Firstly, on the centre-left now and now from the extreme right separatist movement of the Northern League. A new wave of politcal slander in the boot is “shooting” scandals from every front. The scenario reminds all political analysts of the 1992 scandal of “Tangentopoli” (bribesville) which led to the collapse of the hitherto dominant Christian Democracy party and its allies. At that time after the 1992-96 investigations of Mani Pulite (clean hands) the political system of the country underwent substantial structural overwhelming changes with the entrance of Mr. Berlusconi and the rise of Umberto Bossi‘s movement into the national political scene.
This is all now crumbling down. Mr. B is out of the game, most likely for good (even though some suggest a possible return onto the stage), the Northen League received the biggest hit in its history right into the jaw of their historic leader Umberto Bossi who, more unexpectedly than not, stepped down from his role with solemn and rueful resignation.
With his head down, almost as if he was unaware of what was going on around him after the stroke that hit him in 2004. He looked like a tired old man. A very much changed image from what we could witness during his notorious propaganda-filled speeches on the Alps of Lombardia in the mid-nineties when his audacity led him to preach for secession and autonomy for the sake of the people of the non-existing nation of Padania.
A domino effect seems to be spreading dramatically all over the country about illicit financing of political parties and they way parties treasurers have used public money.
The case of the long-gone party of the Margherita is absolutely striking. The party the represented the centrist movement in the centre-left coalition between 2002 and 2007 kept receiving substantial public funding even after its dissolution.
The treasurer of the party has been caught stealing some 20 million Euros out of this, I repeat, non-existing party. What do you mean non-existing? Yes, that’s right. A political party which has been dissolved and ipso facto stopped any activity has been receiving huge public funding. In whose hands? Only God knows.
As an italian citizen I feel shame hearing about the dark corners of this sick political society. I feel despair but certainly this does not come as a surprise.
Investigations have been spreading capillarly in order to verify that and if such practices are not only limited to the actors mentioned above.
Unsurprisingly, these investigations come in the middle of a non-political technical government that has shown courage both in carrying out brave and heatedly disputed reforms while at the same time attempting to re-establish civil consciuosness as a principle to believe in and strive for..
A report on Le Monde a few weeks back asked “L’Italie après Berlusconi. Va-t-elle devenir un pays normale?“. I am afraid that Mr. B was only the top of an iceberg hiding and protecting a ruinous and detrimental system which doesn’t seem to have any morals apart from the pursuit of indiscriminate personal gain.
More updates on the issue to come…