THE BLOG

Who Still Wants Him?

09/20/2011 03:48 pm ET | Updated Nov 09, 2011

"I'm leaving this shitty country of which I'm sickened". Who would say something like this? An honest taxpayer after reading the last fiscal package presented by the Italian Government? An investor? A researcher who remained out of work because of cuts to education? Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi? The answer, unfortunately, you already know. But there's another question: Who still wants him?

On 26 January 1994, Silvio Berlusconi announced his entry into politics by declaring: "Italy is the country that I love". If today it has become a "shitty country" change should be happening. Four Berlusconi's governments. Now, someone should explain to the President of the Italian Council that for 17 years, almost continuously, he has governed this country. Maybe if someone had warned him of this duty, today we would not hastily approve an Austerity-Plan Drama. And we would still have confidence in the markets.

Berlusconi's fall agenda is packed with court appointments (Rubygate, the cases of Mills, Mediatrade and Mediaset TV rights). Between his institutional commitments and the others commitments he must answer to crimes of extortion, prostitution of minors, judicial corruption and tax fraud. I wonder if he is really able to find time to deal with this little problem that the Italians have. It is called deficit. Italy today is hanging by a thread. It is now clear that we risk falling into the abyss of the financial crisis. But the Prime Minister seems to have other concerns.

"They can say about me that I screw. It's the only thing they can say about me. Is that clear?". He said in a phone conversation with Walter Lavitola (now in hiding abroad) late on 13 July. The arrest of Tarantini and his wife is the latest of many legal scandals linked to the Premier. The fixer from Bari admitted, in front of public prosecutors in Naples, he had received directly from the Premier 350,000 euro, in cash. It is also alleged another 500,000 euro (of which only 100 then delivered to Tarantini) was instead handed over by Berlusconi's secretary, Marinella Brambilla, to Lavitola.

The magazine L'Espresso claims Lavitola called Prime Minister after learning the news of the interception by the magazine Panorama, belonging to Berlusconi. L'Espresso claims in a phone conversation, on 24 August, Lavitola asks Berlusconi, "What should I do? Should I go back and explain everything?". Berlusconi replied: "Stay where you are". In another conversation, Premier justifies the payment to Tarantini: "I helped a family with children as I have helped a myriad of people. I do it because I can afford it". More or less the same statement was made to justify payments to the minor Ruby.

There is no denying; Berlusconi is a man capable of great generosity and valuable advice. In this regard, Mr. President, I say to you in Italy there are many families (not to mention pensioners, students and temporary workers) who would like a similar gesture of generosity on his part. Can I give you their bank details? Method of payment that I recommend, as according to the law against money laundering, the cash payments cannot exceed the threshold of five thousand euro. It was established by the budget package passed by your government last year. Do you remember?

And finally, one last thing Mr. President. When you leave this shitty country, please, take with you your friends fixers, corrupters, Mafiosi, drug dealers and pimps. Maybe some seats in parliament could remain vacant, but certainly Italy can say thanks.