked him to comment on it. A dialogue of 3 or 4 minutes ensued and I recorded it on the video recorder at a distance of less than 3 or 4 metres.

I asked him about the responsibility attributed to him by the Italian justice system. I asked him if he thought it was normal for someone to be in Parliament as a life senator being described like that in a definitive judgement. I pointed out that in the opinion of many international publications, “the Andreotti case” was considered to be a scandal and the interview continued like that.

He replied and invited me to read the whole judgement, since “from extracts you can understand little”, he stated that the "prescription" was a result only of the doubts that the court had about a single meeting (according to him that never took place) with the mafia person Bontade (“a certain Bontade”). He added that when he’s abroad he encounters only respect and solidarity. And he continued like that, minimising and finding slip roads to escape from the questions, with his typical eyes shaped like slots.

While I was asking the questions some of his personal bodyguards in plain clothes pushed and pulled me from behind. At this I rebelled immediately out loud. I asked Andreotti if it is still possible to ask questions to politicians in this country and he replied that no one was stopping me. He said that it is a right to ask questions “and to answer them as well” then he added: “But if you are here to make trouble then….” The body guards meanwhile were surrounding me and holding me from behind.

At the end of the interview, State Police officers tried to take me away by pulling me with force. I protested in a loud voice in the middle of the lecture theatre, while the conference was beginning. The police disappeared. No one raised an eyebrow.

I stayed in the lecture theatre for another 20 minutes, sitting peacefully and recording on the video. Then I went out on my own and I was treated like a criminal.

A private University guard started to shout at me menacingly. He shouted and pushed me violently out of a side door. Andreotti’s bodyguards held me and threatened to take the video camera away. They ordered me to show my documents. The tone was aggressive, neurotic like a bad western.

There was obviously an attempt to intimidate me. While the private guard continued to shout and threaten me I got myself free and went away.

The police and the private guards followed me and immobilised me in a place where no one goes by and my arguments went unheeded. Arguments like: “I have done nothing wrong. I have simply asked a politician some questions. It is allowed to do a recording of public personalities and events. If you commit abuses I will denounce you.”

The agents continued repeating: “You cannot behave like that with the senator. Your questions were not relevant. You cannot make a recording without permission. You have also recorded us. And then we already know who you are. It was you in Rome in front of the Senate. Now you will give us the material and then we will take you to the Police Station.”

While they were saying this, one held me up against a wall and the other got my backpack with the video camera and an audio recorder.

I objected: “Leave it to a judge to decide who is right. You are committing an abuse and anyway I demand to know your names.”
An agent replied: “Now I am the law. I am the judge.” Then turning to his colleague he added: “Now we will take his fingerprints, that way the friend will start to calm down.” The negative influence of American westerns cannot be calculated.

Then I was taken by other police officers who drove me to the Greco police station. I was kept there for more than an hour and a half. They took the backpack. By chance, I had committed a grave crime and did not have my regular identity card with me. But I could show them an ID card of the type used for elections that I had on me by chance. We had to wait for a fax from Parma with a photocopy of my document.

This meant that the procedure that had been mentioned, photo identification and fingerprinting in Questura was not needed. This would have been an amusing event for one of Milan’s most identified people.

For all this time I was prevented from telephoning my lawyer and I was not allowed to make or receive any other calls. I asked to be allowed to do this but was told: “You must keep your mobile switched off.”

I noticed that the officers at the Greco police station consulted others by phone. These included Andreotti’s bodyguards. They were trying to decide whether or not to impound the recording equipment. While they were engaged in these complex negotiations I made them aware that I am well known in the environs of the Questura and elsewhere for my activity as a committed citizen interested in politics. I cited names and facts including declarations and parliamentary investigations concerning the Milan police.

At the end I was released together with the video camera and the other stuff. The officials had drawn up a document “for internal use” that I was not allowed to see.

That’s it. I was treated in this way because, in the middle of the silence of most news operations, I asked 2 or 3 questions to a life senator who has been judged by our country’s justice system, to have colluded with the mafia. He was saved from a sentence because of prescription. Because of the time delay. And I have never even had a fine in my whole life.

In strict coherence, the regional evening news (TG3) defined my activity (of asking questions as a journalist) as a provocation. And today’s edition of il Corriere della Sera reports the news of my transfer to the police station. As “following a discussion with Andreotti”. In the wording above the title, the word “discussion” becomes “fight”.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:48 AM in Information | Comments (18)
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June 21, 2006

Guantanamo, Italy


Something exceptional is happening in Milan, never before seen in Italy. Finally those who make a mistake are paying for it.

Twenty five dangerous terrorists who laid waste to corso Buenos Aires, frightening shopkeepers and passers by and burning the odd car to protest against an authorised fascist demonstration, are rotting in jail. They are young men and women, but it’s better like that. They are at the age when a person can be sorted out to live a good life. They’ve been in San Vittore for three months.

The fathers and mothers of the prisoners demonstrated last Saturday in the streets of Milan with a banner saying “Give us back our sons and our daughters”.

Together with them there were about 5,000 people including Don Gallo and Dario Fo who declared: “The young people are in prison without proof. Many of them have done nothing. They were there in the middle of the crowd. This is class justice and so much severity is explained only by the wish to castigate those who demonstrate.” That’s better.

That’s how they will understand that in Italy it’s a crime to demonstrate. While it is a normal fact to behave like a criminal. It is even well paid in terms of power.
Thinking of these young people puts me in mind of (who knows why?) our twenty members of Parliament who have been convicted of crimes.

It reminds me of Previti, sentenced to 6 years in prison, but who stayed inside only for a couple of days. Two days for corrupting judges on behalf of others. If he had burned a car they would have fined him. A gentleman who goes for a walk along Lungotevere every day with an escort paid for with our taxes. And what is the use of the escort? To protect us from him? The young people inside and him outside.

Doesn’t it seem like a scandal to you? It is a scandal. Let Prodi intervene. The young people have already paid with three months. The politicians, the prescritti, those who collude with the mafia never pay. It’s disgusting. The government should recognise this.

Let’s ask for the release of the young people by sending an email to Romano Prodi.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 02:27 PM in Wailing Wall | Comments (11)
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Who dares wins – on a Vespa


Sergio Cusani has sent me a letter about Piaggio on the Stock Exchange. I’m attaching the letter and presenting the start of it here.

" On 12 June at Pontedera there was a national conference promoted by national FIOM-CGIL and categories, jointly with the territorial structures of Lecco, Pisa and Venice together with ADUSBEF e FEDERCONSUMATORI that are historic associations that defend savers, consumers and users. Pontedera is the town where there is the HQ of the biggest factory in Italy of the Piaggio Group. This is owned by Roberto Colaninno’s IMMSI holding. (Colaninno, Gnutti and Consorte of Unipol are the ones who privatised Telecom while D’Alema was leading the government. They mostly used bank loans, that is, they used debts and these are still weighing on the new Pirelli/Benetton management.)

I too was present representing Banca della Solidarietà. Together with the small company Practice Audit di Milano I had already analysed the balance sheet and the current economic and financial situation of the Immsi/Piaggio group. Though small, Practice Audit di Milano is an unfettered company that has been working on behalf of the Trades Union and has been monitoring the situation of Fiat and other big industrial groups.

Among those present at the conference were representatives of local, provincial and regional institutions, journalists and women and men delegates from the companies Piaggio, Aprilia and Moto Guzzi (part of Colaninno’s Group). These delegates talked about their direct daily experiences and told us of how things really work in the various factories. And it’s not all about roses and flowers. Quite the opposite.

The national Conference was also aiming to provide critical but constructive analysis of the future launch of Piaggio & Co SpA on the Stock Exchange.

Among the points discussed were those made in the letter dated 1 June 06 (attached) that was sent to the Ministers Padoa Schioppa, Bersani, Damiano, and Ferrero and to the President of Consob, Cardia, and in particular:

- the operation of launching Piaggio on the Stock Exchange must be considered to be a unique and never to be repeated opportunity to source new financial resources to inject into Piaggio directly so as to sustain and reinforce the revitalisation process and the commercial and industrial development of the Piaggio Group in Italy, in Europe and in the world.

- for these reasons, and so as to sustain the development project that had been announced “urbi et orbi”, by the President, Colaninno, and by the CEO, Sabelli , it is thus absolutely necessary to modify the structure of the way Piaggio is to be launched on the Stock Market from an Offerta pubblica di vendita (OPV){Public Sales Offer} that is an operation by which the IMMSI holding only pays back its creditors and private financers, funds and banks, not with money but with quoted shares of Piaggio that is controlled, that is with pieces of paper (Piaggio shares): that is definitely a financial operation that does not affect the Piaggio company but remains exclusively within the realm of the relations between the IMMSI holding and its partners and creditors.

- in a mixed operation of OPV and Offerta pubblica di sottoscrizione (OPS) (Public Subscription Offer} that sees an increase in capital in money that comes through the Stock Exchange, to the market of public savings and unlike for the OPV, fresh new capital really enters directly into the company, that is into Piaggio.

In fact we have discovered that the structure of the launch of Piaggio onto the Stock Exchange, as devised by Colaninno in financial terms, only offers the Piaggio’s controlling shareholders , that is Immsi/Colaninno, the chance to resolve their financial relationships, that is their debts, with their partners by giving them paper rather than money. They are given Piaggio shares that have the fundamental advantage that once they are quoted on the Stock Exchange, they can be sold easily in the stock market and placed with savers. Such savers are often referred to as “signora Maria”, the many many people who invest the labour of a lifetime in Piaggio shares but they are handing over their savings to the banks. The banks come out fine as they have passed on the so-called “hot potato” to the wider general public. But the savers are not injecting money directly into the Piaggio company even though they are becoming shareholders and thus to a tiny extent, owners….” Sergio Cusani.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 01:50 PM in Economics | Comments (0)
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June 19, 2006

The torpedo speeds through the water straight and swift…


While gays have been parading in Turin, Alleanza Nazionale has arrived with the response that we were waiting for. Strong, clear and fascist. Male, Italian and Roman. Like those who have nostalgia for the old fascist times. The virile voice of Fini’s spokesman, Salvatore Sottile, reverberates in the intercessions and reminds us of the Duce. It reminds us of him who entertained himself hurriedly with girls of the people during the afternoons. Of him who did it directly on his desk in the Sala del Mappamondo in Palazzo Venezia. Of him who gave a Roman salute after each episode.

Fini’s spokesman evaluated the artistic talent of future showgirls and presenters for the RAI at the Farnesina, the palace of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. While Fini was having tea with Rice, he was going about his gynaecological examinations. Fini knew nothing and never took anything home. And this is the only real reason why there might be possible tension between them in the future.

Sottile is a benefactor. It’s thanks to him that the Italians have admired bums and tits all evening. If it had been another party influencing the decisions of RAI, less attentive to the vagina, what would have happened? If the sexual tastes of Alleanza Nazionale (AN) had been more alternative, the Italians would have had to watch penises and trans-sexuals.

Thank you AN. I would like to extend these thanks to La Russa, to Landolfi, to Gasparri and to Storace even though I know that they would never oblige innocent young women to submit to their desires. The champions of d..k pride. That makes us true Italians. We want to see them out on the catwalk.
It is known that man is a hunter. If he’s a fascist he also a bit of an abuser. A suggestion to Fini to make progress with this battle of the attributes: Nominate Flavio Briatore, Italy’s fiancé, as your spokesman.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 04:05 PM in Wailing Wall | Comments (19)
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June 18, 2006

There’s a telegram for you…

Comic strip by: Ciccio De Luca

Raise the alarm. Stop.
A private company has been spying on Italians for years. Stop.
It can keep anyone it wants in check. Stop.
It’s a scandal that is worth ten Tangentopolis. Stop.
No minister (in check? Or check mate?) is talking about it. Stop.
The system is called Radar. Stop.
3,332,000,000 items of information reserved. Stop.
Five supercomputers connected to a central one of 10,000,000,000,000 bytes. Stop.
Information about citizens relating to timetables, numbers, position, personal data. Stop.
The Milan prosecutors are starting an inquiry into suspected association to commit a crime aimed at revealing reserved information. Stop.
Giuliano Tavaroli “group senior vice president” director of security in Telecom Italia resigns. Stop.
The unhappy Tronchetti didn’t not know nothing. Stop.
Tronchetti has initiated an internal enquiry. Stop.
The enquiry is conducted by Armando Focaroli. Stop.
The committee for internal control made up of Guido Ferrarini, Domenico De Sole, Marco Onado, Francesco Denozza is kept informed of developments. Stop.
An internal hole in the information system has been discovered. Stop.
Telecom will present a denunciation to the Milan prosecutors about illegal intercepts. Stop.
It’s like Totò Riina discovering mafia personnel inside his organisation and setting up an enquiry. Stop.
I’m fed up of being had. Stop.
It’s Tronchetti that should be investigated. Stop.
Why does no one do that? Stop.
Why is it only L’Espresso group that is talking about it and none of the other newspapers or TV channels? Stop.
Is the response in Radar? Stop.
Share value of Telecom 2.153 Euro. Stop.
Loss since beginning of year –13%. Stop.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 12:52 PM in Technology/Internet | Comments (15)
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The black hole


What is advertising? We are so used to seeing it everywhere that we no longer ask ourselves if it’s useful or not. Is it useful? I propose that 100% of the advertising goes to Mediaset, that Publitalia be a monopoly, without competitors, that RAI is paid for by a tax on subscribers and without advertising. Only programmes without advertising. Doesn’t it make you feel better to hear the words: “without advertising”? When I pay for a packet of information, a film, TV programmes, or newspapers, I would like the choice: “with or without advertising?”

Advertising is devouring itself. Tennis and international football have disappeared. They are seen by an absolute minority of Italians on Sky. The others no longer see the advertising included in the events: banners, rackets, balls, shirts, and everything connected with the sport. They don’t even see the sport.

The pay channels eliminate mass advertising and promote selective advertising for the tiny number of the elect. For the others: nothing – no show and no advertising. Or rather they see lots of advertising and poor quality shows. They are financed and conditioned by the companies that pay for the advertising to the poor. The programmes are of such poor quality that choosing a pay channel seems obligatory.

Advertising has won and has killed information. But at the same time it is dying from itself. It is collapsing. It is promoting only useless goods or those that have no differences between them. In the former case, we can do without, in the latter case, one brand is like another. We all know that advertising is a tax we pay on the product. We are paying for the advertising spots. The advertising person is on the payroll of the consumer.

The freedom to buy a good without advertising inside should however be guaranteed by the Constitution. The citizen should have the possibility of choice. If you think about it, it’s fraud. If I buy a cinema ticket, I know what film I’ll see, but I don’t know what advertising I’ll see nor how much of it. This is advertising that I haven’t asked for, that I haven’t bought, and that I don’t want.

It’s an enchantment. It’s us that are permitting it to happen. Let’s look for places, products and information without advertising. If that’s not available, let’s protest to the theatre directors, the shopkeepers, and the newsagents, at the same volume as an advertising spot.

PS: This evening I will be at Salerno, together with experts on the theme of incinerators at 22:00 in piazza Flavio Gioia for a public debate about incinerators.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 12:33 PM in Wailing Wall | Comments (8)
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June 16, 2006

Yes, however…


It’s a week since the meeting at Palazzo Chigi.

The employee Prodi has surely had the opportunity to read the proposals resulting from the Citizen Primaries. Our top employee emits trust, he smiles, he nods, approves, meditates, mutters and murmurs noises that sounds like agreement. In the face of catastrophe he is always serene. And we are reassured and start to think of other stuff. But a week of honeymoon is finished and I’m no longer really so reassured. It’s not that I’m questioning Prodi’s actions, however….

However a number of undersecretaries and Ministers like we’ve got isn’t even reached by the whole of the European Parliament. However, many Ministers don’t know what they are talking about but they are talking every day.
However meeting with the top brass of Abertis and of Autostrade at Palazzo Chigi one day and another day isn’t done while negotiations are in progress.
However, there’s the amnesty.
However the law about the conflict of interests that is no longer talked about, is strange in a government of talkers.
However there’s the reform of the election law that was urgent and is now at “maybe”.
However there’s the withdrawal from Iraq that could have been done in a week and yet instead they don’t want to offend Bush.
However the reform of the radio TV system was to be done immediately and now perhaps won’t be done.

Dear employee Prodi, after only a week since we met it doesn’t seem right to set off any type of disciplinary procedure, but I have to say, I am a bit disappointed.
But perhaps this is just a problem for me.

The meeting with Prodi was filmed. No one has yet seen what really happened. Now you can find out. Download the 3 clips, send them around, but don’t tell anyone.
Palazzo Chigi
Science in the open air
Clean Up Parliament

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 03:21 PM in Politics | Comments (8)
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The snake's head


Who gains from the energy crisis? Arms manufacturers of course. A few days ago I was quoting data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and now their new yearbook is out.

The numbers speak clearly: the increase on the world market in the prices of minerals and fossil fuels has helped the growth in military spending in the world.

You can see this straight away in Algeria, Azerbaijan, Russia and Saudi Arabia, where the increase in receipts from mining has caused an increase in the military expenditure.
This is spending on a world scale that has reached 1,118,000,000,000 dollars (the previous year it was 975,000,000,000). It’s as though every human in the world is spending 173 dollars on arms. And everything finishes up in the pockets of a few people who are getting fewer.
How much has your salary gone up in the last year? The sales of the 100 biggest arms producers went up by 15% reaching 268,000,000,000 dollars. This goes to about 80 companies that are American or from Western Europe.
All this power is concentrated in the hands of the few. In 1990 the top five in the charts had 22% of the receipts, now that is at 44%.
Do you want to know where this money lands up? Go and look at the list of those financing politicians in the whole world.
Do you want to know where all these armaments finish up? Impossible. Data on the life cycle of armaments is scarce and above all it’s of poor quality. The value of information depends on its availability and its trustworthiness. And rarely do the data match up to these requirements at each phase from production to destruction.

A perfect mechanism: petrol finances arms, arms producers finance the politicians who buy the arms to defend the interests of the petrol companies with beautiful wars of liberation.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:14 AM in Economics | Comments (2)
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June 14, 2006

Riding the Stock Exchange


The Stock Exchange is finally taking off again. This is demonstrated by the new entrants and a host of hopefuls knocking at the door. They are asking, they will be asking for more. For investments, for the future, for us.

The reason why a company wants to get quoted on the Stock Exchange is obvious: to get money. And the bigger its debts the more it asks, the bigger its negative balance, the more it needs. It finds buyers for its shares through the banks, through the newspapers, through investment funds, through the counter clerks, through the financial advisers, through advertising. Those who get to the Stock Exchange are those who want your money or are those who have none left. Does it seem possible that a company that has never had profits can get quoted on the Stock Exchange? That a company with a frightening level of debts can be on the Stock Exchange? That a company with a single client can be there? That’s what happens.

The ones who gain like this are the certifiers, those who testify to the strength of the balance sheet and of the business plan. The banks who place the shares gain. The self-nourishing system gains: Consob and the Italian Stock Exchange. Managers gain with stock options. Those shareholders who straight away cash in their shares, gain. That way they don’t risk future losses if the share value falls.
After Calciopoli {investigation into the football scandals} (but has it happened yet?), we’d need a Borsopoli {investigation into Stock Exchange scandals}. That would be so wide-reaching that all the rest would seem like nothing.

A hole bunch of little companies external to the Stock Exchangethat control the big groups, of Chinese boxes, of shareholders that have power but no money, of conflict of interests between companies that are clients and suppliers, of Directors who are on more than one Board, of the lack of regulations that protect the investors. Without class action, without transparency.

But journalists, the true ones, are on our side.
Like Daniela Braidi of La Repubblica who on Monday advised the purchase of Telecom Italia shares that have lost 10% of their value since the beginning of the year and have been loosing value anyway since Tronchetti appeared in 2001. She uses this fascinating turn of phrase: “the shares of the telephone company appear to be more attractive after the sharp correction of the last year and a half”.

An innovative way of reasoning.
According to the article, if you’ve already been taken for a ride, there’s the reasonable probability that it won’t happen again.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 11:15 AM in Economics | Comments (6)
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June 13, 2006

Luca in the sky with Murdoch


Murdoch has decided to take a young man to the civil courts. He had tried in the criminal courts but his request was turned down by the judge. He had got his PC impounded but the judge had it returned to him.

The action was initiated by Sky, and as explained by a post, the site of the young man contained links to Chinese sites that allowed us to view live games of our championship. This is Luca’s short letter:

"Hi Beppe it’s Luca,
I wanted to tell you that Sky has even tried to take me to the Supreme Court.
The hearing is fixed for 4 July. I need to get in touch with the lawyer to get advice.
Let me know.

Luca De Maio (calciolibero).

With the funds remaining from the publicity in the Herald Tribune, almost 8,000 Euro, I’ve decided to help Luca to get legal advice against Sky. I believe you will be in agreement.

I’ve decided to create an association for liberty on the Internet to help those people who are victims of prevarications and legal actions. You’ll get all the details before the end of the month.

Sky has made the world championship disappear from our TV screens. They attack a young person and take him to the Supreme Court. If you know anyone who subscribes to Sky, tell them to stop.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 11:46 AM in Technology/Internet | Comments (8)
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June 12, 2006

Go for it Ghana!


Ghana go, go go! Go for it Ghana! These smiling young men from Ghana are our hope, our future, and our salvation.
If they win, I’ll invite them all to my house at my expense. We’ll have a great Afro Genovese party to celebrate the rebirth of our football and the defeat of giggirrriva, and of lippinoonespeak.

Of those subsidized by the sponsors that say nothingnothing. Like Del Piero who has been with Juve for a life time and has never seen anything. Like Cannavaro, the lawyer on the field of Moggi. Like Buffon who was betting on the matches and then cried.

We’ve got a national team that seems to have come out of Regina Coeli {a prison}, or perhaps they’ve got to go in there. But there are exceptions. And when aren’t there exceptions? But this bunch of exceptions, a Totti for example, they should have been giving an example and staying home. This is the national team of the sponsors.
This is the national legitimate and bastard daughter of the scandal of rigged games, of false accounting, of true scouts that toured round gatherings of the pale blues with threats and flattery. And among the true scouts there’s Lippi’s son.
But Marcello, with all the possible careers in the world, it was really this one that you made him take up? And do you seriously think that there’s no conflict of interest with your role as coach of the national team?

We’ve got a national team that seems to have come out of Regina Coeli {a prison}, or perhaps they’ve got to go in there. But there are exceptions. And when aren’t there exceptions? But this bunch of exceptions, a Totti for example, they should have been giving an example and staying home. This is the national team of the sponsors. This is the national legitimate and bastard daughter of the scandal of rigged games, of false accounting, of true scouts that toured round gatherings of the pale blues with threats and flattery. And among the true scouts there’s Lippi’s son.
But Marcello, with all the possible careers in the world, it was really this one that you made him take up? And do you seriously think that there’s no conflict of interest with your role as coach of the national team?

From the ten pages of a month ago about the football scandal, the newspapers have now got to one, or half or nothing.
Do you know why? Do you believe that they want to protect the national team? The climate? The results?
Nope. They want to protect the interests of the sponsors, who pay for advertising in the newspapers, who pay for advertising on the TV, the radio.

They want to protect Sky, the Rai, Publitalia.
If Italy wins, we are done for, our football is dead.
If we love Italy, if we love the game of football, if we love a minimum of honesty, of decency, we must all shout: Go for it Ghana!!!!
Make them angry our pale blues.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:44 AM in Wailing Wall | Comments (32)
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June 11, 2006

Three new entries in Clean Up Parliament

Comic strip by: Ciccio De Luca

Three new entries in Clean Up Parliament. I know. I know. I’ve cottoned on late. A few of you have already given me the information. But it’s difficult to stay on top of all this coming and going of convicts in Parliament. Now we’ve arrived at twenty. The judicial route to politics. That’s what we’ve got to. To delinquents who make laws after having violated them. Well then, I’m saying this softly softly to these twenty people: GETOUTOFOURHAIR!

If they want to make a new life for themselves, let them do it with discretion, far away from the media. No one will say anything to them. There are so many other activities other than representing the citizens. Listen to D’Elia in the evening News programme “redeemed and in Parliament”. This isn’t democracy. It’s being taken for a ride. And the same is true for the other 19. The crimes are not all the same. But anyone who has been convicted should have the honesty to do something else, to go somewhere else. Not to sit in Parliament and make the citizens give them a living. To end up, here are the new convicts:

- Borghezio Mario (euro parliamentarian Lega Nord): convicted of setting fire with aggravating circumstances as an act of discrimination for having set fire to mattresses of some immigrants from outside Europe who were sleeping under a bridge in Turin. He was sentenced to 2 months and 20 days in prison but this was changed to a fine of 3,040 Euro.

- De Angelis Marcello (senator AN): convicted and sentenced to 5 years in prison for being in an armed band and for subversive association as an important member of the neofascist group, Terza Posizione.

- D'Elia Sergio (member of the Lower House, Rosa nel Pugno): convicted and sentenced to 25 years for being in an armed band and for collaborating in homicide. He was a leader of Prima Linea and participated in the planning of the assault on the Florentine prison delle Murate. On 20 January 1978, it was attacked and one of the prison officers, Fausto Dionisi, was killed. As soon as he was elected as a member of the Lower House, he was nominated by the Unione as Secretary of the Lower House.

PS: The “Gran Premio Ruòtati Città di Firenze”, competition for eco-sustainable vehicles will take place on Sunday 11 June. You can enter by writing to or you can sign up before it starts in the morning in piazza della Repubblica, or you can go through the web.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 01:43 AM in Wailing Wall | Comments (7)
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June 10, 2006

Erotic Stock Exchange


Ms Gabanelli has produced a programme for Report (see the video and the text) about the videophone company called “3”. It’s well known for the fact that one of its supporters is the “prescritto” Andreotti. According to the company “3”, 18,000 people who watched the programme cancelled their subscription and 35,000 people decided not to become clients. Instead of challenging, or discussing or explaining the topics covered in the programme, the company “3” has asked the RAI for compensation. Since RAI is public that means it is asking the Italian people for compensation. They are asking for 137.5 Million Euro.

The programme on Report about the “3” company covered the delay in being quoted on the Stock Exchange and the services it provides with erotic content.

The RAI hasn’t been intimidated but has entered into a contract with the “3” for the distribution of its programming via videophone. Between a homemade porn production and another we can now see “I fratelli Karamazov”, “I Promessi Sposi”, “La Piovra” and this is what I really can’t stomach, even “Te la do io l’America” e “Te lo do io il Brasile”.
No! I don’t want to finish up between the breasts and bottoms of frustrated housewives and I’ve decided to take action against the RAI for twice the amount that the “3” is asking.

Are the GentiloniRutelli twins asleep?
The RAI has sold everything. And I mean everything. The programming of the three RAI channels available online for eight miserable million Euro a year to a company that is taking an action against it?
Eight million for programming that is worth hundreds of millions of Euro and that can be sold on the international market?
I’d like to know the name of the one who decided this action that damages us. This is programming paid for with our licence fee.

I’d like to know who decided the price.
I’d like to know everything that happened in the background to this affair.
I’d like to know if there’s a magistrate that would like to take an interest in the affair.
The RAI programmes belong to the Italian citizens, they are not for sale and above all they are not to be mixed in with homemade porn.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 12:23 AM in Information | Comments (1)
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June 08, 2006

Our employee Prodi receives the results of the Citizen Primaries

photo: Mario Bucchich

Today, noon, at Palazzo Chigi in Rome I presented directly into the hands of the employee of the Council Romano Prodi the proposals discussed on this blog in relation to Energy, Health, Information, and the Economy. They are under the heading: “Citizen Primaries”.

The proposals, a concrete example of direct democracy and participation of people in public affairs, were received by the employee Romano Prodi with joy.
The almost infantile joy of the employee Prodi, was fully justified as he now has finally available to him, a true programme for Government and everyone present was truly moved.
I’m nourishing the greatest confidence that the programme of the Unione, whose meaning is unknown both to the citizens and to those who drew it up, will at this point be put aside, even because no one has ever read it.


I have also been obliged to leave with the employee Prodi, a hand-delivered registered letter, prepared by my accountant containing an “end of employment” letter in case he does not give the due attention to the results of the Citizen Primaries.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:00 PM in Politics | Comments (32)
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Italy Gagged


At 9:00pm this evening at Teatro Carcano in Milano, there’ll be a discussion about the most precious good on a level with water: information. The evening has been organised by the Milan group: Friends of Beppe Grillo. I’ll be there and I’ll bring Travaglio whose job it is to be informed about information.

I would like this Government to have, I don’t say the balls but even just a few spermatozoa of Zapatero and that it would clean out the current radio and TV system where the ones in control are the parties, Publitalia and the big companies.

At least one channel without advertising, without party representation, independent, that talks to citizens about true information, about culture, without censorship. But have you looked at the faces of the directors of the RAI channels?

Is it possible that the English have got the BBC and we’ve got the voice of our masters?
Let Prodi and the twins GentiloniRutelli move. A bit of virility. A slight sense of modesty….

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 01:18 PM in Information | Comments (10)
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June 07, 2006

The Mastella-ato


Mastella wants the amnesty. The Italians a little less. The parties a bit more. And you’ll just see that in the amnesty there’ll be space for financial crimes, the real hobby of the politicians. 20,000 people could be freed. Who are these people? What crimes have they committed? Who are the victims of the crimes?

I believe that citizens would like from this employee who is indifferent to their rights, more precise information. Christian charity can be practised by those who have been victims of crime. But the law just needs to be applied. If in the months following the freeing from prison some of the former prisoners should happen to rape, rob, or kill, then the citizens will have the right to bring the Minister of Justice to trial. The people who are gravely injured by the criminal action of amnestied people should cite in their evidence Mastellawhoisalwaysonhisfeet.

In Ciociaria in May 1944, the liberating allies unleashed General Juin’s troops form Morocco , the “goumiers”, against the civilian population. 3500 women and girls between the ages of 8 and 85 were raped, 800 men were sodomised and killed. Among these was don Alberto Terrilli, Parish priest of Santa Maria di Esperia who died of his wounds. Some of the husbands who were protecting the women were impaled. From that time, there’s the expression “marocchinato” to indicate someone who has been a victim of the liberating FrenchNorthAfricans.
From today we’ll be able to speak of the “Mastella-ato” to refer to those who are victims of the amnesty.

I’ve created an email address to receive future witness statements from the people who are “Mastella-ato”:
If the amnesty goes ahead I will be available for all those who suffer and the blog will give maximum light to those messages that are received.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 12:01 PM in Wailing Wall | Comments (16)
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June 06, 2006

Kosovo’s Dead


A soldier has explained to me certain things about our war in the Balkans. He has asked me to promote his book. The income from which will be devolved to the families of the 41 Italians who died and the 300 who became ill as a result of Uranium 238 used in Bosnia and Kosovo. These are young people and families who are being ignored.

Just as it seems no one is interested that the use of depleted Uranium in weapons of war is contaminating and killing civilians and military personnel. A few politicians have succeeded in their career through the war in Kosovo. Other Italians, more simply, are dead or are still dying.

Dear Beppe,
As agreed I’m sending you the cover of the book and form to fill in and return to the email address to get a copy of the book. The money received will obviously go to the families of the military personnel who died and to those who are ill and have not the possibility to get treatment.
The families of these young people who died are alive but are dead inside. The sons, husbands or fathers are killed twice: by the hypocrisy first and then by the indifference.
I believed in the work I was doing and to say that my friends died because of someone without a conscience, I thought that was a moral value. Unfortunately it’s not like that. I’ve paid personally for the truth and I have no intention to stay silent. Not because I’m finished if a cloak of silence falls on the affair, but only because the drama of these young people must be known to all. Behind the elegant double-breasted coats that are so proud of the sacrifice of our young people throughout the world, there is the hypocrisy of men who can no longer square their actions with their conscience.
I don’t want to talk about myself because the story of these young people is more important and those who read the book will understand and the “Grillo” will manage to shake up our consciences one more time.
I don’t want to talk about myself because the story of these young people is more important and those who read the book will understand and the “Grillo” will manage to shake up our consciences one more time.
Thank you for what you do!"
Domenico Leggiero.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 11:36 AM in Wailing Wall | Comments (6)
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June 04, 2006


photo by Larsz

Breasts have always been my passion, the first pleasure that gave me life. After that I couldn’t stop. But breasts are in danger, threatened by the “marketing of screening”. Professor Gianfranco Domenighetti says this in the letter that I’m attaching. An extract is given below.

“A recent study shows that 50% of American women that are without the neck of the uterus following a total hysterectomy continue anyway to go for a test for cancerous cells in the neck of the uterus! The quality of information to promote screening is such that 81% of Italian women believe that by attending regular mammogram screening they are reducing  or reducing to zero the risk of getting a tumour of the breast. Of course this is obviously not possible.
Thus it’s not too surprising to hear the news that appeared on 27 June 2002 in the Lisbon daily newspaper Diario de Noticias saying that 4 Portuguese women were easily convinced by a paramedic to go out onto a balcony in the evening with bare breasts so that they could take advantage of a “satellite” mammogram.

The article that recently appeared in the April edition of the well known magazine OK Salute where Umberto Veronesi gives his most recent recipe relating to mammogram screening is along these lines. (see Tempo Medico). Everything has been said about the efficacy of mammogram screening in reducing mortality in relation to breast cancer and the contrary of everything has also been said. Never has there been a discussion of the effective number of deaths that could have been avoided and nor is there information about possible harmful effects.
It is estimated that in the age range 40 to 50 for every 1000 women who have a mammogram every 2 years, the number of deaths avoided in the 10 year period  (compared to women who don’t go for screening) is 0.5. The benefit goes up to 1.9 deaths avoided for 1000 women in the age range 50 to 60.
And the harnful effects? Taking the National Cancer Institute  as an authoritative source, here is a list:

- over-diagnosis, that is treatment (with all its consequences) of tumours “in situ” that will not evolve (between 20 and 50% of the tumours diagnosed by screening)

- false positive results (concerning about 50% of the women participating in a screening in a 10 year period, 25% of them had to have a surgical biopsy)

- false sense of security (between 6 and 46% of women with an invasive tumour have had a negative result from a mammogram)

- breast cancer provoked by breast screening, especially among those women who started having screening at a young age (between 10 and 32 breast tumours for every 10,000 women exposed to cumulative radiation doses of I Sv.)

The decision to have a screening or not cannot but be an individual decision. It should be taken after finding out about the benefits and the risks of the procedure and above all of the individual risk of getting the disease. Unfortunately, most of the choices are based exclusively on marketing slogans promoted by those who live and prosper on screening and who don’t have any interest in giving complete and honest information.”

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:06 AM in Health/Medicine | Comments (5)
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June 03, 2006

The knights of the Apocalypse


Comic strip by: Ciccio De Luca

Each year on the first of June, the President of the Republic nominates 25 knights of work. People who have contributed to development, created companies. People who have given everything to succeed in life and to do good for the Nation.
To become a Knight of Work it’s not necessary to work but it’s indispensable to have got rich. The shining examples of knights Attila-Romiti and the psych-dwarf with stable boy are before everyone’s eyes. They are true followers of Stakhanov in terms of their bank account.Napolitano on the recommendations of our employees the Ministers Bersani and De Castro has nominated Passera (Banca Intesa), Caltagirone (Messaggero) and Monorchio (Fiat) among others. Labourers, farm workers and office staff with 35/40 years of work on their shoulders and the pension that arrives if it arrives, have not been put forward. Managers who are fat with stock options and dubious results, indebted entrepreneurs, captains of industry with State money are there in the front line, galloping knights.

These are the knights of work,
give-your-guts-labourers or if you want laid up and laid off
it’s their most charming little nickname.
They show off their crowns as much as they dream
and they are outside the civic decoration.
Eyes of snake, legs of vulture,
teeth of wolf, whiskers of hedgehog!
These are the knights of work
and each one is richer than a beggar
and they’re a nuisance to the politicians.
Here are your knights of work
who often pull shareholder's legs
they are always the first and never ask for a rest
just bank accounts and elegant salons
where they can network with their peers.

Next year, let Napolitano give prizes to the precarious workers, those with CoCoCo, and CoCoPro contracts, the employees on 1000 Euro a month. For them it would be enough to have a simple medal, a mention. And leave the knights in the stables.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 08:19 AM in Wailing Wall | Comments (0)
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Letter to Paolo Gentiloni


The Anti Digital Divide Association has sent me this letter.
I’m publishing it and I’m asking the employee Minister of Communications, Paolo Gentiloni to write to this blog to give his evaluation of the dismemberment of the Telecom Italia network. A dismemberment that’s necessary to introduce into Italy a market that is out of the control of the existing monopoly of the unhappy Tronchetti.
Gentiloni has a blog and he has inserted in his Blogroll a link to this site. I thank him for that and for the response that he will surely give.

“The illicit data intercepts operated by Telecom Italia to the detriment of alternative operators and thousands of users, confirm that the Telecommunication market in which there is not the presence of effective competitors nor effective rules to defend users and alternative operators from possible abuses.

What is clear is that we are faced with serious questions, both for the aspect of the violation of the regulations about competition, as well as the issue of intercepts. It thus seems evident that policies that have so far been put into practice, to guarantee a Telecommunication market the principles of correctness and transparency have been flawed or at least not sufficiently appropriate.

The decision by a single accounting division in Telecom Italia, to guarantee the respect of competitors, has been shown to be completely inadequate. The procedures for sanctions have also not been effective to stop the incorrect conduct of the incumbent. Incorrect competition tactics have been used constantly by Telecom Italia for years and so it is possible to explain them. One of the incorrect tactics is the exclusion of competitors from a new market. The most recent example, happening a few days ago, with the violation of the judgement 34/06 and the attempt to prevent access to Telecom’s new IP(ADSL 2+) network by its competitors.

It is thus clear that serious measures must be taken so that the market can finally be liberalised and so that real competition can be guaranteed. A necessary condition for this to happen is the dismemberment of the Telecom Italia network. This has been called for in the past by Mario Monti the former president of the European Antitrust body, by Giuseppe Tesauro the former president of the Italian Antitrust body, by illustrious economists, by the Corte dei Conti and in 2001 by Gasparri, but “strangely” this has never happened. Thus Telecom Italia must be divided into 2 distinct companies following the English model, one that is concerned with the network and the wholesale market, with tariffs that are the same for all operators. The other selling retail services, services that it would buy at the same conditions as its competitors from the first company.

Another fundamental action to be taken is to make the “last mile” and telephone switchboards to be state property. One talks only of twisted pairs and telephone exchanges, thus the transport network would remain the property of Telecom, just as all the apparatus in the exchanges and the new networks constructed by the incumbent. All the current clients would still be Telecom’s. However what would pass to the State would be the exchanges, the twisted pairs and the obligation to provide a universal service.

All the operators, under the same conditions, would pay the wholesale prices for the fixed line costs to the State and the price should be fixed using calculations based on the cost plus method, that is based on effective costs of supplying the access service. In this way, the operators who have invested in the construction of proprietary access networks would have an advantage and there would be an incentive for all the operators to invest in their own infrastructure. This would bring ample benefits to the users, who would have a greater possibility of choice, with lower costs and a higher quality of service. Naturally Telecom would continue to have to be notified as the dominant operator at least while its market share is above 50%.

For some time now, ADD has been fighting for the dismemberment of the network, following the recent happenings which involve Telecom Italia that show up the inadequacy of the actions that up until now have been taken, by the guaranteeing Authorities. We believe that this decision can no longer be put off. Challenges, fines, accounting divisions of Telecom Italia have not been effective in getting respect for the regulations for competition. This is why Anti Digital Divide has written to AGCOM but there’s been no response. Thus the AIIP, the providers’ association has presented a case to TAR {Tribunali Amministrativi Regionali= Regional Administrative Tribunal} asking for the respect of the 34/06 judgement.

In the next few days, we will write to the guaranteeing Authorities and to the new Minister of Communications, Paolo Gentiloni, to ask that these provisions be put into effect. The complete ADD document can be viewed at this address.

Anti Digital Divide Association

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 08:18 AM in Technology/Internet | Comments (2)
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June 02, 2006

Control Arms

© Giovanni Diffidenti/Oxfam

The annual military spending in the world is 975,000,000,000 dollars.
The turnover of the top 100 companies in the field (excluding China) is 236,000,000,000 dollars.
In a year 8 million fire arms are produced. In a year half a million people die from fire arms.

The United States accounts for almost half of world expenditure.
The percentage of civil victims in armed conflict has reached 95% and to a great extent it’s the children who die. If the United States construct half the arms in the world and if most of the dead are civilians, how many children are killed by American bombs?

If the result, the war dividend, is the death of civilians, then being a soldier has become a safe career.

A soldier is armed to protect himself not to fight. The civilian is undefended. It’s normal that they get the worst outcome. And if a civilian is bombed from on high, he has no chance. This is the United States tradition: Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Vietnam, Laos, Iraq, and so on.

But even here at home in the second world war with tons of bombs on the cities and scores of thousands of dead never recorded (why?): Turin, Rome, Naples, Treviso, Genoa, Florence, Milan (I’m publishing a photo of the children killed there in the school of Gorla) .


Anyway the Pentagon is continuing to move forward with its 127,000,000,000 dollar project called: “Future Combat Systems” to construct robot soldiers. Amnesty International, together with Oxfam and IANSA 2 years ago started their Controlarms Campaign. It is working towards an international treaty on the sale of light arms, to be approved at the United Nations summit on 26 June 2006 in New York. Since the campaign started they have been collecting signatures and photos on

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 11:30 AM in Wailing Wall | Comments (12)
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June 01, 2006

Gino Strada and Alberto Cairo


I’m publishing a letter sent by Gino Strada and a response to the post of 25 May 2006 from Alberto Cairo.

“Dear friends,

This evening I’m reading Beppe’s Blog where there are your comments to my reply to the polemics sparked off by Alberto Cairo.
”The war is finished” he had declared – “the hospitals of Emergency are useless.” Today 29 May, the Kabul Surgical Centre has 71 patients sleeping here, all hit by projectiles, all civilians (you will be able to find their stories, perhaps by tomorrow on I believe that that is the “best” response to the distortions of reality. [….]

However I am disturbed by and I distance myself completely from a certain aggressiveness and the insults towards Alberto Cairo. I have a range of opinions that are different from his. Some are not reconcilable on many issues, but I believe that Alberto is a competent person and that he is passionate about his work. This must be appreciated because it is valuable.
Today’s Afghanistan obliges us to promote another value: that of the choice of non-violence. The first step in this direction will be the end of military occupation. [….]

The repudiation of war “as a tool” does not leave space to distinguish between this or that war. Our Constitution forbids the use of the tool of war. We citizens, must find the way to work so that the politicians respect the Constitution to which they have sworn fidelity. [….]

Utopia? Yes, just as many years ago was the abolition of slavery or the elimination of small pox. [….]

If we were in a position to close the Resuscitation Unit for lack of victims to be “resuscitated” we would be the first to celebrate and if that were to happen we would surely let you know.”

Gino Strada

“I’m more than 50 years old.
I am living proof that age and wisdom don’t grow at the same rate. An old acquaintance said that. I should have believed him.

When I come back to Italy, I pass the time with my closest friends. I visit my parents or I do my own thing. I avoid every possible chore. I don’t go looking for contacts with the press nor to give interviews. In compensation, I do accept invitations to dinner with friends, especially if they are good cooks. That’s what I did during my fleeting visit to Milan at the end of March. There were 8 of us and I’ve known them for thirty years.

They introduced me to a serious lady. She was a writer and journalist. It seemed normal that she asked me about Afghanistan. I replied freely. I felt I was with friends. [….]

At the end of the dinner she suggested that I meet her for an interview. I wanted to say No. I didn’t like the notebook at the table and I was on holiday. But she’s a friend of friends and I didn’t want to be awkward. Nor did I want to miss the opportunity to talk about Afghanistan that is always less fashionable.

When I met her again we chatted at length. She left me with the promise that she would send me the piece so that I could approve it before it was sent to the newspaper. [….] Instead, the piece never got to me. A few days later it was published.

It was Gino Strada himself that told us about this. He was furious about what had been written about his hospital. I was speechless. I know. It’s impossible to transcribe a whole interview. Space is a tyrant. [….] but why did they go looking for what could be hurtful and create useless polemics? And why didn’t they send it to me to check it as they had promised? [….]
Anyone who has read anything that I occasionally write from Kabul knows this: I try to stay calm and to reflect. I avoid giving cause for a disturbance. I talk about facts. I don’t launch into political declarations. It’s not my job and I’m not good at that. I imagine that a lot of people are annoyed by this article: men and women volunteers who work in Kabul, the Red Cross, Emergency.

I am sorry. I have frequent contacts with many of them. With Emergency we have patients in common. I hope these will be always more numerous. We are here for them. [….] The interview is harmful to me as well. It puts things into my mouth that are not precise and that I did not approve.

I hesitated before writing this blog. It’s the first ever in my life. It’s the final one on this topic. My intention is not to counter what has been said by Gino Strada. I am writing for the volunteers and for all those who support humanitarian organisations. They do not deserve polemics of this type that serve no one and are useless. I ask them to forgive me. In fact it is they who count. They count wherever they work, in Kabul, in Africa, in Italy or in their own street [….]”

Alberto Cairo

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 03:34 PM in Health/Medicine | Comments (2)
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