Turin_airport
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Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Wed Jul 02, 2003 9:40 pm

From today and for the next six months, Italy will be in charge leading the European Union. Our Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, will be the leader of Italian presidency.
That's what happened today during his first speech as EU president:

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has caused uproar in the European Parliament by appearing to compare a German MEP to a Nazi concentration camp guard.

This is the link to the article:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3037386.stm

and this is a quick profile of Berlusconi by BBC:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3034600.stm

Dear European citizens, from now on (at least for six months) Berlusconi won't be just an Italian problem...

Ciao.

T_a

 
aloges
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Wed Jul 02, 2003 9:45 pm

Given the fact how much most of you folks wonder how the hell he became president, he shouldn't be a problem for too long. At least, I hope his media power won't be sufficient to get him re-elected.

By the way, this is the cover of this week's "Der Spiegel":

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
Andreas
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Wed Jul 02, 2003 9:50 pm

Yes Turin, that is quite apparent, and it looks like he can and will actually trigger some major setbacks in the process of bringing Europe closer together.

Actually he recommended Michael Mueller, vice chairman of the SPD fraction in the German parliament to apply for the job of playing such a villain in a movie production...that was his answer to Mueller who had dared to critisize Berlusconi's law manipulations that made him immune from Italian law.

This guy is a total nightmare, he goes way beyond the usual level of stupidity and greed of politicians worldwide!!!

Aloges: I wouldn't be too sure about that, don't underestimate his nearly full-scale control of Italian TV, and if the opposition comes up with some cretin nobody knows....I guess we might have to deal with this criminal a lot longer than most of us would appreciate!

[Edited 2003-07-02 14:54:13]
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bobrayner
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Wed Jul 02, 2003 9:52 pm

Now all the Bush fans on this forum can reply in kind to the endless Bush-bashing posts by whiny european liberals?  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Berlusconi is, IMHO, far worse. Europe might need a determined leader right now, but it certainly doesn't need somebody like this.

A little background:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3034600.stm
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racko
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Wed Jul 02, 2003 10:03 pm

Berlusconi is a shame for the great country Italy, and for the next 6 month also a shame for Europe.
 
Sabena332
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Wed Jul 02, 2003 10:39 pm

Berlusconi is a shame for the great country Italy, and for the next 6 month also a shame for Europe

I agree, I just heard in the radio (WDR 2) that he called a German EU representative a "Nazi who would fit perfect in a movie about a concentration camp". What an idiot!

Patrick
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Andreas
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Wed Jul 02, 2003 11:16 pm

Correction to my post above: He meant EU representative Schulz, not Mr. Mueller who had critisized him in an interview, too!!

...now wait till Berlusconi reads this interview and let's see what niceties he has in mind for him...
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virgin744
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Wed Jul 02, 2003 11:51 pm

Yeah....And no sooner do they get in the Eurropean expansion minister says Turkey is not a democratic country, not technically part of Europe and basically in no uncertain words....Not welcome!

Well, it looks like a fine term for the Italians!

virgin744
 
racko
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Thu Jul 03, 2003 1:47 am

Italian politics have always been a class of their own...
 
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DaV
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Thu Jul 03, 2003 3:36 am

wouldn't be too sure about that, don't underestimate his nearly full-scale control of Italian TV, and if the opposition comes up with some cretin nobody knows....

You know Italian politic better than some (actually the percentage that voted that idiot and it's sadly not that small) of mine fellow-countrymen!!  Smile
At least there's someone new to laugh at together with Bush...
What a shame...

DaV
Two monologues do not make a dialogue
 
aloges
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:39 am

Well, what can I say? First days, first scandal! That man needs to buckle up and learn to shut up.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
Floris
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Thu Jul 03, 2003 8:41 am

Funny how everybody only talks about Mr. Berlusconi's comments and not about the comment of Mr. Shultz, who started the discussion, by calling Mr. Berlusconi a mafiosi. He just got what he asked for in my opinion.
 
bobrayner
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Thu Jul 03, 2003 8:46 am

I don't think mafiosi is too harsh, given Berlusconi's fondness for bribing judges, manipulating the media, and enacting legislation that gives himself immunity from imminent court cases...
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jcs17
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Thu Jul 03, 2003 8:48 am

Totally agree, Floris. Of course, Berlusconi tends to get grilled in the European media because he tends to be right-wing, and so any slightly inflammatory comment that Berlusconi might make is widely critcized and written about. I happen to think that Berlusconi is doing a great job as the President of Council Members. Italians were fed up with the lack of economic growth, and Berlusconi has done wonders in that respect. Not only that but he has balanced the EU and the US as allies without really giving any one side the cold shoulder.
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bobrayner
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Thu Jul 03, 2003 10:06 am

Of course, Berlusconi tends to get grilled in the European media because he tends to be right-wing

It may surprise you to learn that politics (in the world outside the USA, at least) doesn't all boil down to right vs. left.

I went to the effort of looking up a few details, because yes/no/yes/no/yes/no arguments just don't get us anywhere. Feel free to correct me if anything isn't accurate; but I think this is enough to convince most people that Berlusconi is not a fit leader.

--------------------------------
1. Berlusconi's first big business venture was a housing development in Milan. There was great suspicion over his financing (it came from Swiss companies that appeared to be Berlusconi-owned, which would have been illegal). The Italian finance police decided not to look any further; shortly afterwards, the chief investigator (who also allegedly had mafia ties) became a lawyer for Berlusconi, and subsequently a Forza Italia politican.

2. Mafiosi claimed that Berlusconi was distantly connected to killing of 2 anti-Mafia magistrates in 1992. Berlusconi, as ever, claimed this was a left-wing conspiracy to discredit him; the judge finally (after 14 months) dismissed a murder trial for lack of evidence but said:
"The links discovered between companies controlled by the Fininvest Group and individuals connected to Cosa Nostra constitute objective facts that render the reconstructions offered by several state's witnesses not entirely implausible or strange"

2. Berlusconi also hired Mangano, who was certainly in the mob, and dabbled in drug trafficking when not managing the stables. Mafiosi often dropped by, ostensibly for a chat with Mangano, when Berlusconi was on the premises.

3. AIUI he was previously convicted on three charges (bribery, illegal party financing, false accounting) but all three were overturned on appeal, due to the statute of limitations.

4. Bettino Craxi (former prime minister) effectively awarded his friend a monopoly on private television. This coincided with Berlusconi-run companies transferring $10m into Craxi's offshore bank accounts.

5. Berlusconi was charged with bribing a judge for a favourable outcome in a battle over control of a publishing group in 1991. Eventually he got out through the statute of limitations, although Previti and six other associates were convicted.

6. There were 2 further, separate investigations in 1996 into Mafia links; both were dropped for lack of evidence, despite repeated statements to police by Bernardo Provenzano's aide.

7. When Dell'Utri was tried for Mafia links (and specifically, laundering Mafia money through a Berlusconi business), Berlusconi claimed his right to avoid self-incriminating testimony, and consequently gave no evidence. Dell'Utri got a 2 year prison sentence.

8. Still nobody actually knows where Fininvest got all its money from, or how it was shuffled around, and Berlusconi has repeatedly refused to give details.

9. In 1986 he allegedly bribed judges to prevent a food company being taken over by a rival. Previti was accused too. Berlusconi blames it all on Prodi, and says that Craxi begged him to make dubious bids; he supposedly did so "for the good of Italy" rather than for the good of his own bank account. In this trial, Berlusconi exploited another handy loophole of Italian law that enabled him to make a single testimony without cross-examination.

Berlusconi still says all that is a left-wing conspiracy, but who could honestly say that people like Di Pietro are left-wing partisans?

10. He tried to get his trial for bribing judges moved to another court away from Milan; coincidentally using legislation that his party pushed through last November (forcing a change of court at a late date makes it much easier to hit the statute of limitations because all the evidence must be reheard). Thankfully, the Court of Cassation didn't accept this particular attempt.

11. The justice minister then repeatedly threatened to take action against magistrates/judges pursuing ill-defined "left-wing vendettas", IE those having the temerity to challeng Berlusconi's dodgy dealings.

12. Conveniently, Berlusconi-owned media channels have been repeatedly emphasising that civil servants have no right to investigate elected officials.

13. Strangely enough, Berlusconi's party recently rushed through more legislation, which seemed tailor-made to grant him (and Previti) immunity from their latest court case. Unfortunately, it wasn't passed quickly enough; Previti was convicted (despite another attempt at stalling the trial with a court change thanks to last november's legislation). However, Berlusconi is now immune.

14. In the last two years alone, 87 separate investigations into Berlusconi's business activities have been made by "Jacobin leftwing magistrates".
--------------------------------

If you're going to toe Berlusconi's line of "It's all a left-wing conspiracy", it would be a good idea for you to at least try to offer some evidence to back it up.

Funny how everybody only talks about Mr. Berlusconi's comments and not about the comment of Mr. Shultz, who started the discussion, by calling Mr. Berlusconi a mafiosi. He just got what he asked for in my opinion.
Floris, are the above facts enough to justify the "mafiosi" call? Yes or no?

Edit: I must apologise for monopolising the thread with posts like this. A large part of my job is, err, ending arguments. It eventually becomes a habit. Sorry  Wink/being sarcastic


[Edited 2003-07-03 03:22:53]
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bobrayner
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Thu Jul 03, 2003 11:03 am

Some more old news:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,494412,00.html

(sorry, I'm not normally a Guardian reader! It's just a bit difficult finding the right English-language news reports, and of course coverage is somewhat better in the UK than in the USA)
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Floris
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Thu Jul 03, 2003 12:38 pm

Bobrayner, although interesting, your analyses is completely beside the point. I am not discussing Berlusconi's past, or if he is capable of running a country. I might even agree with you that he is not.

I was just commenting on the fact that when a left wing politician insults him, and he insults back, the only thing that makes the news is his response and not the remark that triggered the response. This is typical for the extremely left wing European media. (And for the extremely left wing Euro parliament.)

It amazes me how people on the far right are always branded as Nazi's or extremists, where people on the far left can get away with almost anything. It is also amazing that in most European countries political parties on the far right are always declared illegal, where political parties on the far left are accepted. Take my country, The Netherlands. Last year, a right wing politician was shot dead by a left wing extremist. The shooter got an 18-year sentence, which means that he will be out on the streets again in 2014. (No, that is not fuzzy math, that is the way the system works unfortunately.) Can you image what would have happened if Nazi's had killed a left wing politician? It would have been headline news world wide!!

So I agree with Jcs17: it does not surprise me at all that everybody is coming down on Berlusconi, despite the fact that the German threw the first major insult.

By the way, the funny thing is: during the whole 20th century, more people were killed world wide due to left wing terrorism or communism than that were killed due to right wing terrorism or Nazism. My point is: both are equally disgusting yet the European media continuously make a difference.
 
paulc
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Thu Jul 03, 2003 2:59 pm

So much for european unity - as a Brit, anything that causes discord within the eu is welcomed  Smile - it just goes to show what the members really think of each other.

The next 6 months are going to be a rough ride for the eu.
English First, British Second, european Never!
 
Andreas
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Thu Jul 03, 2003 3:06 pm

Quote Floris:
I was just commenting on the fact that when a left wing politician insults him, and he insults back, the only thing that makes the news is his response and not the remark that triggered the response. This is typical for the extremely left wing European media. (And for the extremely left wing Euro parliament.)

extremely left-wing Euro parliament?? Do you have any idea what exactly you are talking about?

Maybe, just maybe, in the distant future or so, it might occur to you that getting informed BEFORE posting utter nonsense like this does prove worthwhile...it usually keeps you from making a fool out of yourself just as jsc17 regularly does in his irresistable way of reducing the whole world in right-wing heroes and left-wing a$$holes.

Well done Floris, you found yourself a real friend!

and btw: I can assure you that the German people do NOT feel insulted by the so-called joke that little "testa di cazzo" was trying to crack.

Vaffanculo, Signore Berlusconi!!

Could any of our Italian members be so kind as to tell me if I spelled correctly, ma Italian is not really good...Thank you Big grin!
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Banco
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Thu Jul 03, 2003 5:50 pm

Hi Andreas, good to hear from you again.  Big grin

It seems to me to be rather amusing all of this, since I can't think of a more politically disastrous thing to call a German politician than that which Berlusconi did. However, I think that Floris has a point here. If name calling is going to be reduced to national stereotypes, then calling Berlusconi a mafiosi is as stereotypical as you can get, and he pretty much responded in kind. Let's be honest here, in the pantheon (subtle joke there) of childish name calling, all Italians are mafiosi, and all Germans are Nazis. You would have thought that Berlusconi wouldn't have responded in kind, but sadly he did.

What does get me about it is the handwringing that inevitably goes on when something like this happens, that a grievous insult to the German/Italian/delete as appropriate people has occurred and that apologies are required in triplicate, when in truth most people react with raised eyebrows, think to themselves "what a prat" and move on. Of course, for numerous reasons, Berlusconi is unpopular across the European political classes, and so something like this is a perfect opportunity to over-react and therefore score some points.

See it in context. Are you really personally offended by this? If not, just stand by and watch the backlash by those who want to use the gaffe for their own ends.
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Andreas
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Thu Jul 03, 2003 6:15 pm

Banco old chap! Good morning to England!!

Did you get over the shock to see Bawling Becky in immaculate Real white? Big grin

Now back to the topic:

Well if you read German newspapers and listen to commentators, nothing really bad happened. What we see here is a little diplomatic pushing and shoving, nothing serious really! Therefore it's the yellowpress that goes berserk, they did that when the Sun had Klinsmann on its frontpage wearing a Wehrmacht helmet during EC 1996 (who won that one....hmmm...ah yes Germany!!!), and when Bild goes ballistic, you know it's not that bad really!!

Offended by that little man...come on, I couldn't care less, on the other hand I don't find the whole ballyhoo that follows THAT much entertaining, I've seen it too often.

Personally I would love to see more politicians who give a crap about political correctness and call their opponents an asshole if they think he behaves like one. Just imagine Bush and Schroeder, locked into a little room in Evian, screaming at each other, calling each other names I wouldn't dare to post here...after 10 minutes both would be rolling on the floor laughing their a$$es off...and all would be ok again. Instead look at the incredible mess diplomatic protocol has caused!!

As for Floris: I did answer to his ridiculous branding of the Euro parliament, I'm just tired of this useless rightwing-leftwing name calling, that seems to be so incredibly popular in the USA, as for the rest of his post, well see above, we are not so far apart from each other!
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Turin_airport
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Thu Jul 03, 2003 6:31 pm

Yes Andreas, you spelled quite right. The only think is that "signore" in front of a surname is usually written "Signor", without the "e".

Jcs17 and Floris, let me explain what's going on in Italy these days and you will understand that it's not a matter of left and right, but, simply, of democracy.

Berlusconi is not a politician, he is a businessman and, by far, the richest man in Italy.
His history began in the late 70s when he established the first private Italian TV network, being able to do this thanks to the lack of laws that could regulate that business, and to his friendship whit some of the most powerful politicians of those time (one for all, Bettino Craxy). His network grew up during all the 80s, and his 3 TV channels began as popular as the 3 State TV channels, giving to him half of the entire TV business in Italy. Despite this abnormal concentration of power, thanks to his politician friends, for 15 years no law were made by the Parliament to set up rules to manage the situation. Only in 1990 a law was made that let Berlusconi to keep for himself all his 3 channels.
It seems that everything was good for him at that time, but all changed 2 years later, when the greatest scandal of Italian history, the so called "Tangentopoli", (Bribesville), exploded in Milan. For the first time judges started an enquiry about the "bribes policy" between politicians an entrepreneurs. The old parties that used to rule the country for almost 40 years were completely destroyed by this enquiry, and Berlusconi friends too.
Now, without any political cover, Berlusconi feared that some kind of new law could take away one of his channel, and, being involved in Tangetopoli as well, that the some judge could put him in jail.
What he did was to build a completely new party (Forza Italia), filled with his employees, his lawyers, and some old politician.
Thanks to the incredible power he had (3 TV channels, several newspapers and magazines, an endless amount of money) he won the elections in 1993 together with the ex fascist party and the LegaNord party, xenofobe and racist; his first presidency ended 10 months later because the LegaNord left the coalition.
In 2001 he won again (after 5 years of a center-left government), using his media to make unbelievable promises he knew he could not satisfy.
During these 2 years he made 4 laws to help himself to escape the judgment by the judges that were inquiring on his fishy affairs (laws made by deputies that are his lawyers, too, at the same time!), and occupied the Italian State TV, throwing out the journalist that criticize him in the past (the result is that is almost impossible to have any kind of information not controlled by him).
I could add many other thing (and if somebody want, I'll do) but I think that this can gives you an idea of the situation.

I repeat, this is not about right and left, we are talking about a man that is trying to destroy the democratic rules of my country, and I'm sure that none of you could bear to have a president like him, in your country.

T_a
 
Banco
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Thu Jul 03, 2003 6:39 pm

It's Becks, not Becky, and everyone thinks it'll be good for him. Anyway, I couldn't care less.

As for newspaper reaction, yes, I'm aware of Bild, and I'm not surprised that they are the ones to scream blue murder about the remarks. Interestingly, though when the Mirror (not the Sun this time) did the whole "For you the Championship is over, Fritz" thing in '96, the harshest criticism came from here rather than Germany. In the end they had to back down and apologise in the face of a furious response from their own readers who rang in complaining that this was a football tournament for Christ's sake, and the front page was utterly inappropriate. The thing about that is that the Mirror is quite a political paper, and they misjudged their own readership. Had the Sun done it, it probably wouldn't have had such a reaction.

But all tabloids love to get up a righteous anger about these things, so I'm not remotely surprised that the same is happening here. What I do think is that it is true that that the initial insult to Berlusconi has not really been mentioned, and while his response was um, shall we say unfortunate, there has been little coverage of the provocation, which was equally childish.
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NoUFO
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Thu Jul 03, 2003 6:39 pm

Floris:

Funny how everybody only talks about Mr. Berlusconi's comments and not about the comment of Mr. Shultz, who started the discussion, by calling Mr. Berlusconi a mafiosi.

Could you please provide a link? As far as I know Schulz did not call Berlusconi a mafiosi.
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Andreas
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Thu Jul 03, 2003 6:49 pm

Afaik Mr. Schulz did attack another member of the Italian government, Umberto Bossi, for his great idea to use artillery to fend off boats filled with refugees!!! And he talked about a the new law that grants immunity to Berlusconi.

I do think the whole affair is totally useless but I find it very annoying that this man looses his composure so fast, and is not able to counterattack using intelligent rhethorics!


btw I just heard Mr. Berlusconi will personally call Chancellor Schroeder. Don't these guys have important things to do????
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Andreas
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Thu Jul 03, 2003 6:59 pm

Banco,

if I look at the guy's hairdo, I find Becky much more appropriate.

Ok it was the mirror, and I remember the whole affair quite well, indeed it was only Bild that went ballistic in Germany, and, if I remember correctly the German ambassador in London did send a mild note of protest. Indeed it was the PM, John Major it was in those days, I believe, that went through the roof. That was overall pretty funny to watch from the outside, especially since the tournament was indeed over...for England Big grin Big grin Big grin

Now back to the topic: I've been trying to find quotes what Mr. Schulz indeed said, please refer to my last posting, that was all I could find actually, and I can't find any source that indicates calling Mr. Berlusconi a Mafiosi. If you have one in England I'd be glad to read it.

Thank you Turin_airport!! I knew I didn't get it right...

[Edited 2003-07-03 12:02:58]
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Banco
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:06 pm

Curious, Andreas. I can't see any reference to him being called a mafiosi, I just accepted the word of whoever it was that said that was the provocation. I guess that might explain why the media aren't covering it, if he didn't actually say it in the first place!  Big grin

Very interesting indeed.
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Andreas
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:11 pm

Banco, I just read the press review on Spiegel online, and Mr. Berlusconi does really get a bad press, no matter what newspaper. The only thing I found was...see above.

To me it looks like the Italian has been provoked and set up to make a fool out of himself, and it looks as if Mr. Schulz has succeeded fully and completely.

So let's wait and see, maybe Floris does have a source that gives us the exact wording of Mr.Schulz!
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Turin_airport
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:27 pm

As far as I know Schulz didn't call Berlusconi "mafioso", but made some provocative questions about Berlusconi problems with the Italian justice. Maybe rude, but not offensive at all (just a matter of fact, indeed).
"Il Padrino", "mafioso" were used by some European newspaper (like Der Spiegel).

Berlusconi is claiming right now that all the magazines that attacked him and Schulz himself are moved by the Italian opposition. Co you believe it? The Italian opposition rules the entire European media and politicians!  Smile


T_a
 
Udo
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:32 pm

Jcs17,

Probably you should first try to collect some information on Mr. Berlusconi before defending him. That guy is right now introducing a law that protects him against investigations in a former bribery affair...doesn't it sound like a bad story from a chaotic third world country?
I'm really no left wing guy (more towards the opposite), but what Berlusconi has done is just a shame. That man has to be removed, I can only hope the Italians vote him away next time. But that's not easy, regarding his doubtful control of important media.

But I know, as long as someone expresses his full support for the US it doesn't matter who he is, where he comes from, what he has done and so on. If Khomeini turned up again from the ground and offered to help fighting OBL, he would warmly be welcomed as a new, reliable ally...  Wink/being sarcastic


Regards
Udo
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DaV
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:39 pm

I happen to think that Berlusconi is doing a great job as the President of Council Members. Italians were fed up with the lack of economic growth, and Berlusconi has done wonders in that respect

Jcs17 supporting your president Bush doens't mean he is doing well... and regarding the economic growth, never heard what happened to FIAT? I'd like to know which wonders has he done...

attack another member of the Italian government, Umberto Bossi, for his great idea to use artillery to fend off boats filled with refugees

He takes the award for the dumbest proposal (and he awarded that price many many time in the past...). No wonder he and his party are part of this government...

I repeat, this is not about right and left, we are talking about a man that is trying to destroy the democratic rules of my country, and I'm sure that none of you could bear to have a president like him, in your country.

He reminds me much of another president of a country just across the Atlantic... maybe that's the reason they are so deeply in love each other?!

DaV
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Andreas
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Thu Jul 03, 2003 8:01 pm

Finally here it is, a source that brings us the statements of Mr. Schulz, unfortunately in German and only excerpts, but a reliable source nonetheless (it's the very source who really called B. Mafiosi and Il Padrino!!):

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,255597,00.html

There is NOT ONE mentioning of the word Mafiosi! He doesn't even ask him about the law that grants immunity but instead makes some remarks about the IQ of some members of his government, that is, Umberto Bossi for his brilliant proposal to sink all refugee boats by artillery fire in order to sort out the European immigration policy.

And as far as his explanation today is concerned: The statements of this little man give the word paranoia a whole new and exciting dimension...Psychiatrists of the world unite and cure, please!!!!
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Stratofish
Posts: 1033
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Thu Jul 03, 2003 8:52 pm

"Psychiatrists of the world unite and cure, please!!!!"

Before that:
Italian voters unite and drive this man out of office ASAP, please!!!

Another nice link to The Spiegel:
http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,255579,00.html

This reveals another need for change in the European Constitution draft. The head of the EU parliament has also be elected instead of the half-annual rotation.
The Metro might be the Sub(optimal)way
 
bobrayner
Posts: 2038
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Thu Jul 03, 2003 9:26 pm

A quick translation of the above article...
(sorry, my German is even worse than my English  Smile)

---------------
Schulz's questioning of Berlusconi:
The SPD European delegate Martin Schulz attacked the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi sharply on Wednesday in the EP.

"You are not responsible, Mr. President, for the IQs of your Ministers, so what are you responsible for? The claims of Bossi, your Minister for immigration policy, which you mentioned in your speech, are completely incompatible with the fundamental rights Charter of the EU. You are requested to defend these values. Then you defend these values against your own Minister!"
(...)
"Now we're here for days, always in a difficult position. If we talk about the Italian presidency, then it always means: Yes, now we're careful not to criticise Berlusconi's actions in Italy, because that means nothing here in the EP. Why? Isn't Italy a member of the EU?"
(...)
On Italy's frequently criticized stand against police/judicial cooperation in the EU, Schulz asked: "what is your plan for the implementation of a European public prosecutor's office? What will you do to rush the "European warrant of arrest" into effect? What do you intend to do with the mutual acknowledgment of documents in cross-border criminal procedures? By the way, in Italy you need a little reform, concerning document authenticity. A little legal reform in Italy could bring the European warrant of arrest into force much faster."

[note: Berlusconi is strongly opposed to such measures, because it means that he could more readily be tried or arrested in other countries of the EU]

Berlusconi then replied with: "Mr. Schulz, I knows that a producer is creating a film in Italy concerning the Nazi concentration camps. I will suggest you for the role of the Kapo. You would be perfect."

---------------

No mention, as yet, of M******, although even if Schulz didn't mention it outright, it would be very surprising if he didn't alluded to Berlusconis connections sooner or later.
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bobrayner
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Thu Jul 03, 2003 9:35 pm

It amazes me how people on the far right are always branded as Nazi's or extremists, where people on the far left can get away with almost anything.

If he did actually use the word, then Schulz loses any respect I previously had for his badgering of Berlusconi; but, let's be honest, M****** is not so inaccurate. I don't think that allusions to mafia connections are intrinsically a Bad Thing if Berlusconi does actually have (and abuse) these connections.

If Schulz had sympathies for, say, ethnic cleansing or invading neighbouring countries - then K*** would not have been a disproportionate response. That's not the case, though.

It's worth bearing in mind that the president of the EP pointed out the unsuitability of Berlusconi's comment and invited him to withdraw the remark - "I regret the offence caused to a respected member, my colleague Mr Schulz. It would be appropriate to correct the record in this regard". Berlusconi refused to do so, and later refused to apologise.

Can't he be impeached? At least in the EP he'd have difficulty getting laws passed to give himself immunity...

Here's what Deutsche Welle have to say:
http://www.dw-world.de/english/0,3367,1433_A_908000_1_A,00.html
Also has some background on the hostility of Greens towards Berlusconi: One Green parliamentarian compared his political ways to those of Atila the Hun, who ravaged Europe during the 5th century. Berlusconi fired back by calling his critics "tourists" in parliamentary democracy.

They should televise this stuff.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
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Andreas
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Thu Jul 03, 2003 9:45 pm

WOW!!! If I look at the reactions in other EU countries, I come to think that we here in Germany do have the lowest level of caring about the whole thing *ggggg*!

Thanks for translating BobRayner, it is pretty accurate so don't worry about your German!!

I would be surprised if Schulz had actually mentioned the word Mafiosi, I can't fight the feeling he tried to provoke Berlusconi to do what he did...and B. did stumble into the trap quite willingly!
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Floris
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Fri Jul 04, 2003 12:00 am

"getting informed BEFORE posting utter nonsense like this does prove worthwhile... it usually keeps you from making a fool out of yourself just as jsc17 regularly does in his irresistible way of reducing the whole world in right-wing heroes and left-wing a$$holes."

Wow Andreas, what an aggression. If I had been Berlusconi, I would have known exactly what to say to you! But we all know what would happen: I would be the bad guy, and you can scream and insult all you want. Way to go!

If you had read more carefully, you would have noticed that I am not reducing the world to "right-wing heroes and left-wing a$$holes", I wrote: BOTH ARE EQUALLY APPALING. Yet to the media, and to most Europeans, they are not. And to me, that is strange, because left wing extremists create more violence now-a-days then right wing extremists, just look at the anti-globalization demonstrations for example. Or the murder of Pim Fortuyn in The Netherlands.

"Well done Floris, you found yourself a real friend!"

I feel sorry for you that you seem to judge people and pick your friends on their political views. Disagreement and discussion can make a friendship very interesting. There are far more important ways to judge people. Their being polite is one of those ways.
 
bobrayner
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Fri Jul 04, 2003 12:25 am

Yes.

Enough with the metadebate already  Smile

Funny how everybody only talks about Mr. Berlusconi's comments and not about the comment of Mr. Shultz, who started the discussion, by calling Mr. Berlusconi a mafiosi. He just got what he asked for in my opinion.

Can you justify this?

As far as we can tell, Shultz didn't call Berlusconi a mafioso directly; he just pointed out some of the more embarrassing issues. Of course, Berlusconi was taking a lot of criticism from all around; but that doesn't justify replying with such an insult, and it certainly doesn't justify the arrogance (refusing to withdraw the comment, or apologise).

I had a quick browse through various newspapers... so far the only one I could find that shares your perspective is Il Giornale. Who owns it?  Wink/being sarcastic
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bobrayner
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Fri Jul 04, 2003 12:35 am

Another Berlusconi quote...

"We must be aware of the superiority of our civilisation, a system that has guaranteed well-being, respect for human rights and (in contrast with Islamic countries) respect for religious and political rights ... The West will continue to conquer people, even if it means a confrontation with Islam, firmly entrenched where it was 1,400 years ago."

When he was criticised for saying this, what was his defence?

"I said nothing against Islamic civilisation... It's the work of the leftist Italian press who wanted to sully my image and destroy my long-standing relations with Arabs and Muslims"
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Floris
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Fri Jul 04, 2003 12:40 am

Bobrayner, again I fail to see what that has to do with the current discussion. By the way, too bad he took back his comment on Islam, because he was right in the first place. We don't lock women up in houses, withhold them from education, execute them by throwing stones, etc. I don't know if you should call that superior, but I definately should call it more advanced. But this is a competely other discussion.
 
Floris
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Fri Jul 04, 2003 12:41 am

By the way, to prevent any misunderstanding: YES, I AGREE: Berlusconi should not be head of the EU, he shouldn't even be Italian prime minister. He lacks the experience, the diplomatic tact and some other necessary capabilities as well.
 
Andreas
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Fri Jul 04, 2003 12:44 am

Oh Floris...again, read before falling into a rage: I'm talking about your assessment of the European parliament ONLY!!!! Does that reach you somehow? On all other statements I'm actually pretty close to you!! There are a lot of posts up there, that you choose to ignore, very well, just don't expect me to repeat all this for you. Just the basic statement:

You call the European media and the Euro parliament extremely left wing, and that is crap, it's utter nonsense, maybe you'd care to explain where you get that information from, because it's wrong, just wrong, period!

All the other things about political crime rates and Pim Fortuyn etc... yes ok, may be true, but if you choose to put this in such a context, it's hard to take such statements serious. Oh and please keep yourself from speaking for "most Europeans", you don't know what "most Europeans" know or want.

You really want to be in B.'s position, and then you actually believe this little man KNOWS WHAT TO SAY????? That's pretty funny, I believe he doesn't and that the German MP did lead him into a rhethoric trap.

And as for the judgement of other people, again, you assume to know things that you can't: I don't really care about the political views of other people, as long as I have the feeling they think about it and THEN come to a conclusion...this useless "the world consists of rightwing heroes vs. leftwing a$$holes" crap, that seems to be so popular among certain people, is a clear sign that said person do NOT think before judging but instead are screaming after others who don't use their brain either! And indeed such persons I try to keep out of my life. Oh and please don't feel sorry for me, I can cope with it quite well! And I sincerely hope that was polite now!
I know it's only VfB but I like it!
 
NoUFO
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Fri Jul 04, 2003 1:53 am

Berlusconi later called it an "ironic joke". Laughable, he should have known that a German wouldn't get an "ironic joke." (On second thoughts: The whole parliament protested ...).

If Berlusconi is really such a joker, what's next? I suggest he plays "Minister for Silly Walks" and goosesteps out of the Italian and European Parliaments.
I support the right to arm bears
 
bobrayner
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Fri Jul 04, 2003 2:12 am

Don't mention the war!
 Smile

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Turin_airport
Topic Author
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Fri Jul 04, 2003 2:59 am

If Berlusconi is really such a joker, what's next?

Hey, the man is a professional: he started his career as a singer on boats and even now he's an important president, he loves to make some funny joke,

like this... (try the link)

http://www.consapevolezza.it/notizie/gen-mar-2002/berlusconi_corna_feb-02.asp

The first pic was taken in Caceres, during an official European summit...these pics are not fake ... do you believe this?
 
racko
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Fri Jul 04, 2003 3:01 am

Berlusconi has called the German chancellor Gerhard Schröder and has expressed his regret about the choice of this expression and comparison.

It seems like he has realized by now that he has made a bad mistake.
 
Floris
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Fri Jul 04, 2003 3:32 am

Andreas, please read your own post again and tell me who is "falling in a rage". Please man, get a live. It is not healthy to get so upset if people do not agree with you. Since there are no further arguments in your message, just statements like "you are wrong, just wrong", there is nothing further to respond to either. Take care!
 
crewchief32
Posts: 413
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Fri Jul 04, 2003 10:07 pm

As a sidenote, what is wrong with Umberto Bossi`s idea of using artillery to keep boats filled with "refugees" off the coast?????

Most of them are criminals anyway, either because they have committed crimes in the country(ies) they come from (why else would they run away?) or because of the crimes they plan to commit here....mostly importing/dealing/selling any kind of drugs, importing counterfeit money, dealing with weapons or women, and and and......
They give a shit about our laws anyway and are also not willing to adopt our "way of live" (found no better term)....
And they cost us, the european taxpayers, a hell of a lot of money!!!!

I have to admit I really like Mr. Bossis idea!!!!

CC32
 
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DaV
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Fri Jul 04, 2003 11:56 pm

CC32, he doesn't intend to harm the criminals, but poor people who paid 5000$/€ or more to take a fatiscent boat from Iraq, Bangladesh or Pakistan and search a better life in our "civilized" Europe. Yeah, they could turn out to be thieves or drug-retailer, but no way human life is worth so low. They could also do the jobs many Italian won't do anymore, particularly in the industry.

DaV
Two monologues do not make a dialogue
 
bobrayner
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RE: Italian EU Presidency Starts Today...

Fri Jul 04, 2003 11:57 pm

As a sidenote, what is wrong with Umberto Bossi`s idea of using artillery to keep boats filled with "refugees" off the coast?????

Because it's generally agreed that we should presume innocence before guilt; and that we should give putative criminals a trial before blowing them out of the water.
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