Friday, January 25, 2008

Italy in Crisis???


Nah, they’re just changing the whole government, again and at a really bad time for the economy. You see Berlusconi was the first Prime Minister to actually serve the whole entire 5-year term since WWII. And he’s convinced he’s the only one that can do that. To prove this Berlusconi has spent the last 20 months constantly trying every trick to get the Prodi government thrown out of power. It seemed like every time something didn’t go well Berli would be on TV saying the Prodi government needs to “go home.” I really thought it was funny when Berli said, “If Prodi can’t solve the trash crisis in Naples then his government needs to go home.” We should ask Berli what he did to solve the trash crisis in the 5 years he was in power; by the way the trash crisis in Naples has been a crisis for 15 years now. Well yesterday Berli won. Prodi lost his vote of confidence in the Senate and now the government is in a state of limbo until the President decides what to do next. This is the only time the President does anything by the way. The most likely thing is new elections. That’s right, after only 20 months, another election.
In case you didn’t follow how this could happen, good for you. I’ll briefly sum it up. The bottom line is that a member of Udeur party (the Udeur Party holds 3 seats in the over 300 seat Senate) is under investigation for corruption and fraud. The Party is upset that the Prodi government didn’t “support” them against the investigation so they switched sides and are now against Prodi. These 3 little seats in the Senate are enough to stop Prodi from getting any bills through the Senate. They called a vote of confidence to see if it’s even worthwhile to discuss bills if they are going to be voted down. The confidence vote last night basically said that anything Prodi brings to the Senate would be voted down. So we need a new government that has a majority and can get bills completed.
You want to hear the really funny part. Yesterday in the Senate they were about to vote and one of the 3 Udeur Senators decided he was going to vote with Prodi because he wanted the government to stay and continue. The other Udeur Senator went nuts verbally assaulting his fellow party member. Some accounts say he even spit on him before he was escorted out (YouTube should have video proof under “Tommaso Barbato” and “sputo” by now!). The Udeur Senator that changed his mind fainted and had to be carried out under a barrage of insults from other Senators. The 3rd Udeur Senator, oh yeah, he wasn’t even there and he’s the one under investigation too. Hmmm. I like this quote from the spitter “Questo Paese non risorgerà mai se ci sarà gente di merda a rappresentarlo” (In English that's something like: “This country will never rise again if there are people of shit to represent it”). What a nice thing to say about your fellow party member. There are many other subplots and wicked tales that make it almost impossible to find the truth. Did the Prodi government buy the one Senator’s vote? Did Berli buy the Udeur Party’s support? Are they all bunch of overpaid, power-hungry idiots incapable of doing anything for the good of the country?!!!!
On the plus side Beppe Grillo is getting ready for a new election. Will his Civic Lists make an impact? He’s asking that no CONVICTED criminals be allowed in Parliament. I won’t even touch the fact that they were just about to pass a law that changes how Italian elections are done. Stay tuned…

5 comments:

erin said...

thanks for this entertaining summary :) we were talking a little bit about this in class this morning. a little crazy, but your explanation did help. I'm curious as well about how the v-day movement will affect the upcoming elections - we'll see!

Southern Goddess said...

Wow, and I thought our politics were fraught with fraud and confusing.

joe@italyville.com said...

corruption? no! You have to love the guy fainting.... that's comedy. The whole thing seems about right though... this would be the 61st government since the liberation of Italy if I'm not mistaken? 62 years ago. It's been WAY too long!

Rob said...

Guess I better brush up on my Italian then - those electoral notes are always hard to follow.

I chose not to vote in the last election as I don't live in Italy but think I will make the effort if early elections are called (not that I believe anything will change in Italian politics mind...).

Jeff Gromen said...

Erin,
I'm glad I can help and my explaination will always be simpler and more funny than the news. Maybe I'll be the next John Stewart.

Southern Goddess,
Oh yeah Italians will always try to politics more confusing. It's in their blood.

Joe,
I had 9 months in my office pool on how long the Prodi government would last. I'm glad to see I was wrong but now I'm out a coffee.

Rob,
I'm hearing that from my Italian friends. "What's the point in voting?" One side will just fight and block until the other side crumbles.

Jeff