Information with silencer


Antonio Di Pietro is coming out against the intercept law and he has written me a letter. By now we are reduced to getting judicial information to find out what is happening. And they even want to take that away from us. The Prodi government was born dead with the abortion of the nomination of Mastella at the Ministry of Justice. Even the bosses of Cosa Nostra are against the Pardon.

"Dear Beppe,
I am writing to you to denounce the attempt to put a gag on information with the law against the intercepts that is soon to be voted on in the Senate.
Italia dei Valori will put forward some amendments to change the law. If they are not accepted we will vote against it even if the government makes it a vote of confidence. Our amendments are aimed at eliminating heavy sanctions, even criminal ones against journalists who are the weak link in the chain, and to guarantee the possibility of getting access to the intercepts during the preliminary investigations once they have been made available to both sides and recognised as relevant to the criminal proceedings.
With the new law, because of the duration of the trials, in Italy nothing would ever be known. For example, we wouldn't have found out about the conversations between Fazio and Fiorani, and Fazio would still be Governor of the Bank of Italy.
The politicians are trying to protect themselves, thus denying the right of the citizens to have the possibility of checking up on their "political" conduct and I emphasise "political" and not criminal. The intercepts of D'Alema and Fassino, like those of the politicians connected to Berlusconi, have in fact a "political" significance and for this reason, they cannot and must not be removed from the scrutiny of the voters. However I find it depressing that politicians are taking an interest in banks and not in the problems of the citizens.
Even the European Court of Human Rights has given its full support to our decision to not vote for the intercept law in the Senate. It has done this with a recent decision that has condemned France for violating the liberty of expression in relation to the conviction by French courts of two journalists for the publication of a book on the illegal intercept system during the Mitterrand presidency.
Whereas the French judges gave priority to the secrecy of the proceedings, the European Court reinforced the role of the press in making known relevant facts and particularly where politicians were involved.
The European Court said it is legitimate to protect the secrecy of the proceedings, but that the right to information has priority over that. Furthermore, the application of a penalty (even if it is a monetary one) and the affirmation of the civil responsibility of the journalist has a clear dissuasive effect on the exercise of the freedom of the press.
This is why we are committed to preserving this freedom in the Justice Commission at first and then in the Senate, where we will present rigorous amendments to stop information from being gagged.
Apart from our opposition to the law, and I hope this will come from others as well, what is needed is strong popular support to maintain the freedom of information, or at least to not see it gagged even more.
This is why I am appealing to you and to your readers and I am inviting you all to come to the public event on Monday 25 June 2007 "La scomparsa dell'informazione" {The disappearance of information} in Milan, at 8.45pm, Camera del Lavoro, Corso di Porta Vittoria with myself, Beha, Gomez, Kort and Pons. Greetings."

Antonio Di Pietro

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Italy’s Secret Shame

We write to protest against the ongoing silence on all fronts about Italy’s refusal to grant proper status to foreign language lecturers in her universities despite assurances to the contrary from the present government We write to ask for your help.

Many foreign language lecturers European, American, Australian citizens who are married to Italians, are parents of Italian citizens and/or are belong to emigrant families who returned to Italy. They chose to live and work in Italy, an EU member state, because they were confident their rights were guaranteed by the European Treaties on Free Movement of Workers and the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. They were wrong.

Italy has been discriminating against and/or ignoring foreign language lecturers in her universities for the past 27 years. Attempts to achieve justice have been in vain (encl 2 and 3). Persistence of these inhumane working conditions led to death by suicide of a colleague at the University of Trieste on 14th November 2005.

In the 1970s foreign language lecturers were employed Acting Assistant Professors and paid 75% of an Associate Professor’s salary. In 21st century Italy they find themselves relegated among technicians and administrative staff (encl 4) with a salary that is about one-quarter the original. Acquired rights (length of service etc) do not exist. All promotions are barred.

Every Italian government over the past quarter of a century has reduced the lecturers’ economic status and limited exercise of their profession. Finally they transformed them into underpaid and under-employed “linguistic collaborators”. Encl 6 describes this career regression in depth and shows how lecturers were forced to accept a part-time salary for full-time work. At present colleagues with 30 years of service receive salaries of 800-900 Euros monthly, which is close to the poverty threshold. Even an Italian kindergarten teacher in her first year of service earns more!

Italian universities and consequently, Italy herself, have repeatedly been found guilty of discrimination by Italian Work Tribunals, Appeal Courts, High Courts, Constitutional Courts and the European Court of Human Rights (encl 5). Neither the universities nor the state have ever fully applied the rulings, e.g. a colleague at the State University of Milan was never fully paid arrears of salary awarded to her by an Italian court and after 20 years service has a monthly pension of 280 euros. When pressed by the Petitions Committee of the European parliament, Mr Mussi present Minister of Universities and Research, recommended the foreign language lecturers press their cause in Italian courts. (encl 7). Amnesty International has commented unfavourably on the Italian judiciary.

We beg you to publicise Italy’s disregard of EU principles and laws and exert pressure so that her attitude and behaviour towards the foreign language lecturers conforms with current practice in Europe.

As a MEP, we beg you to ensure Italy stops discriminating against foreign language lecturers and conforms with EU principles and laws.

We beg the Embassies to engage in dialogue with the Italian authorities and attempt to build bridges that will ensure an end to this indefensible policy of discrimination and injustice.

Geraldine Anne Boyd
Liliane Virtullo
Mirella Fulgenzi

Posted by: geraldine boyd | June 27, 2007 11:44 AM

great post

Posted by: willy | June 27, 2007 09:46 AM

Beppe, please talk about the war on drugs: illegal drugs make criminals stronger, mafia richer and gets honest people arrested.

Posted by: Donna Sean | June 25, 2007 07:27 PM

Coming to theaters near you is the newly developed Soap Opera called “Romallas” and is centered on the Civil War between Right and Left erupting in Rome very shortly.
The stars of the Soaps will be Mr. Berlusconi (Unemployed lately!) and Mr. Prodi (Completely irrelevant at the EU meeting has signed up immediately to avoid registering for the unemployment line!).
Cheers, long live The Italian Institutions.

Posted by: Gothlingun Y. | June 25, 2007 05:17 PM

There is a rush of Political Figure toward the sacking of the Government.
While front Runners have been clearly establish in Mr. DiPietro and Mr. Mastella, few other ones are jockeying for position and are, Mr. Fassino, Mr. Rutelli, Mr. Mussi, Mr. Bianchi, Mr. Ferrero and also the President of the republic.
It appear the discontent the above mention Political Pinnacle is spreading, and while they all are very concerned with the status of the Institutions, someone should remind them that They are the Institutions.
Even Aeroflot has picked up on the Incongruence of Italian Politicians, to the point that they plan to retire from Alitalia Auction although at the same time they made an offer for 0,001 Euro per share on all the Government owned share block.
TPS has initiated a treasure hunt stating that approx. 2-4 Billion Euros of unregistered profits from Government Enterprises specialized in Arms Dealing.
The hunt opens Friday 29Jun2007 after the clousure of La Bourget air show and will continue for the entire weekend.
Finmeccanica sold 6 Bil worth of Military Transport Aircraft to the USA DOD and other are pending.
Someone was reconsidering the inefficiency of Russia Poltik bureau, although it only took them a week to get a 10 Bil. Project signed, while Italian Politik bureau in for 2.5 Bil it takes 6 months and they are still debating how big the Tesoretto is!
Cheers, long live The Italian Institutions.

Posted by: Gothlingun Y. | June 25, 2007 05:08 PM

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