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Italy’s politicians are sensitive

Poor chaps, these Italian politicians, they are oh so sensitive.

They get all worked up and emotional as soon as someone dares to criticise them.  They use words such as ‘threats’, and ‘lynching’. Then they start throwing writs around in an attempt to silence those who have had the temerity to insinuate that they are possibly not acting in the best interests of the Italian people. Yet another ‘sensitive politician’ incident has recently flared up in Italy.

Sensitive Clemente Mastella

One Clemente Mastella is the acting Justice Minister in Italy, and Mr Mastella, who recently attracted criticism after a former Red Brigades terrorist, who was allowed out of prison to work, ended up being caught after having held up a bank. At some point, this ex-Red Brigades gentleman, who appears to have worked the system to his advantage, also managed to amass no less than four guns to help him with his evil deeds. Well, after the crime committing prisoner issue, Mr Mastella is again well and truly under fire.

What happened is that Anno Zero – Year Zero – an investigative political chat show on RAI 2, one of Italy’s state TV channels, hooked up with a couple of magistrates who stated that Mr Mastella had been intimidating them, and accusing them of ‘serious ethical violations’. And it just so happens, that one of these magistrates was investigating allegations that European funds had been misused by businessmen and, guess who else, yes, politicians. Alas, I missed the programme, but criticism of Mastella must have been flowing thick and fast, for no sooner had the programme finished than the flack started flying. Mr Mastella considered it all a personal attack, and accused the journalists of being unprofessional. Law suits then started winging their ways towards those involved in the heinous crime of telling things the way they are. A real hubbub blew up and the thing is still simmering away as I write.

Banning embarrassing programmes

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Stop reading, start speaking

Stop translating in your head and start speaking Italian for real with the only audio course that prompt you to speak.

Incidentally, talking of writing, well, journalism, Mr Berlusconi cleverly avoided embarrassing programmes such as Anno Zero by simply not allowing them to be aired. Needless to say, Italy’s reputation for freedom of the press fell to new lows during Mr B’s time in power. Indeed, during Mr B’s reign, journalists even went on strike in protest of the threat to journalistic freedom, and the then editor of one famous Italian newspaper, the Corriere della Sera, was forced out because he would not tow the line.

Enter Mr Prodi, who in a kind of, ‘look I’m not Mr B’ sort of way, reinstated programmes such as Anno Zero. Perhaps Mr P is now regretting his decision a wee bit.

Moving back to the marvellous Mastella mess, a recent article on Beppe Grillo’s site, in English, entitled Travaglio Minister of Justice, intimates that Mr Mastella may possibly have a few connections with that Italian ‘NGO’, that also begins with the same letter as Mr Mastella’s surname.

The plot, as ever here in Italy, thickens. Then it will set and the whole affair will die the death, as is the way here. Which is why people like Grillo are attempting to bring about some change and bring the politicos to heel.

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