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September 30, 2006

The effort to be born in Italy


A friend of mine has had a baby. For some time he has chosen to avoid any type of contact with the public administration. But his role as a father has obliged him to step forward.
To get a paediatrician for the child he had to go to the ASL (Health Authorities) he needed the fiscal code from the Income Authorities who needed the birth certificate from the Town Hall who needed the Birth declaration from the hospital.
Hospital-Town Hall-Income Authorities-ASL-paediatrician. He had to go 4 times to the Income Authority because as soon as they opened, the tickets needed for the request had already been used up (with non-Europeans already queuing up from 5 in the morning) and in the end an official took pity on him. He was assigned a paediatrician 3 kilometres from his home.
But is it so difficult for the hospital to provide a birth certificate, a fiscal code and a paediatrician to a new-born? If the public administration had a minimum of efficiency and used the Internet for everything, with the consultancy of the innovative Stanca who has got lost in the Senate.

A paediatrician has written to me and I am publishing her letter. We'll end up having to give birth abroad.

"My name is Lorella L…,
I work as a general paediatrician. I suggest a piece of research that I think would be very interesting. It's about the miserable state in which Italian paediatrics is moving. To see the action of us paediatricians, you just have to look around the streets. Children who are getting fatter, with teeth like sharks and legs that are crooked. Full of medicines. And yet the maximum number of patients to each paediatrician increases, new people are not taken on, those who die are not replaced. Paediatricians in cities with 1000 on their lists no longer do home visits, anyway the citizens cannot change paediatrician. All paediatricians group together to earn more and to cover for each other. Non-urban paediatricians work alone with no guarantees. This happens in my zone, Ancona's ASL, but I believe that it is a general problem.
Rather than getting new paediatricians, they strike off the older children from the lists, thus denying them their right to have a paediatrician up to the age of 14 years. The ASL clearly is in favour as they have to pay less for the patients in excess of the first 500. To do this they base things on the convention drawn up by an oligarchy of maximal paediatricians.
The convention says that to calculate a shortfall it's necessary to count the children aged from 0 to 6. However the children stay generally until they are 14 (unless they are sent away) so the paediatricians are extra full, earning mad amounts, but providing a terrible service, because it is impossible to provide a good service with 1000 children. However the convention doesn't seem to be obligatory. In fact the region of Umbria has taken on new paediatricians having calculated a percentage of those on the list aged 6 to 14. But other regions don't want to know about this.
If new people are not taken on, paediatrics in cities like Ancona will finish, when the 14 paediatricians all retire at the same time. One of the alibis is that there are no exchanges.
But to train a paediatrician it takes 5 years and in the specialist departments only 3 or 4 are accepted each year. It would be enough to plan a greater number. Obviously you are not going to consider being a paediatrician if you can't get into the specialist department and then if you cannot get a job. It all seems like a simple discussion but it isn't because it relates to the health of millions of children."

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 12:20 PM in Health/Medicine | Comments (47)
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September 29, 2006

The Authorities and the upyours-signal


The authorities protect us. Us the common citizens, us users, us consumers. They watch over the companies of the country. They are like Superman or Batman when they see the bat-signal in the night (always at night).They see the upyours-signal (the signal of the middle finger) day and night and unfortunately, they no longer take any notice.

Using the English word "Authority" gives a greater sense of authority. Well, they remind me of a quip by the magistrate Piercamillo Davigo. He said that it's only in Italy that there are signs saying "Assolutamente vietato" {Absolutely forbidden}. In other countries the single word "forbidden" is enough. Here, even with 'assolutamente' each person continues to do what they like. Obviously this would be if there weren't the appropriate authorities. They are pre-positioned, never post-positioned and perhaps suppositioned: Parmalat, Cirio, Tango bond, Banca Popolare di Lodi.

The monopolies for the telephone, electricity, energy, and motorways tremble at the arrival of the authority of the Authorities. But shouldn't the Authorities prohibit the monopolies? And if there are monopolies are they at least authoritative? Difficult questions, like wanting to know why services here cost still more than in the rest of Europe. Perhaps the Authorities have the effect of stimulating prices? Higher in Italy than elsewhere?

It's the famous theory of the increase in the price that can be sustained. It is sustainable until the citizen user has no alternative or gets angry and descends into madness.
Italy and its Authorities is a case study for world research. The Authorities allow the citizens to take advantage of costs that are not to be paid. Useless costs, national ones. The pride of our monopolies, the envy of all the schemers of the world.

One example is the cost of recharging. The costs paid when you put more money on the mobile phone. Following a popular petition to abolish them, a collection of Authority, Antitrust and Agcom has started an inquiry. Without a whisper, they wouldn't have got there on their own. They don't have to put money on their mobiles.
The cost of recharging exists only in Italy. Either we export it or we cancel it together with the relevant Authority. Four months later, nothing has happened. Let's give them a hand.

Let's remind them with an email to our employee, the president of Agcom Corrado Calabrò to take responsibility but with authority.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:35 AM in Wailing Wall | Comments (6)
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September 27, 2006

Free Culture


In the 1950s and 1960s the TV had censorship, big ballerina’s knickers, phone calls from the current sycophant politician to the director of the programme, but all the same it produced something. A thing that is called culture.

Dario Fo and Franca Rame were thrown out, Walter Chiari was suspended for a couple of years for a quip. He said that nothing fell out of Mussolini’s pockets when he was hung up by his feet in piazzale Loreto. If the Christian democrats had been in his place, the cassa del Mezzogiorno {fund for the South of Italy} would have come down.

We can regret little in the RAI of those years but that little is more than enough.
Do the RAI directors think that the Italians have had a lobotomy? Or is it them that’s had it?
This is the crucial issues for understanding the scene. Who decides that rubbish is to be viewed in the hours of maximum audience and culture at midnight? Rutelli? Petruccioli? Marini and Bertinotti jointly?
Master Manzi taught reading and writing to a generation of Italians with ‘Non è mai troppo tardi' {It’s never too late}. These are the returning alphabetisms.
The most revolutionary thing that the RAI could do today is to think, to believe that the Italians are intelligent people, not an audience, not shit to whom products can be sold at amplified sound volumes. (Gentiloni when are you going to get out of our hair with this megaphone advertising? It’s illegal man. It’s acoustic violation of our homes!)

The money as well. Money given away. It’s our money, taxes, license fees, thrown with packages, boxes, questions for subnormals. It’s our money. It’s not OK to give 100,000 Euro for a stupid question. It is diseducation. To be forbidden to children. I don’t know. I don’t believe that a public service can legally fritter away the money of tax payers and users. But I’ll find out about that.

If you want, use the money of the presenters and the studio audience to fritter away. No one is denied the right to give charity. 5 Euro a question would already be too much. Italians in themselves are not born deficient but the RAI aims to make them become so. It’s a plan that has almost succeeded. On paper, the RAI is a public service. Let it become one.
Independent journalists, abolition of oily living rooms for in-depth discussions, culture at the start of the evening and politicians, our employees, on TV only if they have something to say. That’ll be rare, perhaps never, but it’ll be better. For us and for them.
Programmes of news and of culture produced by the RAI, at least those, must be reusable for free on the Internet. They should be distributable with a Creative Commons license. Once they’ve been broadcast become the property of everyone.

PS: Another question for Gentiloni. What’s become of the popular proposed law with 50,000 signatures Perunaltratv {for another TV} that was presented to him?

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 08:16 PM in Information | Comments (65)
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September 26, 2006

Telecom: an Italian story


The ‘share action’ initiative up to now has got 1750 people signed up representing about 4,800,000 shares. Thanks to this week’s L'Internazionale that has put me on the front cover. I’m publishing my article here. It’s talking about a story that for the moment has no finale. Let’s hope that it will at least be a finale that is sustainable, like Guido Rossi says that Telecom’s debt is. But if the debt is sustainable, what about the credit?

Tronchetti resigned as president of Telecom one Friday, a few minutes before eight in the evening, dinner time. In Milan it was raining, autumnal weather, no one was around because of the urban transport strike. Sadness was in the air. The voice of Aznavour was singing “Com’è triste la Borsa a Milano”{How sad is the Milan Stock Exchange}, but perhaps it was just an echo in the Galleria.

The next day, a resigned Tronchetti, no tie, was walking with his relatives in via della Spiga. In the evening in the most honoured position in the San Siro stadium, he received expressions of solidarity that were like condolences. Inter drew with Sampdoria and added a note of depression at the end of Tronchetti’s week that was almost surreal.
But in the tradition of the best detective stories, we need to ask the question: who is responsible for the fall of the unhappy Tronchetti? The name that jumped to everyone’s lips was that of Romano Prodi, because of his resemblance to a major-domo cyclist. The major-domo is the prime suspect.

However Prodi can be excluded as he is a person who as always does not know the facts, and what’s more with an adviser, Rovati, who by sending a hand crafted memo to Tronchetti has got the whole of the government into a mess.
The private, extremely private message, speculated on a reorganisation of the Telecom group and Tronchetti like a perfect businessman, one that relies on a handshake, straight away handed it over to il Corriere della Sera, the independent daily of the polite salon where Pirelli sits. Rovati resigned.
Prodi has to refer to the Lower House something that no one is sure what it is, but one of his eloquent silences could be enough if accompanied by the throwing of a tomato. Having excluded Prodi, who is left? To understand this we have to go back in time. To the time of dell’Ulivo and D’Alema.
The time of the privatisations, the time of the ‘captains courageous’, but those without a lira. Franco Bernabè had recently started his reign in Telecom Italia. He was a dignified ruler who had already shown his colours in ENI.
Telecom had practically no debts. And every day generated good money. Telecom owned companies and buildings, just to show you, it had the biggest fleet of company cars in Italy. This was a patrimony built up with the taxes of generations of Italians.
D’Alema, who was then President of the Council, for reasons that no human mind (and perhaps not even any alien mind) was able to understand, allowed the company to be hived off to the Colaninno-Gnutti duo. Colaninno let go of Omnitel and launched a takeover bid for Telecom.
The money from the sale of Omnitel was definitely not enough for the takeover, but it went ahead by taking the company into debt.
Thus a Telecom without debts found itself with debts up to its neck. Franco Bernabè who tried to oppose this move by supporting the merger with Deutsche Telekom, even with a serious confrontation with the merchant banker D’Alema, well known industrialist and economist, had to resign.
From this moment the outcome for the country’s biggest company, the one with the best industrial prospects, and the highest rates of innovation, was doomed.
Furthermore, the block sale of the backbone, fixed and mobile lines is a weight on the development of the telecommunications market.
In fact a true market cannot exist if the one possessing the network is also supplying the services. The network should have remained in public hands, or at least, should be subject to the control of the State with a major participation.
Colaninno and Gnutti, who know how to conduct business, try to reduce the debt by selling Tim, or at least by merging it with Telecom, an action that is 5 years ahead of Tronchetti’s actions, but they are not allowed to do this.
Anyway, Colaninno tries to set out an industrial plan that doesn’t even get the time to see the light. Berlusconi comes to Government and night falls for Colaninno.
In July 2001 Colaninno goes to Argentina for a hunting trip and Gnutti, noticing what’s in the air, takes advantage, meets up with Tronchetti and sells. Tronchetti had the cash from selling in 2000, (during the period of the speculative bubble) the division for telecommunication cables Optical Technologies to Corning of the United States, for the incredible sum of 7,000,000,000,000 in cash.
He shares 1,000,000,000,000 in stock options with Buora (200) and Morchio (300), with 450 for him. Tronchetti acquires control of Telecom with the system of Chinese boxes. This is basically a series of companies which has a tiny company at the top of the chain which controls a bigger one and so on down until you arrive at Telecom.
Tronchetti with 0.8 per cent of the shares (he’s the true small investor) finds that he is controlling an empire through Olimpia in company with Benetton, Gnutti, Unicredit and Banca Intesa.
However the debts remain. The new strategy to reduce them is simple. It’s that of the second hand dealer: sell and get rid of it. Seat, Telespazio, Finsiel, a part of Tim, and Telecom’s buildings are sold for cash. Many activities of the group are encapsulated and got rid of.
But this isn’t enough. The margins on the fixed and mobile phones get smaller and the debt does not allow for the necessary investments. There’s risk of an implosion, or the loss of control if new partners were to come into Olimpia.
Coming to 2005, Tronchetti merges Telecom and Tim with the latter being bought through a takeover. Telecom gets even more into debt but gets access to the cash produced daily from the mobile phones.
The operation is announced as strategic. An industrial strategy that lasts 18 months. Then there’s a return to the old. The fixed and the mobile are separated so that they can be sold in pieces; one or both isn’t known. Unicredit, Banca Intesa and Hopa leave Tronchetti to his destiny. Benetton devalues the Telecom shares that at the time they were bought in 2001 were valued at more than 4 Euro and today are worth half that.
Tronchetti kept the value of the shares at an affectionate value but finally he had to devalue them with a domino effect on the Pirelli group.
He resigns leaving 41,000,000,000 in debts. That’s not counting the bonds and the various pieces of paper (the IOUs to the investors), more or less the same as with Colaninno. But with a minus value as all the companies are sold off.
The guilty one is thus clear. It is the middle finger of the invisible hand of the market. The one that has hit all those who lost their jobs and their savings invested in Telecom shares. It is a finger that sees well. Very well. That’s why it takes no notice of managers and controlling shareholders, which is why Telecom has been a great business. The best in a lifetime.
For Parmalat the Guardia di Finanza {Finance Police}came to fetch me from Nervi. They wanted to find out how I managed to know all the facts. I took with me a folder on which was written Telecom to help them take their work forward.
They didn’t take me seriously. But of course that’s how it should be as I’m just a comic. This time I’m expecting Consob or the Stock Exchange to employ me. From comic to global financial consultant. I’ve decided to take the great leap.
To take control of Telecom without even forking out a Euro. A Genovese takeover. I have started the `share action` to ask the small investors if I can represent them. To go to the shareholders meeting and give a kick up the backside to the directors starting with the independents. Those who want to participate can do so through my blog.”

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 11:16 PM in Economics | Comments (13)
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Help Cinema, Tax the Internet


Is Italian cinema in crisis? Never fear. The Margherita party is ready to help with its cultural knight Andrea Colasio.

Colasio, the Margherita’s culture head has presented a proposed law about “Discipline of cinema and audiovisual activities, starting with these words: “Honourable Colleagues! – The idea that Italian cinema is going through a structural crisis, in which, with different intensity phases of obscurity alternate with phases of “eruption” appears to be a view that is shared by operators and observers. It is this long-term co-existence with the “crisis”, the almost normalness that has been generated over time with the phenomenon, with the relative evocation of the golden age of the “Great Italian cinema” that all the same risks to be a screen against the analysis that even though it has no pity about the state of health of this our cultural industry, allows us to formulate proposals around public policies for the sector.”

The solution to resolve the fate of Italian cinema appears in article 32 of the proposal (financial resources). The article sets down that through a new Agency the blood of the Internet is to be sucked up to give to cinema that is already in ‘rigor mortis’:
”a percentage equal to 3.5% of gross annual turnover of Internet operators resulting from IPTV traffic, streaming TV and generally from traffic relating to moving images.”

If the Margherita wants assistance to be given to cinema, let it finance it with its own money. It’s crazy that they want to make Internet users pay for the salaries of failed film producers. Let the government think about bringing Internet tariffs into line with European tariffs and not increase taxes on them.
I leave you with another (don’t worry it is really short) piece of Colasio’s prose:
“At this point it’s possible to choose between ‘surviving’, alternating cycles of discomfort with transitory euphoria, or to opt for a drastic intervention that can bring new life blood to the entire sector….”
You choose, you opt, you discomfort yourselves and then write him an email.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 01:22 AM in Technology/Internet | Comments (46)
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September 25, 2006

Intercept diarrhoea


The country is over the top. Not just the Government. The whole country.
Government and Opposition, both Holy ones, have blessed a decree to burn illegal intercepts. Heretical intercepts. Bonfires in the Procura. The next time it’ll be the turn of the judges, not a bonfire, just a tiny scorching will be enough. The speed, the rapidity and the political consensus (unanimous) of the decree give citizens grounds for legitimate suspicion. That the illegal intercepts contain proof of illegal activity.

The question to be asked is:
"Is it legal to destroy illegal evidence of acts that if they are illegal, relate to our parliamentary representatives?"

If you ask them, the reply is “yes” without a doubt. An unconditional “yes”. But if there’s nothing illegal in the contents of the intercepts, why not allow the magistrates to decide whether to use or destroy them? The shit oozes out all over.

The fear of the politicians to be caught in the act by telephone conversations is a legitimate fear. Probably well founded. But useless. They have to stay calm. Italy is not Hungary nor is it Thailand. If any information about the politicians were to be reported in the newspapers, the Italians, after healthy indignation, true and valid, would turn straight to the sports pages.

No one is asking who ordered the intercepts and why they were spying. The names of Buora and Tavaroli are OK for playing marbles with. The executors of the executors of the executors at the most. Third or fourth level. The ones used for the dirty work. Perhaps someone inside the institutions was directing the game. Let the government, if it has the energy, but I doubt it, turn on a light to shine on the brains behind this and not a bonfire on the intercepts. The game of who is it?

If it’s not the parties, it’s not Telecom that has suddenly become a State within a State, it’s not Licio Gelli (for reasons of age), it’s not organised crime (they have no need), there remains the secret services, Bin Laden and the doorkeeper at Pirelli. And it’s him that will pay for everyone.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:59 AM in Wailing Wall | Comments (20)
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September 24, 2006

SuperQuark’s SuperPorkies


Piero Angela and his son (or his son and Piero Angelo) are nice guys. The son more than the dad because he also addresses his explanations to the non-hearing public. Otherwise you can’t explain why his limbs fly like a windmill while he’s explaining. But perhaps they are spasms of scientific exaltation. Son and father, well remunerated by the RAI, but not well informed. So how do they manage to inform us? I’ll inform them. And I’m not asking for even one Euro.

The other evening on SuperQuark I saw Lorenzo Pinna’s piece about incinerators explaining how beautiful, modern and safe they are. Starting from the one in Barcelona.
This is how the piece was presented:
”Incinerators and purifiers: two installations that no-one wants near their own homes. And yet, in Barcelona, with the use of modern and efficient technologies, they have created these structures in the middle of the city, even building on top an auditorium together with a congress centre and five star hotels that are part of the biggest international chains. In this documentary by Lorenzo Pinna.”

Silence about the emission of killer nanoparticles from Pm 2.5 to Pm 0.1 that no filter can trap. Silence on dioxin emissions. Silence on scientific research that shows how refuse incinerators are damaging to human health and are not a solution for refuse nor for energy.

Silence about the cities that have adopted the ‘Zero Refuse’ strategy and are focusing on alternative techniques without combustion like biological treatment, differentiated ‘door to door’ collection and reduction of refuse and packaging from the beginning. RAI is a public service and I would like forthcoming editions of 'SuperQuark' to talk about the research on damage caused by incinerators and about alternative systems that don’t use combustion. This is needed for the “par condicio” of information.

Notes for Piero Angela to keep his memory fresh:
- Articles by Dr. Stefano Montanari and Dr. Antonietta Gatti about the damage caused by nano particles produced by incinerators
- ISDE document - Medici per l'Ambiente Italia { International Society of Doctors for the Environment }
- Report of the British Association of Medical Ecology
- Article by the Federazione Italiana Medici di Medicina Generale {Italian Federation of General Medicine}
- Research by Dr Michael Ryan on birth defects in England caused by incinerators (1995-2002) where he explains that the damage to health from Pm2.5 emissions are recorded in an area within 20 miles (32 kilometres) from the chimneys.
- Research by Professor Annibale Biggeri of the Università di Firenze {Florence university} about mortality for non-Hodgkin's lymphomas in the Tuscan towns that have incinerators.
- Article by professor Massimo Gulisano, a lecturer at the Università di Firenze on biological damage caused by the incinerators.
- Article about nanoparticles and incinerators by prof. Ugo Bardi, of the Dipartimento di Chimica {Dept of Chemistry} Università di Firenze
- Article about real alternatives to incinerators: mechanical-biological treatment – edited by prof. Federico Valerio, director of the dipartimento di Chimica Ambientale dell' Istituto per la Ricerca sul Cancro di Genova {Dept of Environmental Chemistry at the Institute of Cancer Research in Genoa}
- Scientific opinion of prof. Lorenzo Tomatis former executive director of IARC International Agency for Research on Cancer, of dr.Valerio Gennaro, Medico Epidemiologo {epidemiologist} at the Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro di Genova and of professor Paul Connet, of St. Lawrence University- New York, who is the leading American expert on strategies that are alternatives to incinerators and the creator of the "Rifiuti Zero" {Zero Refuse} policy.

While we are at it, dear Piero Angela, it would be really interesting for you to do a programme about the existing non-combustion alternatives or on the city of Buenos Aires that has the objective to close all the incinerators and recycle all the refuse by the year 2020, or on the county of Lancashire (1.2 million inhabitants) in England, that in September 2005 decided not to construct a mega-incinerator and focus on mechanical biological cold treatment that even Greenpeace believes is a method that is more generous to the environment and to human health.

More and more provinces are deciding not to construct incinerators. The most recent ones are the Provinces of Savona, Alessandria and Novara, where thanks to 'door to door', they have got up to 70% of differentiated collections and they have cancelled plans for an incinerator and a refuse dump. To end up with the cherry on the cake for the programme a great piece on State subsidies to incinerators that are seen only in Italy as 'renewable energy sources' and that we pay for through our ENEL bills.

I ask Pecoraro Scanio to send a letter on this topic to this blog. An operational letter, from a true public employee, that explains what his Ministry intends to do and when, with regards to incinerators and to RAI information (send this to the studious man Maurizio Pallante at SuperQuark).

P.S. The campaign for the nanoparticle microscope has reached 226,619 Euros. Just 151,381 Euro to go. That’s a Euro for each Blog visitor and it’s done!
Payments can be made to:
Current Account n. 513111
In the name of: "Associazione Carlo Bortolani Onlus"
Bank: Banca Etica (Sede centrale di Padova)
ABI: 05018
CAB: 12100
IBAN: IT45J0501812100000000513111
or Pay Pal ( with payment to be received by:

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 02:44 PM in Health/Medicine | Comments (34)
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September 23, 2006

GMO Journalists: De Bortoli


I don’t like getting haughty about people. And so, now that everyone is saying bad things about Tronchetti I want to say nice things about him. But however much I try, I just can’t. I’ve decided to get help from one of the best writers in Italian journalism: Ferruccio De Bortoli, director of Il Sole 24 Ore. I’m extracting paragraphs from his preface to a recent biography about Tronchetti: ‘L’industriale’, {the Industrialist}, the happiest passages. The truest ones.

“There’s the story of a passion, now rare: industry. With many challenges accepted, some that are won, others that are ongoing and difficult.”

“The results count, privacy is a value, ostentation a weakness, the conviction that merit is to be shared among all the collaborators is a norm."

“ …he became a close collaborator with Sozzani at Pirelli & C.; he worked at the first company simplification of the Group. This was an experience that would be useful in the Telecom years to shorten the control chain and to be able to manage the difficult relationship between debts and cash flow.”

“He got the leadership through working on the ground, not as a member of a dynasty. Leopoldo Pirelli chose him as a successor because of his personal qualities and not because of family connections.”

“ …. the Optical case or rather the Otusa one, of the greatest value creation in recent industrial history. … the possibility of concluding with Corning, that aims to be a world market leader, the separation of the photonic company for nearly 4,000,000,000 Euro! Pirelli was paid in cash…”

“ …. entrance of Pirelli in Telecom …. The OPA {Offerta Pubblica di Acquisto= tender offer} doesn’t go ahead and there’s a big uproar. But Tronchetti confessed to the author: `The ones that shout are the same ones who in the 1980s contributed to the creation of the junk bonds and they applauded an operation that is one of the most ugly ever to happen in Italy, the Telecom OPA.’ The one used by the Po Valley race, who sadly are now famous, managed to get generous capital gains that were not paid to the tax authorities.”

“The challenge in Telecom on an industrial and on a financial level is certainly not concluded. But there are results. In a single year, for example, there’s been a cost reduction of 2,000,000,000 Euro. The control pyramid is simplified with a merger with Olivetti and later with Tim.”

“ … certainly you can’t say that he’s not an industrialist. And this is perhaps the biggest compliment that he can have. There are very few true industrialists left. And Tronchetti is convinced, and he has on many occasions said this even in his role as vice president of the Confindustria, {employer’s association} that a system in a modern country must prepare a new and solid generation of entrepreneurs who are keen to innovate and take risks.”

I’ve got a photo of De Bortoli on my bedside table. Every night before he goes to sleep, my son Ciro always asks me to tell him De Bortoli’s daily fairy story.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 01:00 AM in Information | Comments (19)
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September 22, 2006

Stock Exchange Orgy


The directors on the Telecom Italia Board haven’t taken it very far. They aren’t made of the same stuff as Charles Duvall in the Godfather. Marlon Brando paid him to listen to him.
These were paid to listen to Tronchetti. In these years with a great outcome they always agreed with their president.
And even they are in a bad outcome right now. They were admirable in the merger of 2005, in the split of 2006 and I hope, very soon even in the farewell.
Perhaps 82% of the shareholders are not in agreement with them. But it’s not possible to receive the individual wishes of everyone: 18% is far and away sufficient. The newspapers talk about intercepts that went through the top level Telecom people, of invoices for millions of Euro paid to companies that are being investigated for espionage. Did the Board of Directors know that? Had they heard nothing? Had they seen nothing?

It’s all the same anyway. If they knew and kept quiet, they should be removed. If they didn’t know they should be removed anyway for incompetence. The map of Telecom, last updated March 2006, that I’ve presented in part, in my shows, is an orgy. The same persons are everywhere, in the Stock Exchange, Directors, Auditors, multi-roled, multi-paymented.

The diagram needs a bit of explanation. At the centre there’s Telecom. Around that in the first circle, members of its Board of Directors, connected with a green line, and its Auditors, connected with a purple line. The Directors and the Auditors who are also to be found in other Boards of Directors have a green or purple line that connects them to the company in the second circle.

In the third circle there are Directors who are present in at least two companies that are connected to Telecom.
The map that is attached needs to be enlarged to be able to read the names.
Happy reading and happy investing.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 11:02 AM in Economics | Comments (23)
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September 21, 2006

Berlinguer’s funeral


The Pavia and Milan Beppe Grillo meet up groups together with Piero Ricca went to the Festa dell'Unità to talk about the pardon. This is how it went.

“I want my microphone back. I would be able to start from here, with an involuntary citation from the Santoro Rockpolitik, this little news story in the Fassinian evening at the festa dell'Unità di Milano.
The microphone of my Ikarus megaphone to be sure, the one wrenched from me by a violent thieving DS militant. It wasn’t easy, Monday evening, at the festival of the “democrats of the left” to express our democratic right to dissent. Or rather: to express the opinion of the majority of the Italians about the mid-Summer VIP pardon. But we had already calculated that. And all things considered it went fabulously: we all got home safe and sound. This is how it went.

At 8:20pm we all met up as arranged, the Grillians of Milan, at the Lampugnano metro station. About 15 of us with 2,000 flyers and the usual placards. A few minutes later we arrived at the festival location the palamazda (the same palamazda where with our friend Ric Farina we challenged the Forza tribe, that today I’m almost re-evaluating in comparison to so many DS militants). We put on our posters and started to give out leaflets with great energy. At a certain moment, whilst waiting for Fassino. I announce our presence using the megaphone and I give a short speech.
I respond with the usual simple arguments:
1 This is a public place
2 The Festa dell'Unità is not an extra-territorial place
3 Thus, even here, article 21 of the Italian Constitution is valid, the one that guarantees the liberty of expression.
4 We too, are electors who vote for the centre left: are we allowed to criticise or are we only good for election time?
5 Furthermore, on the topic of the pardon, the majority of the electors of the Prodi government are with us.
The replies from the companions who became more agitated are a selection of cultural lateness. Here’s a summary of them.
1 This is a private festival
2 We have hired the square. For this evening it is ours
3 Who is paying you, Berlusconi?
4 If you were to go to a right-wing festival to do the same stuff, you’d see what would happen
5 Get out of our hair, dirty rats!
Faces, expressions, behaviour, all angry, threatening, pitiful. The DIGOS friends watch from a distance, my attempt to get them to intervene to defend our rights is useless. At the “private” festivals of the State-Parties the true public force is the police.
The first attack concludes with my megaphone address suspended. Then the enthusiastic Fassino speech goes on; we follow it through an external TV screen while continuing to give out leaflets and showing our banners.
There’s the moment when there’s an exchange of words with the top Quercia man in Milano, Filippo Penati, the president of the province. I try to shake him out of his stupor by objecting that in a time of ever-increasing corruption the first parliamentary action was to pass a pardon that extends to crime VIPs and to crimes that have not yet been discovered. He responds: the pardon was useful to the poor people, anyway the VIPs will never go to prison. Consorte has not yet been found guilty. He understood the lot.
About 11:00pm Fassino moved away to the Valtellina restaurant for the ritual greeting to the festival volunteers. We approach him asking him to take the flyer and to respond to our criticism. He keeps straight on. He’s melancholic and indifferent.
At that moment I pick up the megaphone and get up on a bench to continue the reasoning. I even evoke the memory of Enrico Berlinguer and his battle on the moral question.
The heavens open. Evoke the moral question at the festival of the DS? That’s worse than blaspheming in Church! A sort of explosion rises up. An indistinct array of insults, threats, whistles, and shouts. The most energised come at us.
With the physique of a bull-dog, middle aged, faces covered: the next day that’s how I remember them. The last remnants of Stalin’s Old Guard. New externals. Lynching is very close.
This time the gendarmes intervene and limit the damage. In the mêlée, one of the Stalinist dogs, protected by the mass, to silence me, tears the microphone from the megaphone. I haven’t yet managed to get it back.
Naturally the police, taking great care to protect Fassino from the terrible risk of a raspberry, pretend not to see, even though they are only half a metre away. At the “private” festivals of the Church-Parties it’s possible to attack and rob a dissenter with impunity under the watchful eye of the DIGOS. But this story doesn’t end here. Even the majority, after all, have the right to make their voices heard.”
Piero Ricca.

Look at the interview

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 12:56 PM in Politics | Comments (11)
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September 20, 2006

ENI versus Planet Earth


Scaroni has been to OPEC. He delivered a great speech in English. Before going to Vienna he took lessons from Totti. His accent wasn’t quite from Oxford but he put on a show as an Italian abroad. We should recognise that. I’m not upset and even though ENI sometimes blacks out this blog, I’ve decided to pick up on this. It’s useful for English lessons, better than Shenker, to be listened to in school, everything is understandable, he almost seems to be speaking in Italian.
For completeness I’m attaching the text and I’m giving a few sentences here with my comments.

The recoverable reserves of non conventional oil like heavy oils and natural bitumen amount to almost 5,000,000,000,000 Barrels, for a duration of more than 100 years.”
The emission of carbon dioxide and the release of polluting substances from the recoverable reserves will kill the planet in much less than 100 years.

“The growth in the demand at a global level is starting to slow down”. China? India? Brazil? Has no one spoken to Scaroni?

“As regards refineries, there is good reason to be optimistic. According to the estimates, primary refinery capacity will grow by 9.0 mb/d {millions of barrels per day} between 2006 and 2011……

Technology and advanced competences are essential for increasing the recovery of petrol, to save the oil deposits from decline, to refine heavy and non conventional oils.”
I’m not so optimistic. The planet is not so optimistic.

Technology must be made to serve research, not the refineries.

“Such a high price of oil offers us the opportunity to invest in the future.”
But if Scaroni is right and the demand is going down, why are the prices going up? With the “pizzo” on oil why do we have to finance the extraction of more oil rather than renewable energy?

Pecoraro, Bertinotti, Di Pietro, Prodi, Fassino, and even you lot in opposition, where the f..k are you hiding? The future of our children is at stake, not the balance sheet of ENI and its dividends. What stories will you tell them tomorrow? That Scaroni was an accident on the road and that you didn’t know anything?

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:25 AM in Energy | Comments (14)
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September 19, 2006

Chinese words

Photo from

Prodi has gone to China so that he can finally dedicate himself to the topic of Telecom. So as not to risk too much between one motorway viaduct and another. At last, with the protection of Chinese secret services, he can express himself freely. He has not spoken like this for years. And you could even understand what he said.

Another person. He’s reborn. In Italy he mumbled. There he speaks loud and clear. The Chinese weren’t that interested in Telecom and the sale of Tim but they had to take it anyway. It’s like if the Chinese Prime Minister came to Rome for a week and went to the Confindustria to hold a press conference about the Yellow River from morning till night.

Prodi was aided by his trusted adviser, the former basketball player Rovati who after the enthusiasm seen in his home country by his declarations and his “home-made” memories revealed to Tronchetti in great secrecy, had to resign. And this is certainly a great thing for the government who can get by without his advice.
Prodi comes back to Italy triumphant even though no one has understood exactly what he and about a thousand politicians and entrepreneurs have done in China. And who has paid for their ticket and their food and lodging. Prodi should now come to Parliament and give news not about China but about Tronchetti. He’ll deliver his usual speech that will be incomprehensible to the public but very reassuring.

Guido Rossi, nearly 80 years old is now President of Telecom. Blessed are the countries that don’t need pensioners. Carlo Buora, the middle finger of Tronchetti’s left hand is the operating deputy president. Basically, everything’s OK. Nothing has changed.

The opposition is asking for Prodi’s resignation without blushing for having allowed Tronchetti to do everything for five years. But perhaps these are just Berlusconi’s manoeuvres to buy the fixed line in the name of Italian-ness. The reversal of parts seen by the newspapers in all this is sensational. Tronchetti is the victim and Prodi is the butcher. The truth is more down to earth: the victims, as always, are the Italians.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:37 PM in Politics | Comments (2)
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September 18, 2006

Tax allowances for childcare

A father of 2 has written to me suggesting tax allowances for baby sitters and child minders. I find I am in complete agreement with him. Both because it will eliminate unregulated work and because the youngest of my 6 children are costing me big money.

Our employees never go back on their word. Ms Melandri, the government’s fairy godmother, has suggested tax allowances for gyms. Berlusconi wanted them for his 221 bodyguards.

The ad personam tax allowances. D’Alema will request them for sailors, Prodi for autogenous training, Mastella for released prisoners caught in the act, Gentiloni for Mediaset, Bersani for Colaninno and Gnutti, Bertinotti for the cooperative rosse {red co-operatives}.

“Dear Signor Grillo,

The honourable Melandri has proposed tax allowances for signing up to health centres and to sports clubs. I have taken the opportunity to write the following to the honourable member to her website hosted by the Lower Chamber:

Dear honourable Melandri,

In today’s newspapers (15/9/06) I have read of your idea about tax allowances for costs relating to subscriptions to and costs of making use of the facilities of gyms and sports associations. I am a person who voted for you and a director of a company with a wife who is an entrepreneur.

We have 2 children, one of whom is 8 years old. So that we can both work, we have had a baby sitter, officially employed for whom we pay INPS contributions and Silvia (the baby sitter) pays IRPEF {income tax}. This is very common situation in Italy, hundreds of thousands of families use the services of baby sitters (almost all of them “on the black market”).

That’s not talking about the vast world of people looking after elderly people who can’t cope alone. A few years ago, if I’m not wrong, the centre right proposed tax allowances for the cost of bodyguards. This infuriated me because this idea showed a complete disregard for the families in which both spouses work and so have need of a baby sitter.

I am thus very surprised that a leading light in the centre left, a woman, that I think has children, should focus on the problems of obesity and not on the management of families. Honourable Melandri, open your eyes!

The problem for millions of Italians is not the physical dimensions of the body, the problem is with whom to leave the children when you go to work. The play schools are not sufficient, because they have rigid hours, while those that work well know that the needs of work mean that you have hours that are up and down. That’s not to mention the time when the little ones are younger than 3 years: nurseries are not sufficient, rigid hours, repeated illnesses of the infants, etc.

Finally I would like to point out that if the costs of baby sitters could be deducted for tax, a great world of work currently done on the black market, would emerge with an increase in INPS contributions and the growth.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 06:11 PM in Wailing Wall | Comments (6)
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September 17, 2006

Goodbye Oriana


Now that Oriana Fallaci is dead, how many free journalists are there with Italian nationality? Fallaci wrote some things that I didn’t agree with and other stuff that I did. She always took risks. She spoke her truth in person. More than a hole in Italian journalism, she leaves an abyss. To be a journalist is not easy. You need a protector.

Journalists without masters no longer exist. Those that resist are getting older and older. And they also repeat themselves but don’t tell Eugenio Scalfari that. You need to go to the library and read old articles written by Montanelli to give yourself a lift. And Travaglio?

I’m wondering. But Travaglio is not a journalist but an informedonthefactsconstantly person. A witness with many eyes. A living phenomenon. One that should be Minister of Justice. To be a journalist and not a servant as well is a matter of astuteness. However I prefer journalists who take a clear line without prevaricating. They’re cleaner, and I almost like them. Even though no one takes them seriously, like a drunkard in a bar, and everyone loves them.

The classy men of journalism, intellectually honest, with the right tie and the column. Read their articles and at the end you feel a sense of emptiness. They no longer need to lie to cover up the facts.

They annul them with nothing. And they don’t even have to sweat. People like Riotta, Severgnini, Mentana.
Oriana, we’ll miss you.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 02:54 PM in Information | Comments (28)
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Back to the future


Enzo Ferrari, mechanic, driver and then head of the company. Camillo Olivetti, designer of typewriters and then head of the company. Arnoldo Mondadori, office worker in a stationary shop, publisher and then head of the company.

Ask Ghidella, booted out not for incompetence but because of too much competence. Money, finance are results, a derivative. And today, the derivatives of a derivative command and destroy the companies. They transform the companies into dividends, stock options, into balance sheets in the red, into debt. Their current accounts however are always in the black just like the night.

When they are thrown out (it happens at times) they demand golden handshakes of millions of Euro even if the company is on the edge of bankruptcy. The State, as was seen for the Railways, as will be seen for Alitalia, gives in straight away. It pays them rather than sack them for good reason.

With our money, with our budgets. For the logic of power and appearance. The more they earn, the more they are considered to be important. Newspapers go mad about them. It’s not important how much damage they have done up until now. It’s certain that they will be allowed to do even greater damage in the future.

The enormous salaries given to managers of public and private companies (often not competent to do the job) are an enchantment. They themselves are an enchantment to be transferred to an island. Islands like Alcatraz and l’Isola dei Famosi { The Island of the Famous = Italian version of the reality TV show “I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!”}are OK as long as they are surrounded by sharks.

To put them at their ease. Why does a technician, a labourer, an office worker of a company have to earn 1000 to 1500 Euro a month and the CEO, the president, the general manager earn millions of Euro? Where is the logic?

If the technician makes a mistake, he’s thrown out. If it happens to the manager, he gets a golden handshake. Where is the seat of this great added value of the heads of companies? Modern Einsteins who one year proclaim the strategic validity of the landline-mobile phone merger and the next year exactly the opposite and no one laughs in their face. It’s a value that is hidden, very hidden. Mysterious. It’s time that it comes into the light, that there’s understanding and that they get out from under our feet.

Ps: The share action initiative is continuing. Click and delegate.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 01:05 PM in Economics | Comments (11)
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September 14, 2006

Snakes of Cement


Building is a snake that eats its own tail. That devours itself. At the entrance to a city we are welcomed by a forest of cranes as opposed to walls and gardens. In the roads, new exit roads, roundabouts and underpasses. Third and fourth lanes. The villages invest the municipal budgets in building works. ICI { L'Imposta Comunale sugli Immobili = local tax based on property} is the new engine for bricks.

Houses are taxed to build houses. Second houses, third houses. Empty industrial sheds for sale, for rent are strung out along the motorways for scores of kilometres. Cables appear like an enchantment between woods and mountains. Construction isn’t for living in, for a real need. It’s to make money.

To “invest”. Stability and the fall in prices is a risk, a problem, a disaster. But for whom?
Every new construction occupies space, resources, and destroys the territory. Italy seen from on high is a boot of cement with a bit of green all around.

Italian provinces are full of abandoned houses to be restructured and of new houses that are empty. Italian cities are full of empty offices (or empty of full offices) and overflowing with new buildings being constructed. There’s an orgy of cement. But cement produces nothing. Rather, if it’s not necessary it simply destroys.
The request for new construction licences should be granted only if existing alternatives are not present. Give incentives to restructure existing houses. How many offices, apartments, buildings are empty in Italy? How many are being constructed? Construction is justified because it makes money, because bricks are safe. But it’s a game that massacres the territory.

And economic resources that could be destined at least on the part of the public administration, to the territory, to services for the citizens. What’s the sense in investing in cubes of concrete rather than in research? There must be some sense while we are waiting for the buildings bubble that is coming soon. A wind is blowing from the other side of the Atlantic. Towards Europe. After that we can invest in demolition and the recovery of the territory. Snakes that eat their own tails.

PS “Fabbricare fabbricare fabbricare {Build, build, build}
Preferisco il rumore del mare {I prefer the sound of the sea}
Che dice fabbricare fare e disfare {That says build, make and unmake}
Fare e disfare è tutto un lavorare {Make and unmake is all work}” (Dino Campana)

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:23 AM in Economics | Comments (30)
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September 13, 2006

Share action. Let’s give it a go!


Who does Telecom belong to? And who has built it up year after year with their taxes if it’s not generations of Italians? Well then let’s try to take it back. The mechanism is simple.
If everyone owning Telecom shares wants to give me their proxy vote, I can go along to the Telecom shareholders’ meeting and make sure your voice is heard so that the whole Board of Directors is fired. So you see it’s worth the effort to attempt it.
To get this project to work we need loads of people. Send me your expressions of interest by using this form so that I can weigh up how feasible this project is and then have a go at making it happen.
Below you’ll find a legal explanation of the whole process so that your right to vote can be put into effect:

”Telecom is quoted on the Stock Exchange so the shares are bought and sold in markets that are regulated and they are not physically in the hands of the shareholders but they are figuratively deposited in the Bank and the ownership of the shares is demonstrated by a series of registrations.
The shareholder who intends to participate in the Telecom shareholders meeting thus has to ask the Bank holding the deposit of the shares for the admission ticket to the shareholders meeting indicating the person to whom the shareholder intends to delegate interventions.”

For a project like ours, the rules relating to assigning the proxy vote are given in articles 136 onwards in the Dlg 58/98.
Indicate to me that you are interested in this and I will put our project into action.

Let me enjoy this. Rise above the humiliations that have been suffered in recent years as users and as shareholders. The Board of Directors sacked by its real shareholders through a comic. Something that has never in the world been seen before. An 9/11 of the capitalists without capital that weigh on our society.

Lasses and lads, let’s get stuck in.
Participate, participate, participate.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:23 AM in Economics | Comments (8)
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September 12, 2006

Ogre or Blind


In the city around us there’s a separate world. A world of ogres, blind people and victims. The ogres are squalid delinquents who exploit children. The blind people are us. Us when we turn away to the other side. The victims are children of five/eight/ten years old who are begging at the traffic lights.

Or they are playing the fiddle and too ashamed to ask for money, have their eyes towards the ground. Children who are beaten if they don’t collect a few hundred Euro a day. Children obliged to steal. Imported into Italy to sell themselves publicly on the streets.

Once upon a time, on seeing a child on his own, in difficulty, we would give him a hand. We would ask his name. We would take him to the town hall, to the police, to the church. We would offer him a sweet, an ice cream, a hug.

Between the blind people and the delinquents there’s a fine line. A very fine line. It’s not easy to grasp.
In Milan, in front of a cemetery, the Musocco, the children from the East are low price merchandise. It’s certainly thanks to globalisation. Once upon a time they cost more and the risks were greater. Now it’s all much easier and more convenient. It’s not necessary to go abroad to have the pleasures of the flesh. In a few years we’ll be able to order them at home.

Today I want to publicise a number: 114, for child emergency. If you witness abuse of a child, don’t turn away, but telephone 114. Do it for yourself, not just for the children. You’ll feel better afterwards.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 12:13 AM in Wailing Wall | Comments (36)
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September 11, 2006

Beccaria’s Italy


Five years ago, before the G8, it was known what would happen. It was in the air. The black blocks were in training and were filmed. Just filmed. No arrests. Not before. Not since. Who knows why.
On 20 July 2001 with Gino Paoli and his boys, all dressed in white, the ‘white blocks’, I raised the alarm. I asked the people of Genoa to leave the city and go to La Spezia.

I sang “Senza fine” {without end} in an improvised show while Gino, armed with a cudgel, put all his energy into smashing to pieces a car bought from a body repair shop.
From the denunciation of Amnesty International that I’m attaching and from which a few paragraphs are seen here below, one thing surprises me.
It’s not the impunity of the police officers implicated in beating up the young people, (many of whom were foreign) while they slept. It’s not even the lack of an independent Italian institution for Human Right. What surprises me is that torture in our penal code is still not considered to be a crime.

Now I understand the focus of attention on the kidnapping of Abu Omar in Milan and his transfer to Egypt to be tortured there in total serenity. A serenity that derives from the application of the law.

From Amnesty
“Five years after the policing operation during the G8 summit in Genoa in July 2001, the Italian authorities are still inactive in taking measures which would effectively promote police accountability. Concrete steps in this direction are urgently needed both in connection with the serious allegations of police brutality during the G8 Genoa summit and in the broader context of frequent impunity for law enforcement and prison officers accused of torture,….”

“In April 2005, almost four years after the events, the trial of police officers involved in an overnight police raid on a school used as a dormitory for demonstrators and as a centre for the Genoa Social Forum, the umbrella group organizing the main program of demonstrations, began.

Dozens of people arrested during the raid suffered injuries, some of them requiring urgent hospitalization and, in some cases, surgical operations. The officers currently on trial are charged with various offences, including assault and battery, falsifying and planting evidence, and abusing their powers as officers of the state. None of them, however, have been suspended from duty…”

“Italy, which still lacks an independent national human rights institution, has not established an independent public commission of inquiry into the G8 summit events, as requested by Amnesty International in view of the scale and gravity of the allegations…”

“Italy must take urgent steps towards the eradication of impunity among law enforcement officers. Such measures include introducing torture as a crime into its penal code, eighteen years after ratifying the UN Convention Against Torture, and thus filling a deplorable and crucial gap in its legal system.”

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 11:32 AM in Information | Comments (17)
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Junk dealer


Junk dealer: A person that buys and sells used goods

Devoto-Oli. . ‘Pirelli and Telecom shares shooting up. The Stock Exchange is betting on a new rearrangement’ (Repubblica 9/9/2006)
‘Tronchetti sends out the signal of a turnaround now even Tim can be sold’ (Repubblica 9/9/2006)
‘Behind the negotiations between Telecom and Murdoch, an industry strategy that is common to the major European Groups’ (Repubblica 9/9/2006)
‘The fever about the rearrangement is giving wings to Pirelli’ (Corriere della Sera 9/9/2006)

The turnaround, the betting, the rearrangement, the wings, the industry strategy, the fever. Enchanted words. Let’s have a go at translating them.

Telecom has debts of 41,300,000,000 euro. Hopa, Unicredit and Banca Intesa have come out of Olimpia. Tronchetti and motorway payment collectors Benetton are the only ones left. Tronchetti needs cash. Now that he has sold “to rearrange” Telespazio, Seat PG, Finsiel, Pirelli Cavi etc, etc. After the plummeting of the share value of Pirelli and of Telecom in the last 5 years. After having got people working in outside companies to give the “turnaround signal” to part of Telecom. After merging Tim and Telecom as an ‘industry strategy’ and getting Telecom into debt so as to get available cash from Tim. After having distributed profits to the shareholders instead of using them to reduce the debts or to make investments. After having uselessly tried to get Pirelli Tyre quoted on the Stock Exchange. Basically, after having tried everything, according to whispers, he could sell Tim, the landline telephone network, the last mile. Everything.
This man is extenuating. Through a series of Chinese Boxes.

MGMP>Mtp&cSapa>Gpi>Camfin>Pirelli&c>Olimpia controls Telecom, with a percentage like a telephone prefix. He has no money but he wants money. Telecom shares on Olimpia's books are double the value seen in the Stock Market quotation.

It doesn’t get devalued. No one knows why not. Telephony and the backbone are essential for the development of the country. The government can’t just stand and watch. What’s Prodi looking at? He closes his eyes and smiles beautifully. I invite Prodi (you too invite him with an email) to give a signal with a letter to this blog.

Ps: Very soon the ‘share action’ initiative for the Genoa-Style Takeover will be here on the blog.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:07 AM in Technology/Internet | Comments (2)
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September 09, 2006

The RAI is breeding like rabbits


The RAI is not subject to political interference. That needs saying. It is however a family environment of sons, fathers, cousins, and in-laws. It’s impermeable to the parties. It’s an indestructible block of relations who survive any government. With marriages arranged from birth between the sons of the heads of section and programme-makers. A natural defence to political interference and to free information. A reaffirmation of family values and a job with the State.

The list I’m publishing has been on the internet for some time. It’s likely to be incomplete and not completely up to date. It’s likely that between friendly relations and couples among the roughly 11,000 employees of the Group inside and outside the structure, the number of sons of nephews (or grandsons) and of in-laws is likely to have proliferated. A bit like the happenings in a rabbit hutch.

Sons and Daughters (f):
Tinni Andreatta, Head of fiction, Raiuno, (f) of the former DC minister, Beniamino. Natalia Augias, Gr, (f) of journalist and writer Corrado. Gianfranco Agus, correspondent, (f) of the actor Gianni. Roberto Averardi, Gr, (f) of Giuseppe, former Psdi parliamentarian. Francesca Barzini, Tg3, (f) of the writer and journalist Luigi junior. Bianca Berlinguer, Tg3 news presenter, (f) of Enrico, secretary of the Pci. Barbara Boncompagni, author, (f) of Gianni. Claudio Cappon, Director General, (f) of Giorgio, former Director General of Imi. Antonio De Martino, Gr, (f) of former socialist Minister Francesco. Antonio Di Bella, Director Tg3, (f) of Franco, ex Director of "Corriere della Sera". Claudio Donat-Cattin, Head of Raiuno, (f) of the Christian Democrat Minister Carlo. Jessica Japino, programme director of "Carramba", (f) of Sergio. Giancarlo Leone, CEO of Rai Cinema and Head of Divisione Uno, (f) of the former president of the Republic Giovanni. Marina Letta, working on a short-term contract, (f) of Gianni, undersecretary to the Presidency at Palazzo Chigi. Pietro Mancini, Gr, (f) of the socialist Giacomo. Maurizio Martinelli, Tg2, (f) of the journalist Roberto. Stefania Pennacchini, Institutional Relations in Rai, (f) of Erminio, former undersecretary Dc. Claudia Piga, Tg1, (f) of the former Minister dc, Franco. Francesco Pionati, political commentator with Tg1, (f) of former mayor of Avellino. Alessandra Rauti, redactor of Gr, (f) of Pino, secretary of Movimento Sociale-Fiamma Tricolore.
Silvia Ronchey, author and programme presenter, (f) of Alberto, former Minister of Ulivo and former president of Rcs. Paolo Ruffini, Director Gr, nephew of the cardinal and (f) of Attilio, former parliamentarian and Minister dc. Sara Scalia, Head of Raidue, (f) of the journalist Miriam Mafai. Maurizio Scelba, Tg1, (f) of Tanino, former spokesperson for the President of the Republic Oscar Luigi Scalfaro. Mariano Squillante, former correspondent in London, then at RaiNews 24, (f) of the former judge Renato. Giovanna Tatò, Raitre, (f) of Tonino, adviser to Enrico Berlinguer. Carlotta Tedeschi, Gr, (f) of Mario, Msi senator. Daniel Toaff, Head and author of ‘Vita in diretta’, (f) of the former Rabbi of Rome, Elio. Stefano Vicario, producer of Giorgio Panariello, (f) of the cinema producer Marco. Stefano Ziantoni Tg1 (f) of the former DC president of the Province of Rome Violenzio. Rossella Alimenti, Tg1, (f) of Dante, Vatican reporter for Rai. Paola Bernabei, Press Office, (f) of the former Director General of the Rai, Ettore, owner of the production company, Lux. Giovanna Botteri, Tg3, (f) of Guido, former Director of Rai Trieste. Manuela De Luca, Tg1 presenter, (f) of Willy, ex Director General Rai. Giampiero Di Schiena, Tg1, (f) of Luca, ex Director dc del Tg3. Annalisa Guglielmi, Rai in Milan, (f) of Angelo Guglielmi, former Director of Raitre. Piero Marrazzo, presenter of ‘Mi manda Raitre’, (f) of the late journalist Giò. Simonetta Martellini, Raiuno, (f) of Nando, sports commentator on the radio. Luca Milano, in the contracts office, (f) of Emanuele, former Tg1 Director and former deputy Director General. Barbara Modesti, Tg1, (f) of the announcer Gabriella Farinon and of the Rai producer Dore. Monica Petacco, Tg2, (f) of Arrigo, historian and consultant with Rai. Andrea Rispoli, Raidue, (f) of the presenter Luciano, formerly with Rai. Fiammetta Rossi, Tg3, (f) of Nerino, former Director of Gr2, and wife of the former secretary of Usigrai, Giorgio Balzoni, head redactor of political news on Tg1. Cecilia Valmarana, (f) of Paolo, one of the fathers of cinema co-produced by the Rai, in the structure of RaiCinema. Paolo Zefferi, (f) of Ezio, journalist, and with Rainews 24.

Brothers (br) and sisters (s)
Angela Buttiglione, Director of Parliamentary Services, (s) of Rocco, secretary of the Cdu. Nicola Cariglia, working for Rai in Florence, (br) of Antonio, former secretary of the Psdi. Silvio Giulietti, operator with Rai in Venice, (br) of Giuseppe, man of Rai and Usigrai, former Ds Head of information. Max Gusberti, deputy to Stefano Munafò at Raifiction, (br) of Simona, Head of Raidue. Sandro Marini, Tg3, (br) of Franco, former secretary of the Ppi. Giampiero Raveggi, Head of Raiuno, (br) of Emilio Ravel (stage name) brains behind the programme "Odeon". Antonio Sottile, programme director of "Linea Verde'', (br) of Salvo, spokesperson for Gianfranco Fini. Maria Zanda, Head of the secretariat of Roberto Zaccaria, (s) of Luigi, former Head of the Agenzia del Giubileo.

Husbands and wives (sp)
Milva Andriolli, with Rai in Venice, the former (sp) of Silvio Giulietti, brother of Giuseppe. Anna Maria Callini, director of the secretariat of Raidue, (sp) of Gianfranco Comanducci, deputy Director of the Divisione Uno. Roberta Carlotto, Director Radiotre, (sp ) of the former Pci member Alfredo Reichlin. Sandra Cimarelli, scenery Raidue, (sp) of Franco Modugno, Director of buildings Rai. Antonella Del Prino, with "La vita in diretta", (sp) of the journalist Oscar Orefice. Simona Ercolani, author of Rai programmes, (sp) of the journalist Fabrizio Rondolino, former spokesperson for Massimo D'Alema. Paola Ferrari, presenter, (sp) of Marco De Benedetti. Anna Fraschetti, deputy to Bepi Nava the Head of the Press Office, (sp) of Mario Colangeli, vice Director Tg3 and sister of Luciano, reporter at the Quirinale with Tg3. Giovanna Genovese, partner of Sergio Silva, brains behind ‘Piovra’ and production person. Ginevra Giannetti, consultant with Rai International, (sp) of Altero Matteoli, An Minister of the Environment. Giuseppe Grandinetti, Gr, (sp) of the Green Senator Loredana De Petris. Francesca Manuti, producer of "Sereno variabile" of Raidue, (sp) of Paolo Carmignani, deputy Director of Raidue. Lucia Restivo, Head of Raidue, (sp) of Sergio Valzania, Director of Radiodue. Anna Scalfati, Tg1, programme presenter, (sp) of Giuseppe Sangiorgi, member of the Authority and former spokesperson for De Mita. Cristina Tarantelli, Parliamentary Services, (sp) of Carlo Brienza, RaiSport. Daniela Vergara, anchorwoman for Tg2, (sp) of presenter Luca Giurato.

Nephews, Nieces, grandchildren (n), in-laws (in) and various:
Ferdinando Andreatta, Director of Rai- Way, (n) of Nino. Guido Barendson, Tg2 presenter, (n) of Maurizio. Aldo Mancino, RaiWay director (n) of the former president of the Senate, Nicola. Giuseppe Saccà, (n) of Agostino, Director of Raiuno, in the orchestra of the Raiuno programme ‘Torno sabato-La lotteria'. Adriana Giannuzzi, office of authors’ rights, (in) of the former senator and former member of the Csm Ernesto Stajano and wife of the deputy Director of Divisione Due, Luigi Ferrari. Alfonso Marrazzo, Tg2, cousin of Piero. Marco Ravaglioli, Tg1, husband of Serena Andreotti, daughter of Giulio. Tommaso Ricci, Tg2, (in) of Angela and Rocco Buttiglione. Carlotta Riccio, producer, (in) of Claudio Cappon, Rai Director General. Luigi Rocchi, director of Business&development, son-in-law of Biagio Agnes. Laura Terzani, Tg3, daughter-in-law of Antonio Ghirelli

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 01:26 AM in Information | Comments (35)
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September 08, 2006

Watch out for the sausage


We import meat from Germany, adulterated meat. No one in Italy speaks out, as is explained in this letter that I’m publishing. And yet the German media have been talking about it. But silence is golden. And if it’s a bit rotten, no one takes any notice. And more. Checks will show that up. Checks. Who checks up on the meat coming into Italy? Why do we need to import it? If we have to eat it rotten we can do that on our own. And perhaps even better than the Germans.

A few days ago a massive scandal about adulterated meat has broken out in Germany. It’s generally frozen meat and it is on sale throughout Europe.
Public opinion here knows nothing about it. What’s the scale of the scandal? The German police seized 10 tons of out-of-date meat from a wholesaler in Munich in Bavaria. The meat was more than 4 years out of date and it was being put on sale and exported to France, Denmark, Czechoslovakia and the three Benelux countries.
The Italian authorities were informed of the happening and were invited to find the suspected merchandise that had already been imported from Germany. ( der Spiegel ).

The implication of Italy in the scandal can be gleaned from the news on ZDF (second German TV channel). The Bavarian authorities were already aware of the international sale of meat that is rotten and/or out of date. Following a check, a German distributor justified the situation to the authorities by saying that it was merely an error of labelling. And he produced documentation (concerning chickens) from the Italian importer that had been labelled by mistake as fresh when in fact the produce was frozen.

But now the scandal has reached such proportions that it can no longer be kept secret.
Anyway, this morning, the 74 year old German wholesaler Georg Bruner committed suicide. However the proportions of the scandal are even wider. The German police at Metten, Ruderting and Ratisbona, in Bavaria, seized from the German chain “Reiß meat centre" more than 40 tons of meat that is not for human consumption. At Gröbenzell out of 700 pallets of food, 70 had the “sell by date” altered.

In Austria, in the Tyrol, as a precautionary measure, 6 tons of meat have been seized.
Only here in Italy do the media stay silent. Is it possible that no one can understand German or are there other reasons to protect the food lobby?
I hope that once the copious documentation that is available on line at least on blogs, has been verified, that space will be given to this news item that I feel is of interest to everyone. ".
P. L.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:47 AM in Health/Medicine | Comments (23)
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September 06, 2006

Helenio Herrera’s coffee


To speak ill of Facchetti at the moment is like blaspheming in church. Not even I will do that. But to talk about his death is a duty. The articles of the Great Signatures, are all the SameasmineeitheryouknowhimorIheldhiminhighesteemIhadhismobilenumberinmyphone’smemory, and would probably make Giacinto want to vomit. Alessandro Gilioli of l’Espresso last year published an interview entitled “Pasticca nerazzura” {black-white pill}, with Ferruccio Mazzola, brother of Sandro, who played for Inter for a short time. Here are a few paragraphs:

“… I myself experienced these practices that footballers had to go through. I saw the trainer Helenio Herrera giving out pills to put under your tongue. He tried them out on the reserves (I was often one of these) and then he also gave them to the team members.
Some took them, others spat them out secretly. It was my brother Sandro who said: if you don’t want to take it go to the bathroom and throw it away. That’s what lots did. However, then Herrera realised that we spat them out and so he started to dissolve them in coffee. From then on “Herrera’s coffee” became one of Inter’s practices.”

“From then on my companions got sick and perhaps have died. Lots. Too many. The first was Armando Picchi, the team captain. He died of a tumour to the spinal column at 36 years old.
Then it was Marcello Giusti’s turn. He played in reserve and was killed by cancer of the brain at the end of the 1990s. Carlo Tagnin, one who never refused the pills, because he wasn’t outstanding and he wanted to extend his career running like a young lad. He died of osteosarcoma in 2000.
Mauro Bicicli went in 2001. He had a tumour in his liver. Ferdinando Miniussi, the reserve goalkeeper, died in 2002 from Cirrhosis that evolved from Hepatitis C. Enea Masiero, with Inter from 1955 to 1964 is having chemotherapy. Pino Longoni, who was in Inter’s youth team before going to Fiorentina, has a vasculopathia and is in a wheelchair with no hope of recovery …”

"… in the amateur championships where there are no controls, there they are drugged to the eye balls. What really upsets me are the youngsters. They start to get pills and power drinks at 14-15 years. I’m working in Rome with the Borghesiana team, where my son Michele plays. I always say to the youngsters to watch out even for hot tea if they don’t know what’s in it.
I have also made a statement to the youth court of Milan: scores of statements are coming in from fathers and mothers whose sons are taking strange stuff. Perhaps they run like mad on the field and then they fall asleep at their desk the following day in school. There you go. It’s because of them that I’m talking about all this.”

If Ferruccio Mazzola is right there are delinquents who are administering drugs to youngsters. People who are inoculating them with tumours. Who are they? Which teams do they work for? Who do they get their orders from? Perhaps Facchetti would like to know. Perhaps we would too.

P. S. Tonight at Gela as a guest of the comune, a show in the square. I’ll see you there.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 08:34 PM in Wailing Wall | Comments (45)
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Mayor DIY


I live in Nervi and since I’ve got a big family (6 children) I’ve decided to put in a request to transform my home into a Comune {municipality}. If I transfer the residence of my parents-in-law, a couple of friends and my brother’s family, we’d be getting on for twenty people.

We’d be a bit squashed, but I wouldn’t leave anyone without a position. Mayor, deputy mayor, councillors, comune technical person, comune secretary, comune agent, comune police, a few secretaries, a door keeper.
Everyone will have a position. Let it be clear: I’m not paying for anything. It’s the State that has to pay. I will combine the delight of all these positions with the use of public money.

Grillo’s comune (Genova-Nervi) would then be competing with the comuni of Pedesina (Sondrio), 38 inhabitants and Morterone (Lecco), 35 inhabitants. In Italy there are 8.100 comuni (source:, of these 819 have up to 500 inhabitants, 1.140 have between 501 and 1.000, 1.708 have between 1.001 and 2.000. 7,061 comuni have less than 10,000 inhabitants.

And 10,000 inhabitants is the threshold laid down in the unified text on the organisation of local authorities for comuni that are newly formed. At the time, the aim of the legislator was to reduce the number of comuni. The text in fact allows for the provision of State funding to comuni that join together.

Let’s do some sums: There are 7,061 comuni with less than 10,000 inhabitants covering a population of 8,049,053 inhabitants. If we divide that by 10,000 we get about 800 comuni. That gives 800 as against 7,061.
I’m asking Padoa Schioppa how much that would save us. He too, should surely do something. It’s not only about saving. It’d be more efficient. The comuni in the same area have the same problems. To divide up the municipalities is not only a costly exercise, it also often leads to immobility or to divergent decisions. One comune downstream has a purifier and the one above doesn’t even have a sewer.

Result: public costs (purifier) together with private shit. There can be numerous examples and I invite bloggers to report their own. In the tiny comuni you don’t elect a mayor but a family member. At times it’s the son of the previous mayor. Or anyway a family member of second or third communal degree.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 12:31 AM in Information | Comments (12)
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September 04, 2006

Nothing exists. It’s called RAI.


Here’s the continuation of the free interpretation of interviews published in the newspapers. Today is the turn of chatter-box Petruccioli, whose interview once you’ve taken away the pre-amble, the quotes, the adjectives, greetings, premises, clarifications aphorisms and plays on words, is only 2 lines long. A media “null” like the RAI that he leads.

Interview: the president of RAI and the choices for public TV, Paolo Conti
Date: Sunday 3 September 2006
Publication: Il Corriere della Sera

“The public service that does not gain an autonomous space with respect to the majority that supports it is destined to finish.”
is to be read as:
“Public service is finished.”

“Our method is to work out choices only on the basis of professional evaluations”
is to be read as:
“I enjoy taking advantage of you.”

To the question: Will TG1 {the News on RAI Channel 1} start to support the government once more?”
The reply was:
”It is the most important public service news programme. Irrespective of who directs it, TG1 has its own “officialness” that, like the leading national newspapers, cannot ignore the orientation of the government.”
is to be read as:
“TG1 is a government broadcast!”

“Italy needs a general reflection about the future of RAI.”
is to be read as:
“The future of the RAI is not my responsibility but the responsibility of a general reflection.”

“I was nominated by the Ministry of the Economy, voted by two thirds of the Watchdog and unanimously by the Board of Directors of the RAI. The guarantee is not in political positioning but in the collaboration of 3 different entities and in the breadth of parliamentary consensus. I’m not saying that to defend myself but to express a wish: if new rules are to be put in place for the nomination of a president, it’s necessary to keep the qualified majority vote so that the nomination is not under the control of the wishes of the current majority.”
is to be read as:
I’m not budging from this position. ”

“My relationship with Prodi is neither hot nor cold. I never call him just as I never call the Ministers. I’ve got too much respect for his commitment. Prodi calls me, as do other members of the government when they consider that they have something to tell me.”
is to be read as:
“I’m always available.”

Prodi, make a phone call; tell him he’s sacked. Every so often we need a tiny bit of satisfaction.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:15 PM in Information | Comments (10)
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Genoa-Style Takeover


Telecom is available for a takeover. Its value on the Stock Exchange is about half that of when Tronchetti arrived. Tronchetti’s package, that allows him through a series of Chinese boxes comparable to a trapeze artist in finance circles, to control Telecom, is worth double the market value.

Even though it’s only got half the value. The reason is not known. Consob, the Stock Exchange and the Bank of Italy don’t know. However Tronchetti knows and at least in this respect he is human. To hand over the package of control he would like it to have, because of nostalgia, the value it had in 2001. Well even all the other shareholders would like that for their shares. Who can criticise them for that?

If there were a takeover bid for Telecom shares at a price slightly above the Stock Exchange price, Tronchetti would go home. And he would have to devalue the shares in his possession. I don’t have the money to do a takeover. However I’ve thought of an alternative. A Genoa-style alternative.

A Genoa-style takeover. Without having to put down any money, a bit like Italian financiers. But with respect to them without building up a debt with the banks.
Through the blog, and with the support of a legal firm I will ask for the representation of all those who own Telecom shares. If I get enough support I will call a shareholders meeting and I will sack the Board of Directors. That’s not a joke.

Considering that there’s nothing moving on the idea of “class action”, let’s move to facts and do a “share action”. Small shareholders all over the world unite. (Before the arrival of Murdock, the brown knight).

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 01:08 AM in Economics | Comments (15)
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September 03, 2006



Hitler was an amateur. He had to present himself as a champion of democracy. And talk about poverty, progress, and work. Above all about work, a words that is so much of the left, it’s pleasing.

Then, in his own time, he had the chance to take liberties. Respecting the rules of democracy to be sure. Rules that say that whoever is of the left is entitled to do right-wing things, ultra right-wing and even beyond that. Whatever happens they are always judged to be left wing., democratic, liberal. Basically, good stuff.

Bill Clinton will talk today and tomorrow on CNN on the theme of poverty. He’ll talk about thousands of millions of people who live on a dollar a day. Of how to beat the effects of capitalism. What a good person. A quick recap.

He cut funds to state centres supplying lawyers defending poor people in prison. He approved a law that removed federal funding for class actions. He extended the death penalty to new crimes. He cut food vouchers and cheques for elderly and disabled people, for poor legal immigrants without citizenship. He made drastic reductions to federal support to poor families with dependent children that had been given out even since the times of Roosevelt.

Bill, the democrat, cut social funds, made the poor poorer and humiliated immigrants. He did it because of the needs of the budget, to get the accounts to balance. And so that he could make investments of 250,000,000,000 dollars a year in the true American business: the arms business, four times greater than China and 80 times that of Saddam’s Iraq. Democratic arms that have killed, that now kill civilians in the proportion of 10 to 1.
If Clinton talks to CNN, Blair, of New Labour, the true left-wing democrat, talks to the BBC. And talking about criminals he says: we must identify them “even before their birth … if we are not ready to take action and intervene really early, we will have children growing up in families that we know to be completely dysfunctional, and after a few years, these children will grow up to be a threat to society and to themselves.”

P.S. Roger Clinton, the step father of Bill, was an alcoholic and violent to his family. A dysfunctional family…

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 04:57 PM in Politics | Comments (8)
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Beautiful costs for beautiful banks


Soon to be the CEO of Intesa-San Paolo, Passera is at Cernobbio on Lake Como. He’s as happy as Napoleon at the end of the Italy Campaign. And who wouldn’t be in his shoes if you add up salary and stock options?

The location and the sun have moved him to make a lyrical declaration: “The integration project for SanPaolo-Intesa is really beautiful.” A picture by Caravaggio, a statue by Canova. He then reassures the clients: “They can be reassured. If they work with both banks they will see their credit ratings summed and not reduced.”

The candour of the declaration is fascinating. It brings to mind the adverts for il confetto Falqui {a brand of laxative}: “Just say the word.” If I have two credits with two banks, I can expect an increase in the credit rating, since at the appropriate time I provided a guarantee to each one.

Passera continues: “It’s an operation with only winners”. No losers. But doesn’t the merger involve that lovely word: rationalisation? That word when translated into prose means a 30% cut in personnel? But perhaps I’m wrong.

Anyway the clients will be happy. Happier. Very happy. The client of SanPaolo-Intesa is very beautiful. Straight after the merger, they can take advantage of Italian banking services at European costs. The average cost of Italian banking services is higher, much higher than European ones. We are at the top. We’re the very first. We’re beautiful. And the unlucky ones that bought tango bonds and Parmalat will be reimbursed but only after a certain age.

Gripped by sincere exaltation, he added: “if we hadn’t had a common vision, common values, the wish to work together, reciprocal understanding, in such a short time we would not have been able to get going such a stupendous project that has been started.” What feeling. What a start.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 04:15 PM in Economics | Comments (60)
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September 01, 2006

Tarcisio Bertone and the here and now


On 16 August I published the post ‘Idleness is Revolutionary’ with: “This madness is the love of work, the existential passion for work, driven even to the exhaustion of the vital forces of the individual and of his progeny.” Pope Benedict XVI at the Angelus on 19 August affirmed that is necessary to “be aware of the dangers of excess activity, whatever the condition and the office that one holds, because multi-tasking often leads to hardness of heart.”

On 8 August I published the post 'No Oil, no war’ in which I wrote: “Alternative energies are now obligatory. This is the true emergency.” On 29 August, Tarcisio Bertone, the Archbishop of Genoa and soon to be Secretary of State declared: “We depend almost exclusively on one single source of energy: oil. We must find alternative sources.” And “Beppe Grillo, in his small way is an example that we can follow”. In my small way I’m really getting big-headed. In this mechanism, I can’t see who is the cause and who is the effect. But some kind of royalty, 5 per thousand, the Vatican should give me. Tarcisio Bertone is a man of the Church who is engaged with the here and now as well as the after-life. Of the beauty of this world and of alternative energy. A man like that I see as a sign that things can change. The Church, even with its limits and its dogmas seem more advanced than Italian society.

The myths of work for its own sake, of infinite resources, of consumerism, of ownership, of money are (dare I say it?) evil. Certainly in the here and now. For the after-life I don’t know, but I’ll ask Tarcisio Bertone if he wants to meet up with me and some experts in alternative energy. I would like to convince him to adopt them and to start to give a good example, and making savings, in the City of the Vatican and in buildings of the Church (hospitals, care homes etc. )
I invite Italian politicians, who have named Pope John Paul II so much in connection with the pardon, to also report the words of Tarcisio Bertone.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 05:38 PM in Energy | Comments (55)
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