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FOLLOWING THE EUROPEAN UNION

 
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Fri 4 Jul, 2003 05:14 pm
fbaezer,

I think he already got the legal immunity.
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Fri 4 Jul, 2003 05:38 pm
nimh,

Certainly the "old days" were not golden days. Corruption was widespread and a tiny political class monopolized power at the national level.

But the point is that Italy did not have a transition from a corrupt democracy to a modern institutionalized democracy.

It could not end the "partitocrazia" (power of the parties, instead of the people), nor substitute it with a workable party system (the electoral laws passed by parliament are quite circonvoluted).

This led the way to the New Corruptors, Berlusconi in first place.

Perhaps it is the sign of the new times in the world.
An Italian friend of mine, who turned 50 yesterday, said to me, more than a decade ago:
"I'm worried about my son, he'll have no reference, no values. When I was a child, we either were Catholic or Communist, with a set of values. Now, what is he going to fight for? The Milan football team?"

Or as in a 70s show by Italian cabaret artist, Giorgio Gaber. Marx appears, films "reality", says "Social classes for class struggle? I don't see them", and leaves without explaining more.
The main character then says:
"Forse verrà un giorno in cui non ci sia lotta di classe, non ci sia sfruttamento, ma tutti saremmo nella merda più che mai".
"Maybe a day will come in which there is no more class struggle, no more exploitation, but we are deep in **** more than ever".
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Fri 4 Jul, 2003 05:38 pm
Craven, your keyboard is often full of truth. So I take your word.
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Fri 4 Jul, 2003 06:21 pm
uly 2, 2003, 9:30 a.m.
Berlusconi, che Bello!
A freedom fighter takes the EU helm.

If you believe the "mainstream" European press, you now think that the European Union is suffering through one of its worst moments because the current president is Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister. The EU's presumed misery reportedly rests on the "fact" that Berlusconi is inordinately corrupt, and for extras owns magazines and television stations, thereby putting him in a unique conflict of interest.
In fact, they hate Berlusconi not because he's corrupt (can you imagine Jacques Chirac being upset over corruption?) — for which there is no convincing evidence — but because he has shown them up, time after time. Along with Spanish President Aznar, Berlusconi has led the "Coalition of the willing," broken with the anti-American Franco-German axis, and established a special relationship with George W. Bush (and Tony Blair) that leaves other European leaders surprised and envious. Later this month, he will fly to Crawford, Texas, to deepen his already strong personal friendship with the Bushes, and further annoy those who consider themselves the only legitimate European factotums.

http://www.nationalreview.com/ledeen/ledeen070203.asp
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Fri 4 Jul, 2003 06:32 pm
au,
That's a typical self-centered article. The US as the navel of the world.

Blair and Aznar are respected in Europe, both by friends and foes. One may disagree with their position in Iraq, but that's besides the point.
Neither Blair nor Aznar put their private businesses -whatever they may have- at the service of self political promotion.
Neither Blair nor Aznar try to openly bend the law in their favor.
And all the scandals of all the other current European leaders put together don't amount to the scandals of Berlusconi.

Let's not confuse a political stance on one issue with any kind of black & white, good guys & bad guys divisions.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Fri 4 Jul, 2003 06:36 pm
fbaezer is right; nothing is black and white in politics. Issues must be looked at one at a time - even between allies and enemies. c.i.
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Fri 4 Jul, 2003 06:45 pm
fbaezer
That article is just the writers opinion as is everything else posted here. I am not defending nor degrading it since I do not know what the truth is. However, it like every other opinion has a right to be heard.
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Fri 4 Jul, 2003 06:46 pm
I know, au.
That's why I wrote: "that's a typical self-centered article", without any other reference.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Sat 5 Jul, 2003 12:28 am
Silbio Berlusconi as another European politican of similar attitude as Jörg Haider, Jean-Marie Le Pen and Pim Fortyun.

However, he is the Prime Minister of one of the founding states of the EU ...
- and has been ever since his political emergence in 1994 - the most dangerous political figure in Europe, as pointed out in this commentary in today's 'Guardian' The Italian poisoner - A thread to democracy
0 Replies
 
McTag
 
  1  
Sat 5 Jul, 2003 01:49 am
Hello all
Morning, Walter

I read that article in the Guardian already this morning, then I found this thread.
Joining late as usual, I'll read myself in and who knows, may contribute later.

My first observation: the European Union is not as strong or as flexible as it should be, if it cannot prevent a person like Berlusconi from assuming power.

McT
0 Replies
 
Mapleleaf
 
  1  
Sat 5 Jul, 2003 03:38 pm
http://wwwi.reuters.com/images/amdf310960.jpg

EU Pressures Asia to Allow Currency Rise

Quote:
Sat July 5, 2003 05:50 AM ET
By Jason Szep
BALI, Indonesia (Reuters) - European finance ministers pressured Asian governments on Saturday to allow the region's tightly managed currencies to rise against the dollar, a move that may limit any damage to Europe's economy from further euro strength...
Lead paragraph
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Sat 5 Jul, 2003 04:10 pm
fbaezer wrote:
But the point is that Italy did not have a transition from a corrupt democracy to a modern institutionalized democracy.

It could not end the "partitocrazia" (power of the parties, instead of the people), nor substitute it with a workable party system (the electoral laws passed by parliament are quite circonvoluted).

This led the way to the New Corruptors, Berlusconi in first place.


I agree about Berlusconi as figurehead of the New Corruptors, for sure. In many ways I think he turned the clock back, rehabilitating many of the old system's bad things (restauration). And in some ways he is more dangerous than Andreotti ever was, because he added this caudillo element - the supreme leader thing, who should simply be obeyed. In the old system, the PM would create untransparent coalitions to prop up his system's power, but perhaps that was preferable over this cult of no-nonsense authoritarian leadership thats developing now.

Funny that you mention partitocrazia, because in a way, to continue this line of thing, he represents a post-party politics. Forza Italia is no party. It would be nothing without Berlusconi, it doesnt represent a "family" in society. Its a machine to further Berlusconi's political career. So in a way his success does mean the end of partitocrazia, and not in a good way. His is a personalised populism, unlinked from the "burden" of party culture ...

Walter Hinteler wrote:
Silbio Berlusconi as another European politican of similar attitude as Jörg Haider, Jean-Marie Le Pen and Pim Fortyun.


Hmmm .... I thought that position - the equal of Haider and Le Pen - was for Fini, possibly Bossi ...

Haider and Le Pen derived their support from an anti-immigrant and anti-semitic platform (subliminally appealing to WW2 loyalties) - and they grew big attacking the system from the right flank. Kinda like Fini and Bossi.

Berlusconi isnt out for anything as modest as attacking the system from outside right - he wants to be the system, to replace it, to head it. He has no specific truck with xenophobia - will capitalise on it when applicable, fersure, but nothing to do with the near-onedimensional platforms of Le Pen and Haider. So I dunno. If you're looking for a parallel, a mix of the old Chirac and Fortuyn would approach it a lot better, I think.
0 Replies
 
Mapleleaf
 
  1  
Wed 9 Jul, 2003 05:10 pm
FACTBOX-"Wrongdoing" on widespread scale at EU agency

Reuters, 07.09.03, 12:18 PM ET

Quote:
BRUSSELS, July 9 (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Wednesday it had launched disciplinary action against officials at European Union statistics agency Eurostat after finding accounting practices which aroused its suspicions.

"The preliminary findings and indications in this report suggest that wrongdoing on a much more widespread scale than previously thought may have taken place," it said...


Read article for complete report.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Wed 9 Jul, 2003 05:23 pm
Mapleleaf, I doubt that the leaders of the Asian countries are going to shoot themselves in the foot. They're also suffering from the downturn in the world economy. c.i.
0 Replies
 
Mapleleaf
 
  1  
Sat 12 Jul, 2003 11:48 am
China, EU hail WTO ruling on US tariffs

THE HINDU

Quote:
Beijing, July 12. (PTI): China and European Union were among those who welcomed the World Trade Organisation's ruling that emergency tariffs imposed by US on steel imports were illegal and hoped that Washington would rescind its WTO incompatible measures.

In a joint statement, the eight complainants in the case -- the European Union, China, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, Norway, New Zealand and Brazil -- welcomed the WTO panel's ruling and called upon the US to "terminate its wto incompatible safeguard measures without delay."

If the US government appeals the panel's decision, the co-complainants will continue to work together to ensure the WTO appellate body confirmed that the US steel duties violate global trade rules, the statement said.

The WTO ruled yesterday that the emergency tariffs imposed by the United States on steel imports were in breach of WTO's global trade rules.

Meanwhile, reports said Washington has decided to appeal against the WTO ruling.

On March 5, 2002, US president George W. Bush introduced the tariffs of up to 30 per cent emergency tariffs on 10 types of imported steels in the name of protecting the ailing US steel industry.
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Sun 13 Jul, 2003 04:31 pm
Pope says EU needs Christian base

Sunday, July 13, 2003 Posted: 12:40 PM EDT (1640 GMT)

 

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy -- Pope John Paul has urged European leaders to think hard about Europe's Christian roots as it adopts a constitution for the enlarged EU.
A draft constitution finalized last month made no reference to God or Christianity -- a fact that the Vatican has sought to change.
In recent months, the pope and senior members of the Vatican have made repeated calls for European political leaders to recognise the continent's Judeo-Christian roots and refer to them in the nascent EU constitution, which is in its final drafting.
"In this historic period, in which we see the important process of European reunification and the enlargement of the European Union to other countries, the Church looks upon this continent with love," the Polish pontiff said -- but added "there is no lack of shadows."
"A certain loss of Christian memory is accompanied by a sort of fear in confronting the future," John Paul II told hundreds of pilgrims gathered for his first Sunday address this summer at the papal retreat outside Rome.
He said the roots of problems such as "fragmentation" and the "fading of interpersonal solidarity" can be traced to a worldview without God or Christ.
"But how can such a profound yearning for hope be satisfied? It is necessary to return to Christ and start again from him."
Religious differences can be sharp in Europe, where nations have very different histories of the relationship between government and religion. However, negotiations over the wording of the EU constitution continue, and the Vatican was expected to keep pressing for a reference to Christian heritage.
The pope began his vacation Thursday at the papal retreat near Rome, forsaking a stay in his beloved Alps for the second year in a row. The frail 83-year-old pope plans to remain until September at Castel Gandolfo, in the Alban Hills 25 kilometers (15 miles) south of Rome.

Do you agree with the Popes position? Should religion be put into the mix?
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Sun 13 Jul, 2003 05:27 pm
GWBush is all in favor. c.i.
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Sun 13 Jul, 2003 05:34 pm
c.i.

Are you being sarcastic or do you know something?
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Sun 13 Jul, 2003 06:32 pm
sarcasm is my middle name when it comes to GWB. Sorry. c.i.
0 Replies
 
Mapleleaf
 
  1  
Sun 13 Jul, 2003 08:10 pm
au,
Interesting article...I hadn't thought about that angle.
0 Replies
 
 

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