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Why Isn’t Berlusconi in Prison?

Just before the summer break, Mr Orange Tan Berlusconi was finally prosecuted of something. He got 4 years, conveniently reduced to 1 for tax fraud. Technically, seeing as the man was Italy’s Prime Minister and should be setting a good example, Italy should have thrown the book at Berlusconi. But it didn’t. He’s still pulling strings despite being kicked out of Italy’s parliament.

In Italy, the argument goes that seeing as old Silvio is, well, old, he can’t be shut in a slammer. Instead, he’s either going to be put under house arrest or he’s going to have to do community service. Except he’s not been ordered to do either. Italy is obviously scared of old Silvio. Too scared to lock him up, it seems. Really, seeing as he was Italy’s Prime Minister and should have been setting the standard for Italians but wasn’t, he should be slung in prison to rot. This won’t happen though and Italy’s latest great white hope, one Matteo Renzi is even rumoured to want to involve Silvio in sorting out Italy’s crooked electoral laws.

It just so happens that it was a Berlusconi buddy who created Italy’s now semi-illegal electoral system. You’d think Italy would find a way to prosecute Berlusconi for that little bungle, but, so far, it has not. What a surprise not. Nor has Italy managed to do much about the senator bribery allegations Berlusconi is facing. It is suspected Berlusconi corrupted other politicians to help bring down Italy’s Prodi government. When someone of Berlusconi’s standing gets up to such seditious things, you’d think he’d be taken away in handcuffs, but no, Italy is far too scared of old Silvio to do that.

On the subject of setting examples, Berlusconi has also been found guilty of running his very own personal harem of call girls and of paying for sex with an under-age prostitute. The court which found Berlusconi guilty thinks he should be put away for seven years, except this probably won’t ever happen because the whole case is going to drag on for ages as it creeps though Italy’s painfully slow criminal justice system which Italy’s former Prime Minister, ever setting the example, simply loved to insult. The sloth of Italian justice works to Berlusconi’s advantage and he knows it. Strangely, Italians do still seem to respect their justice system even if Berlusconi voters and party members, many of whom are under investigation for suspected sedition, corruption or fiddling, don’t.

The justice system which has found Berlusconi guilty of tax fraud and of behaving badly, and illegally, with a young lady of the night, is more or less convinced that Berlusconi and his lawyers had been paying off witnesses. Berlusconi, and his lawyers – at least two of which are like their client, absentee, politicians – both deny any such thing. Well, they are hardly likely to admit it, now are they?

Italy’s justice system, along with most of the nation’s population, also suspects Berlusconi is little more than a hugely successful crime boss, but, like a certain Al Capone, the only charges Italy’s forces for law and order have managed to make stick on the slippery old guy is a conviction for tax evasion.

When Berlusconi was pretending to be Prime Minister – he hardly spent any time in parliament at all – Italy become the laughing stock of the world. Yet Italy did not sling him out. The Boot got a little red-faced, but did not think making your nation the butt of a thousand jokes was a crime. It isn’t, but it is written in Italy’s rarely respected constitution that Citizens entrusted with public functions must perform them with discipline and honour – Article 54.

Europe Probably Told Italy to Get Rid of Silvio

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Actually, it was most probably Europe, along with the IMF, and a few others who feared Italy’s dodgy management could lead to a major financial meltdown, which told Italy to liberate itself of Berlusconi double quick or else.

Europe probably stated either remove Berlusconi now or we’ll carry out an audit of European funding to Italy from the time the European Union was founded. That threat would have had many of Italy’s politicians quaking in their shoes as well as re-naming covert bank accounts hidden in tax havens all over the world. The fear of losing decades of ill gotten gains caused Italy’s political establishment to do the right thing and remove Berlusconi, only it took until late 2013 to completely eliminate him from Italy’s parliament, but he’s still pulling political strings right, left and centre. The EU, and, probably, the IMF, likely told Italy to sink Silvio, or face the consequences, way back in 2011 – the sinking process has taken well over two whole years! It is still not over.

After he was ousted as Italy’s Prime Minister, Berlusconi continued to have a say in who went where in subsequent governments. Unsurprisingly, Italy’s then weak ec0nomic situation got even worse. The reason why Italy is in such a dire state is that clearing up the Berlusconi governments’ mess has proven to be no easy task.

Even now though, Berlusconi is still not totally sunk. He’s, craftily, pretending to be a senior statesman in the hope everyone will be nice to him, either that, or else he’s threatened to dish the dirt on all and sundry if they aren’t. This is probably why he has not yet seen the inside of a jail cell and probably never will.

Oh, and don’t go believing the rot about Berlusconi being too old to go to prison – it’s simply not true. If Italy wanted to pop him in a cell, it could. It won’t though because those who could decide to put him away fear for their reputations and the contents of all their offshore bank accounts.

Now Italy has boy Renzi, Italy’s Fonzie lookalike, who appears to be determined to sort Italy out – though even he feels the need to maintain contact with good old Silvio. The man should be in prison, but he isn’t. It’s not right.


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