Berlusconi’s war against Italy’s magistrates continues unabated and Silvio recently claimed that the ‘mani pulite’ anti-corruption purge which took place back in the early 90s set progress in Italy back by 50 years.
Just for good measure Italy’s current prime minister also likened Antonio Di Pietro, who was one of the instigators of the purge, to Adolf Hitler.
Yes, it’s fireworks as usual in the chaotic world of Italian politics.
Who is Right?
As is often the case in Italy, the line between furbo meaning smart and furbo meaning crafty is becoming fuzzy and blurred. Berlusconi believes that the politicians whose heads were metaphorically severed by the actions of Italy’s magistrates during the mani pulite trials were wronged.
Di Pietro, on the other hand, believes that he and his colleagues were merely rooting out corruption which had reached unacceptably high levels.
It is fairly obvious that what Berlusco views as being little more than shrewd (or furbo) business practice, is considered to be little more than dishonesty by the likes of ex-magistrate Di Pietro. Such is the muddiness which appears to envelop the concept of honesty here in confused Italy.
Both sides believe they are in the right and never the twain shall meet.
Magistrates v Magistrates
Meanwhile there is an extraordinary battle going on between the Catanzaro and Salerno magistrates offices. One Luigi De Magistris, an Italian magistrate, who specialises in rooting out public sector corruption, appears to have delved too deeply into the murky relationships which exist between politicians, Freemasons, organised crime and those who work in Italy’s often backhander friendly public sector.
All this scraping and scratching has not endeared De Magistris to certain Italian politicians and dogs have been set after him. Again what one side considers acceptable seems to be at odds with what others consider to be legal, decent, honest and truthful.
In order, or so it may seem to an outsider, to distance the De Magistris led investigations from certain big names, back in 2007 Italy’s justice minster in the Prodi government which preceded Berlusconi’s rule, Clemente Mastella, attempted to transfer De Magistris away from Catanzaro, thus ending his ability to continue what must have been proving to be potentially embarrassing investigations.
To doubly ensure that De Magistris keeps mum, charges of collusion with the press and conducting his investigations in an inappropriate manner have been levelled against him.
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.
The Catanzaro magistrates office is apparently overseen by the Salerno head office, which is why one group of magistrates is investigating another. From what I understand, and at about the same time, the Catanzaro group of magistrates was also investigating some of the Salerno magistrates. Confusing it is.
Smelly Cans of Rotting, Mouldy Fish
The whole thing smells worse than a can of rotting and mouldy fish, and the eternal battle of Italy’s politicians against the country’s law enforcers continues.
The legal system in Italy is soon to ‘reformed’. It does need to be reformed, of that there is no doubt, with cases taking literally decades to proceed through the courts here. However, with the Berlusconi government proposing the changes, such ‘reforms’ are unlikely to favour Di Pietro’s concepts of honesty and more likely to provide to prevent pesky investigators from pointing their magnifying glass enlarged noses towards the mysterious ways in which Italy’s politicians often move.
Backs will no doubt be protected by such reforms, and Berlusconi’s comment on Italy’s magistrates having set progress back by 50 years would seem to support such a supposition. Silvio’s idea of what is legal appears to be rather wide ranging. If he does something, then it must be legal. No arguments. But then Berlusconi did tell Italians that evading Italy’s excessive taxes is OK.
Hey! Why not Decriminalise Crime in Italy?
Still, Berlusconi might like to go the whole hog with the justice system reforms and simply decriminalise crime, especially if for those whose surnames begin with a ‘B’ and finish with an ‘i’. Then of course, there would be no need for nasty commie magistrates.
Alternatively, Italy’s government could simply create a list of ‘saints’ who are to be considered above crime.
Such a sanctified list could then be circulated to Italy’s law enforcement bodies and whenever one of the names on this list came up in some investigation or other, inquiries would be brought to a swift end. Read: dropped. Simple, and no messy court cases would further clog up Italy’s jammed legal system either.
Not a bad idea for a justice system reform in Italy, don’t you think? The unholy alliances between Italy’s unscrupulous politicians, businessmen, and organised crime could then really concentrate on turning Italy into a polluted wasteland which is completely unfit for human habitation.
These peoples’ grandchildren will be oh so happy, I’m sure. Roll on the reintroduction of Nuclear power in Italy! I mean, why bother waiting until grandchildren are on the scene?
Actually, the destruction of Italy is already happening, just read Roberto Saviano’s book, and you’ll find a good few examples of how certain areas of Italy have already become unofficial dumps for toxic waste. See this post for more about Saviano’s book Gomorrah: Gomorrah – The Book and the Film. I’ve read the book, and it’s not a pretty story at all.
Update. From the BBC 16th September, 2009: Mafia ‘sank ships of toxic waste’