A letter from the minister Di Pietro

dipietro_.jpg
photo: lemonde.fr

I’m publishing this letter from the minister Antonio Di Pietro.

Dear Beppe,

It’s only a few months since the elections and I’ve decided to write you a letter that I hope you can publish on your blog. Tomorrow the Unione and the CDL will vote in favour of a law, the law about pardons. It was not in the manifesto of the Unione and I maintain that it is not wanted by the centre left voters.

This law came about with the intention of freeing up the prisons and has been extended to cover crimes like false accounting, corruption, tax and finance crimes and crimes relating to the public administration.

Not even the Berlusconi government arrived at such an extreme. This is a way of throwing in the sponge. And it’s done in the middle of the summer. It’s a serious action and only partial information is reported about it. Often the information provided is deliberately biased when presented by newspapers and the TV. Perhaps your blog can provide widespread coverage that is impartial.

I am decidedly against the fact that the approval of the pardon is based on a political exchange with Forza Italia as it allows for the inclusion of crimes for which members of the Casa delle Libertà are currently subject to trials or have been convicted. Some of these have taken centre stage.

If the pardon law were to be approved as it is, all the facts of illicit administration and illicit company activity would go unpunished. This is talking about those people who are guilty of crimes like Tangentopoli, Calciopoli, and Bancopoli {crimes connected with the bribery scandals of the 1990s, football scandals and bank scandals}.

These are people who have been the centre of attention for the magistrates and for the front pages of the newspapers in recent years.

I have written to the leaders of the parties making up the Unione coalition to ask for a top-level meeting to discuss the pardon law. I have had no reply. In last Friday’s Council of Ministers I emphasised the seriousness of this law, contrary to the interests of the citizens, but useful only to party machinations.

I have threatened to resign as minister and my colleagues have shown complete indifference. Italia dei Valori is the fourth party in the coalition with 25 representatives in the Upper and Lower Houses.
Its exit from the coalition can cause the government to fail, but I don’t feel like going back to the urns and perhaps to deliver the country once more into the hands of Berlusconi.

The Unione has vetoed our amendments to exclude financial crimes, company crimes and corruption from the pardon. Next Monday and Tuesday Italia dei Valori will do everything it can to slow down the approval of the law on pardons by presenting a series of amendments. Italy deserves other politicians, other governments.

It must not be obliged to choose between the worst and the one that is less bad than the worst, as you often say.

Italia dei Valori on its own, cannot change this country. The Italians must make their voices heard loud and clear. They must do this in all possible ways that are legitimate. They must do this to avoid the umpteenth step back from democracy.”

Antonio Di Pietro.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:04 AM in | Comments (25)
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I just read that one of the 12000 people, as soon as he was outside the jail, he has been to see his wife to kill her and another one try to make an hold up in a restaurant...Plenty of this people, doesn't know where to go:-)

Posted by: Blisco Jaio | August 4, 2006 02:50 PM


Good on you,Franco D'Alessi,aussie,aussie,aussie,oi,oi,oi!!,

Posted by: evakulnurae | July 30, 2006 10:17 AM


Dear Mr Di Pietro
I am an Italian living in Australia but try to follow Italian politics as much as I can. Let me say that I totally admire you for your stance on the Law of Pardons. Have Italians forgotten the reason for which the people currently in the Italian jails are there for? Do Italians realise that these jailed people are convicted criminals? I can understand having some leniency for petty criminals if the Italian jails are so crowded, but for minister Mastella to say that there is an expectation on the part of all the jailbirds to be pardoned is absolutely and utterly ridiculous! As far as I am concerned "if you do the crime, you do the time" as we say in Australia.
Mr Di Pietro please stand up for justice and do not corrupt your morals for the sake of political expediency. There is enough crook politicians in Italy to do that. You are already famous worlwide as a corageous crusader against corruption. I can assure you that the world will remember you long after the passing of this goverment and the next and the next after that.
Good luck and may the god of justice be with you.

P.S.: I hope that the Italian-Australian representatives to the lower House and the Senate also support you, because that's certainly what the majority of Italians in Australia would want them to do.

Posted by: Franco D'Alessi | July 29, 2006 02:33 PM


Well, I think that if the pardons law will be approved, the Unione will loose probably 50% of votes, at least. Not either CDL has done such a shaming law.

I personally think that Justice does not exist in Italy, and I am telling that based on personal experience. But approving this law will vanify also that piece of Justice that still works in our country.

Shame on Prodi's coalition.

Posted by: Dario de Judicibus | July 28, 2006 12:23 AM


Dear Antonio,
thanks a lot for your letter.
I left Italy 13 years ago. I finished University reading about the Tangentopoli battles you were leading: great man! I had so many hopes that l'Italia could have a clean, honest, refreshing start. I was wrong, very very wrong.
I lost you when you started your political adventure. I thought you kind of camouflage yourself with the political powers together with so many (if not the majority) of your Parliament colleagues: I was wrong again.
I have battled through the years to defend my country from the constant attack of the people around me but I realise that they were often right.
L'Italia is hopeless or almost hopeless. There are so few of you and most of the time they are subject to the biggest of the 20th and 21st Century illness: indifference!
Keep up the good work Antonio maybe one day some of us could come back and show to our children how Italia has become a better country.
Ciao

Posted by: Perfidalbione | July 27, 2006 02:22 PM


Dear Mr Di Pietro,

The opinions and stance that you express in your letter would be considered "normal" and expected of politicians by the citizens of any other civilised democracy.

The fact that, in Italy, you are considered "courageous", "out of step with your colleagues" or a "lone voice in Parliament” is not just worrying, but says a lot about the democratic and judicial state of health of this nation.

I am an Australian born dual citizen of Italian parents and I now live in Rome. I love Italy with all my heart, but since moving here I have been disheartened to see how readily Italians accept corruption, mediocrity, self interest and poor quality in its public representation , the services the State provides and institutional services provided by banks, insurance companies etc..

At first I was shocked but then I came to understand that corruption and self interest is not just confined to a group of a few people, but that it is an endemic state of mind firmly planted in the psyche of most Italians. They accept it, or practice it, as if this was something “normal” and part of their culture. From the nurse in the hospital that regularly steals medicines and helps friends jump queues; a State health system that looks and operates like it has come out of the 3rd world; to nepotism and employing people on recommendation instead of merit; and up to the commonly held practice of making “under the table” payments to public and private officials in order to win tenders and contracts. Finally to politicians, left and right wing together, passing laws to pardon themselves of crimes they have committed or are accused of ( a demonstration of Prodi’s wish that Italians work together and arrive at compromises?).

What’s more worrying is that any criticism of this ingrained system of corruption, self interest and mediocre quality of services is, at best ignored, or at worst attacked with vitriol. Both the criticism and the person raising the criticism are attacked. Thus the system and culture remain the same.

I applaud your words Mr Di Pietro and fully support your stance but I fear that you are fighting a losing battle. For every 1 Italian that supports you there are probably 10 that don’t or remain silent because they either accept, or are probably perpetrating the behaviour you are fighting. Even that one Italian will probably throw his hands up in the air and eventually say “if you can’t beat them join them”.

Even so, I wish you all the best of luck and hope you continue fighting this battle

Posted by: Robert Tuppini | July 25, 2006 01:09 PM


Dear Mr Di Pietro,

The opinions and stance that you express in your letter would be considered "normal" and expected of politicians by the citizens of any other civilised democracy.

The fact that, in Italy, you are considered "courageous", "out of step with your colleagues" or a "lone voice in Parliament” is not just worrying, but says a lot about the democratic and judicial state of health of this nation.

I am an Australian born dual citizen of Italian parents and I now live in Rome. I love Italy with all my heart, but since moving here I have been disheartened to see how readily Italians accept corruption, mediocrity, self interest and poor quality in its public representation , the services the State provides and institutional services provided by banks, insurance companies etc..

At first I was shocked but then I came to understand that corruption and self interest is not just confined to a group of a few people, but that it is an endemic state of mind firmly planted in the psyche of most Italians. They accept it, or practice it, as if this was something “normal” and part of their culture. From the nurse in the hospital that regularly steals medicines and helps friends jump queues; a State health system that looks and operates like it has come out of the 3rd world; to nepotism and employing people on recommendation instead of merit; and up to the commonly held practice of making “under the table” payments to public and private officials in order to win tenders and contracts. Finally to politicians, left and right wing together, passing laws to pardon themselves of crimes they have committed or are accused of ( a demonstration of Prodi’s wish that Italians work together and arrive at compromises?).

What’s more worrying is that any criticism of this ingrained system of corruption, self interest and mediocre quality of services is, at best ignored, or at worst attacked with vitriol. Both the criticism and the person raising the criticism are attacked. Thus the system and culture remain the same.

I applaud your words Mr Di Pietro and fully support your stance but I fear that you are fighting a losing battle. For every 1 Italian that supports you there are probably 10 that don’t or remain silent because they either accept, or are probably perpetrating the behaviour you are fighting. Even that one Italian will probably throw his hands up in the air and eventually say “if you can’t beat them join them”.

Even so, I wish you all the best of luck and hope you continue fighting this battle

Posted by: Robert Tuppini | July 25, 2006 01:00 PM


4 pietro rossi
I am in the same situation as yours,my kids learn good value at school,it is part of the curriculum,anf I do have lots of discussion with my other italian friends about schooling ,we do desagree,they reckon that school in italy put more enphasis on accademic level,but look at the results, where I live ,at school kids learn good value,honesty integrity,ect and how those are related to society ,and enviroment I think you made a good point,ciao

Posted by: eva kulnura | July 25, 2006 12:07 PM


Dear Mr Di Pietro,

My family left Italy a long time ago... I am still an Italian citizen and I do feel Italian, at least sometimes. we never lived in Italy and that may explain why we fail to understand the deep Italian mentality and for instance what pushes Italians politicians, business people, sportsmen but also surprisingly lots of people in the streets to feel or try to be above the laws...

Don't you think Mr. Di Pietro that mentality should change first ... but how can mentality change rapidly?

Posted by: Pietro Rossi | July 25, 2006 10:40 AM


Dear Beppe:

It is stated above "I have threatened to resign as minister and my colleagues have shown complete indifference."

I do believe that "indifference" arises from awareness of main present purpose by politicians, particularly those who lack full credits: stay on until advanced 2007 in order to get credits for a rich pension scheme. A such rich life annuity that most of them would have been unable to reach with their former job.

Of course there are exceptions, like for anything. Those who are exceptions don't feel touched.

Cheers

francesco pietra

Posted by: Francesco Pietra | July 25, 2006 09:10 AM


As Sabina Guzzanti showed in "Viva Zapatero," the parties of the right and the left have a stake in the corrupt system of public media financing. And here is another example of left-right connivance. Mi fa schifo!

But right now I am proud that my matronym is Di Pietro!

Posted by: George De Stefano | July 25, 2006 02:07 AM


Dear Tonino

thanks for your letter, I appreciate it a lot!

We, Italians outside Italy, would like to be more and more proud of Italy, indeed, however it is more and more difficult to cope with all bad news we get every days from Italy, instead.

That dirty law should not go on, everyone has to pay the consequences of his actions.

Keep fighting, and keep informing us, we all are with you.

Good luck!

Posted by: Andreas Lisi | July 24, 2006 11:24 PM


Dear Beppe and dear readers,
I was also reading the blog about the "radar" enquiry and I'd like to express my great feeling of sadness about what's happening in my country as well as what's happening on a global scale.
I believe that the whole social system we live in has the relentless tendency to self destruction. And eventually we'll get there. The reason for this is the corporate world. Those of you who'd seen the documentary named "The Corporation" will probably appreciate this opinion of mine. I saw that documentary more than a year ago and it reminded me of stuff I used to study at University, and which I did not understand at all at that time (and there are reasons for that too...). The creation of the "Corporation" being has been devastating for the human social system, and I dare saying that it has had an impact on our lifestyle which you can compare to the one that a mass scale plague could have. I dare saying these things because I do have strong opinions about this matter. I believe these entities have, as their only aim, the one to create profit. At any cost and without any responsability for the shareholders. This is the shame about this creation (which, casually, started in the US). The lack of responsability allows these entities to make money in any feasable way. Including killing people if necessary. You could say that's an overstatement. It isn't. Go study some modern history and you'll be aware of what I'm talking about. So, what does this matter with the topic of this blog? Very simple: since governments ARE corporations, they are not any more designed to make the interests of citizens. Only of the shareholders. The thing is that sometimes citizens could be shareholders too. But profit is made at the expense of society, financial stability (indeed we're all in debt and we still talk about wealth!?!) health, lifestyle, quality of life and the lot.
What amazes me is how weak minded we tend to be. All of us. In search of security and wealth. Hence we'd like to invest some money in shares sometime as it could guarantee us some future. Well, the only future out there which we can foresee is our natural death. And it's amazing how the whole system (the capitalist one, even though I've never been a "comunist" so to speak) has conditioned all of us to think that we can foresee our future. What a big illusion it is. And what has conditioned us? Advertising and media, managed by the same owners of corporations, interested in feeding the big illusion, in order to compell us to buy, and buy, and buy.
I remember with a smile on my face that old song from Dalla and De Gregori, "Cosa sara'. The lyrics go: "Cosa sara' che ti fa comprare di tutto anche se e' di niente che hai bisogno" ("What will it be that makes you buy lots even though you really don't need a thing").
Cosa sara? Indeed. I do have an answer to this: the illusion of wealth and security, induced by media, controlled by even more weak minded people. And I'm thinking about the various Berlusconi and the likes who infest this sad world.
But ultimately it's our responsability. Somebody might say: "what can we do about this?". Well I believe that BEING AWARE OF THIS IS THE FIRST STEP. Then, I can talk only about my personal experience: in the past two years I've learnt to appreciate the simplicity of life. I'm lucky. I don't want to hang around in a Ferrari. Doesn't change my life. I don't want a jacuzzi in my flat (even though I had the fortune to live in a very luxurious flat until last year and I've learnt to appreciate the total futility and sadness of the thing). I don't want fashionable clothes. Nor expensive gizmos. I believe that what we can do is to THINK twice, three times, four times, whatever times, everytime we're compelled to buy something. Some could say: "oh...I don't give a damn. I just fancy something and I'll buy it". Cool. No problems at all. But please do take your responsability in doing so. As the consequences are profoundly affecting us. Much more than anybody can think, I'm afraid. The point here would also be that if we're going to naturally die, so what's the matter? Well, I do believe that I'd like to end my days with a smile on my lips. But a smile caused by real pleasure. Not and induced one. That's fake. That's living in a bubble. In a film. Reality and fiction have been thoroughly confused nowadays. Thanx to the media.
I'm playing my part. And today I buy nothing compared to what I used to. And I feel incredibly more relieved. I do have my bad days as everyone. But I don't try anymore to fill my emptiness (that one's induced too) by buying disposable useless stuff, as 99% of people around me seems to be doing. There's a 1% out there who's aware. I'd love to think it will somehow increase. The best way to cripple the system is not to throw any money at it. I think. And I really believe we do not need to spend or make money at all. But it's a hard path these days.
As Mr Arbore used to say: "Meditate people, meditate".
Peace

Posted by: Marco Schnabl | July 24, 2006 07:00 PM


Dear Antonio Di Pietro,
you do not personify the stereotype of a politician, cunning, subtle, conventional and impeccable, a convincing and "mediatic" orator, and that's the reason why I always trusted in you. I like your honesty and simplicity but most of all your profound need of justice. Please keep on thinking and fighting as you do now. I'm starting to feel quite disappointed of the remaining so called "left".
Don't give up!!

Posted by: Vassiliki Palassof | July 24, 2006 04:47 PM


Antonio, U are just great !

Thank you very much for what you are doing: informing us in the way that a Minister should do. As an Italian living abroad, I would like to have 100,1.000.000 of Ministers like YOU !!

Do not give up Antonio, keep on going. We know how difficult must be your job due to the fact that you are an Outstanding Outsider in an environment polluted of corruption, mafia, convicted MPs and so on.

WE WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT WE ARE ON YOUR SIDE !!!

Please DO NOT GIVE UP !

W Bebbe Grillo
WWW Antonio Di Pietro !!

Posted by: Christian Ekipaser | July 24, 2006 04:32 PM


Antonio, U are just great !

Thank you very much for what you are doing: informing us in the way that a Minister should do. As an Italian living abroad, I would like to have 100,1.000.000 of Ministers like YOU !!

Do not give up Antonio, keep on going. We know how difficult must be your job due to the fact that you are an Outstanding Outsider in an environment polluted of corruption, mafia, convicted MPs and so on.

WE WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT WE ARE ON YOUR SIDE !!!

Please DO NOT GIVE UP !

W Bebbe Grillo
WWW Antonio Di Pietro !!

Posted by: Christian Ekipaser | July 24, 2006 04:32 PM


Basta colpi di spugna!

Posted by: Roberto Polli | July 24, 2006 04:21 PM


I am really disgusted! I am indeed envisaging of becoming Belgian citizen and getting rid of all this Italian politicians bullshitting. I voted centro-sinistra and now, do I have to hope and count on some destra parties to avoid approving a vicious law?
Di Pietro unfortunately you are only a drop in the ocean, nonetheless please DO NOT GIVE UP, WE ARE WITH YOU!
Timas

Posted by: Tim Asti | July 24, 2006 04:12 PM


I would like to know how do you, as an italian citizen living abroad, get in touch with the Prime Minister? If nobody in Italy says nothing, i'm certainly not going to let this thing go unnoticed, thank you very much Unione for taking my vote and wiping your backside with it. Once more you make me so proud of being italian...

Posted by: Giuseppe Graceffa | July 24, 2006 02:26 PM


Complimenti a Di Pietro,
per aver fatto trapelare questa oscura manovra che il governo sta compiendo.
Se posso permettermi, vorrei però far notare che sono proprio parlamentari e senatori che dovrebbero divulgare il loro operato, chiamando giornali e TV per mostrare al popolo italiano (elettori grazie ai quali loro sono seduti dove sono) cosa stanno facendo. Dovrebbero far capire a noi poveri non-politici perchè votano certe leggi, tradurle dal politichese all'italiano comune (darci cioè un riscontro pratico). Forse mi aspetto troppo, forse vivo in un mondo di sogni, sarebbe davvero troppo bello se i cambiamenti venissero dall'alto, senza bisogno di rivoluzioni.
Beh, in questo momendo di allargamento suggerisco anche qualche legge a Di Pietro (niente che beppe non abbia già detto):
Liberallizare l'ultimo Miglio
Internet gratis e garantita a tutti.
Un sito nazionale (o quantomeno regionale) per chi cerca casa (esempio Irlandese www.daft.ie).
In ogni caso complimenti a Di Pietro per il suo Impegno e la sua voce fuori dal coro (si fa per dire dato che quello italiano è un coro di muti).
Butto là una domanda: Come mai la lettera è scritta in Inglese?
Ciao Beppe, grazie di esistere

Posted by: Marco Mariani | July 24, 2006 01:34 PM


Well, I am sure nobody has forgotten hat happened with D'Alema and the "Bicamerale"...there was something going on in England for Berlusconi...I have always known the 2 of them are in love...i am sick and tired of Italy.

Posted by: antonio ricciardi | July 24, 2006 01:00 PM


Dear Antonio Di Pietro,
Thank you very much for publishing this letter and inform the Italian citizens of the scandalous situation we are living in the country.
This is especially disappointing for those who voted and trusted the coalition of Romano Prodi.
Shortly stated, this law is an insult to the sense of fairness and justice of those (few?)citizens that still believe in such values.
If this law will be approved, we will have in our hands THE key proof that "L'Unione" and "La Casa delle Liberta'" are quite alike. We will be encouraged to stop voting. We will sign the death certificate of our democracy.
Thank you and Beppe Grillo for your integrity.
Best wishes,
Roberto De Vogli

Posted by: Roberto De Vogli | July 24, 2006 11:52 AM


Go Antonio Go,
I am proud I voted for you.
next time, either you will run as PM,
either I won't vote anymore.
Romano is better then Berluskoni, but
who could be worse???
now left and right are making a new white golpe
to protect them...
I am curious if Napolitano will sign it!!!

bisogna fare un comitato per Di Pietro Presidente
del Consiglio, se torniamo a votare!!!
é l'ultima spiaggia per chi vuole un paese
governato da gente seria ed onesta!!!
GO TONINO GO!!!

Posted by: Paolo Antonio Lovi | July 24, 2006 11:48 AM


Ciao Antonio,

Myself and my friends as italians resident abroad voted you because we trusted you.

We still trust you.

We understand that you have to bow to the law of the palaces.

Do so but please clearly advertise your position on the national newspapers:

the law of the thieves passed against the willingness of the people.

Few lines are more clear than 1000 words, sometimes.

Good luck .

Posted by: Gabriele | July 24, 2006 11:15 AM


Antonio next time you will get my vote

Posted by: calissd | July 24, 2006 10:37 AM


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