Bir İtalyan sürgün

Pending a transfer to the sea to retire in peace to design the next few months, a few days ago was released the latest issue of "Express", a monthly magazine led by some dear turkish friends. Today is contained an article I wrote about Italy. Here's below the full version of the article in English, that is the original language in which it was written.
In the introduction I am defined as an "Italian exile who lives in Istanbul". I have to admit that I have suggested this definition, because I believe it contains the meaning of my stay on the shores of the Bosphorus. However today I recalled a phrase of Seneca, one who was very familiar with the exile. In a work which I believe was "De consolatione ad Helviam matrem", Seneca said: "nullum exilium inveniri potest" (= there is no exile).
His thought is that there is no exile for the wise man, because he is always in close contact with things that believes and therefore always knows how to feel at home wherever he goes. But I must say that here in Istanbul, is not so difficult to feel at home.
<<People of "final used". This definition seems to be the most eloquent on how Italians feel at the moment, they are right or left, this brings them enjoyment or anger, but the definition does not spare anyone. The poetic pearl is an invention of Niccolò Ghedini, lawyer reliable defender of the premier Silvio Berlusconi (a sort of inseparable friend given the frequent troubles of Berlusconi with justice) and member of parliament in "Popolo delle libertà", Berlusconi's party, when he had to explain the position of his client in relation to the alleged parties at Palazzo Grazioli (Berlusconi's private residence in Rome) with prostitutes or escort fee (one of the latest scandals arose from spontaneous confession of a girl present at the parties). Since prostitution is a crime in Italy, Ghedini's concern was to show that the prostitutes had paid someone else, not Berlusconi, who was only the "final user". It's a wonderful metaphor for 30 years of Berlusconi on TV and 15 in Italian parliament.
What is happening in Italy? It is not easy to understand. On 14 April 2008 Berlusconi became premier for the third time. The left, is that of "government" and that "radical", implodes. For the first time since after the second world war no Communist party has access to the parliament by failing totaled 4%. Berlusconi founded a new party by uniting "Forza Italia" (party he founded in 1994) and "Alleanza Nazionale" (ex-fascists). Nobody is more capable of making opposition in parliament.
On the pages of newspapers, impenetrable to any alternative movement except to cause riots, the only real opposition came from his wife, Veronica Lario, that after seeking a divorce a few months ago in an interview she explained the reasons for it using words like "emperor's fun" and "virgins who offer themselves to the dragon" and a country that "by a strange alchemy" allows it to its boss, "I wonder what country we live", said Veronica Lario, "I tried to help my husband, I implored those who are next to do the same, just like with a person who is not good. It was totally unnecessary. I had understood, I was wrong. Now I say it's enough".
In the meantime, while the public is divided on television loving misadventures of Berlusconi, but more often it complies to that, his henchmen are crashing the parliament of Italy.
In June 2008 one of the first measures of the new government was the "Lodo Alfano", a law that allows the suspension of the processes for the 4 highest offices of state: President of the Republic, President of the parliament (premier), presidents of both chambers of parliament. It is expected the opinion of the Constitutional Court on the law, already in force and that made it possible to lock the position of Berlusconi in the "Mills" trial, the English agent paid by Mr Berlusconi to declare false informations in a trial in which Berlusconi was obviously charged for having corrupted a judge who judged him for having illegally bought a publishing house at the beginning of his career when he was still only an entrepreneur: a sort of Matryoshka game. While it is true that Berlusconi has been always acquitted (or prescribed), it is also true that if he were convicted in this process, should then been reopen all processes in the chain. However, the financial agent was sentenced to 4 years and 6 months in first instance last February, so it results that if he was corrupted, then Berlusconi is the corrupter, but thanks to the "Lodo Alfano" ruling on, Berlusconi can not be pronounced.
For more reassurance, Berlusconi last week was at a dinner at the home of a member of the Constitutional Court. Was the same member of the Court to boast of it publicly in an interview. In Italy even this is possible. Moreover, the forthcoming reform of justice requires that there are no more "PM" (pubblici ministeri, prosecutors), but "judges of the State". Who are the PM? Prosecutors were Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, killed between May and July 1992. Falcone was the famous judge that made the "maxi-processo" against mafia and since the late 80s he managed to condemn 360 people for crimes of mafia in Palermo. At the time of his murder he was also investigating the links between Berlusconi (then not yet fallen in politics) and the mafia. It is said that the mafia after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the implosion of the old Italian parties, pro-American, then seeked new political backers in the parliament, fearing to fall into the hands of Falcone. Falcone was killed. A year later, Berlusconi entered politics "to fill a void" and not to leave Italy "in the hands of the Communists". The friend and colleague of Falcone, Paolo Borsellino, was killed 2 months later when he was about to find out how the State after the death of Falcone was dealing with the mafia. Therefore who has killed Borsellino? For his brother, Salvatore Borsellino, there is no doubt: <My mother five hours later, telephoned me from the hospital and said: "Your brother is dead". However, there was a person called Contrada who knew just 80 seconds later that my brother had been killed and I would like, I ask, I shout out, I want that these facts end up in the courts of justice! That there are trials for this complicity that has happened within the State! (..) The greatest insult against the public institutions is that those people unworthy of occupying those positions, are occupying those positions. This is the public insult against the institutions and the State. It is the fact that a person who was called "Alpha", in a trial that could not go on because it was blocked, like all the other trials that relate to the external secret and brains behind the crimes, can occupy such a high position within our institutions>.
Only 10 days ago, Massimo Ciancimino, the son of a mayor of Palermo in the 70ies, that Falcone discovered as a member of mafia, now dead, said to possess a document certifying that the pact between the State and the mafia killed Paolo Borsellino. And even in the wake of these statements on July 17 2009 comes the news that millions of Italians expected by years: some PM of Caltanissetta, Sicily, reopened the investigation of the deaths of 2 judges and other murders of mafia. The elements now appear to lead to close cooperation between the mafia and Italian secret services in the killing of 2 PMs. After all, the processes on the massacres had been concluded with the sentence to life for the performers and sponsors of the killings at the first level, but the same sentences lead to an upper level of the real instigators of the massacres. But the "processo-bis", as has been called, even after 17 years, was never celebrated. Too many years, if we think that in this blood was born the so-called "second republic" and the parliamentary season of Berlusconi.
In any case, the prosecutor of Caltanissetta must make haste before the justice reform announced by Berlusconi becomes law. In this case, the PMs, like Falcone was, like Borsellino was, will be abolished. The prohibited dream of Berlusconi is almost a reality. There will be no more players of Justice to disturb his sleep, but only "judges of the State", domesticated and obedient.
A first taste of this reform has been seen with the decree law on wiretaps approved in June. This was revealed as one of the most effective investigative tools against mafia and corruption. It is no coincidence that Berlusconi gave the Italian youtube watchers (because these things on TV never pass) some unforgettable performances, like when he asked the chairman of state television to blackmail a showgirl in order to push her to indulge to a member of opposition who required this favour to move to the party of Berlusconi.
It's true, in the decree law it is said that in the investigations on mafia and terrorism exceptionally wiretaps are permitted. But it is also true that to find out mafia crimes in the last 20 years it was only possible through the wiretaps, beginning to investigate wear, receiving, procurement and other areas where the Mafia is inserted into the territory.
Fabrizio De Andrè, a famous Italian singer who died 10 years ago, wrote in the song "Sogno numero 2" (dream number 2): <Listen, once a judge like me judged who had dictated the law to him: first they changed the judge and immediately later the law. Today, a judge like me, asks Power if he can judge. You are the Power. Would you like to be judged? Want to be acquitted or convicted? >. This song was written in 1973, but it is a prophecy of what then happened in Italy.
In its fall towards the abyss Italy is giving the worst of itsself.
One of the areas where the exits are the worst things is that related to internal security and immigration. The decree law approved a few weeks ago, states that ordinary citizens can form association and benefit from the subsidies in order to establish and run patrols through the streets of the city hunting for illegal immigrants. Certainly, in times of economic crisis and unemployment is a good chance. Among other things, this measure has been strongly desired by the "Lega Nord" party (Northern League), which for years was on the ground (in Northern Italy) with the so-called "green shirts", running patrols in the streets in defense of Italians. From today, these patrols will no longer be self-funded, but the State will subsidize. Obviously the nostalgic fascists are not waiting and numerous acronyms gray or black shirts are already emerging, with imperial symbols and openly inspired by Mussolini. These patrols should not be armed, although the first members are from many private police. Meanwhile, it will be a paradox (or perhaps not) that the state police is victim of cutbacks by the government justified by the crisis. In the Northern Italy Italians started to write on the walls things like this: "and who now defend us from the patrols?". Or: "Immigrants do not leave us alone with the other Italians".
The same decree law establishes the crime of illegal migration, means that the undocumented immigrant, when found, will be considered a criminal. At this point, the Church, that means the Vatican, played tentatively out (just like about the erotic performances of the premier), but certainly not an open clash with Berlusconi because both have to gain by mutual support. However, some figures of grassroots priests have written a few significant interventions. The first is the father Alex Zanotelli, one of the historical figures of the movement for peace in Italy, he was in spring 2003, while the war in Iraq was about to begin, to launch the idea of hanging a flag of peace with rainbow from all the balconies. During those months, Italy seemed truly another country. Father Alex, a native of Rovereto at the border with Austria, after 20 years lived in Korogocho, a slum of Nairobi in Kenya, for some years he moved to Naples, there to fight poverty and oppression, both that of the mafia and that of State. Organizing it, he fought the battle against the privatization of water (won) and against incinerators commissioned by the State to companies linked to the mafia and the following scandal of waste. These are his words: <I am ashamed of being Italian and being Christian. I never thought that a country like Italy could adopt a law so far racist and xenophobic. We who lived for centuries by emigrating to find a squat of bread (there are 60 million Italians living abroad! the same number of Italians in Italy), now we treat immigrants even worse than the treatment that we Italians have had received all over the world. (...) The heart of the law is that the immigrant is now a criminal. I would point out that criminals are not illegal immigrants but those economic and financial structures which force people to emigrate. (...) Among other things the law requires the tax on the residence permit, patrols, permission to stay in points, restrictions on family reunification and mixed marriages, imprisonment up to 4 years for illegal immigrants that do not comply with the deportation order and finally the ban for a woman without documents giving birth in hospital to recognize her child or enter him in the registry. This is an apartheid legislation. (...) This is likely to clear from the constitutional guarantees established 60 years ago against the return of a fascism that revealed itself in the racial laws. (...) I think that as Christians we must have the courage of civil disobedience>.
Another priest, don Luigi Ciotti, for years at the forefront in the fight against the Mafia, said: <One thing is certain: this will deliver an increasing number of non-citizen immigrants in the hands of the crime and illegality. Are criminal organizations that will take care of their housing, their health, their jobs, their savings, making even more insecure and fragile our country>.
But apart from the priests at the forefront, what still survives in Italy as antibody to Berlusconi? Not much to tell the truth.
Just to mention, the "Partito Democratico", center-left, will hold the primaries in October. In the meantime has sparked a funny panic in the party, because Beppe Grillo, a former comedian who holds since many years one of the most popular blog in the world, decided to join the party and candidates for leadership. Obviously the old barons fear of losing control of their creature born only a year ago by the merger of "Democratici di Sinistra" and "Margherita" (that means a mixture of former communists and christian democrats). His program is far from being revolutionary, but at least puts on the table issues that millions of Italians, after all, are waiting for years: no convicted among the members of parliament, the law on conflict of interests (Berlusconi holds 3 national tv channels, the biggest advertisement agencies, publishing houses and newspapers and much more), the public water, no to nuclear power and the development of renewable energy sources, the maximum of two terms for members of parliament, free wi-fi (Italy is the only country in Europe or maybe in the world where last year the household connections to the internet fell instead of increasing), free information and the withdrawal of any concessions to state television for every political subject.
Anyway some grassroots experiences are worth to be told. The first is the movement of "No Dal Molin", born 3 years ago in Vicenza, a small town in North-East Italy. Here, since there is a postwar American military base, and several other military sites around the area where it is suspected (because the State secrets is covering the truth) that nuclear weapons are stockpiled by Americans (Italy has no nuclear power). A few years ago, the Pentagon decided that in Vicenza is built a second military base, occupying the space of half of the national civil airport (Dal Molin). The protest movement is formed and starts to make protests in the streets. In these 3 years it was an extraordinary experience that creates a form of transverse participation from the bottom, popular initiatives that have joined citizens for very distant political affiliation, age, culture, origin. Numerous initiatives of counter-information to start a serious and deep reflection on the war and the relations of power between North and South of the world. Last october a city referendum was held that the State authorities have sought to prevent at all costs. One third of the urban population has participated in voting against the base. That, for the moment, does not seem enough to stop the work, which began. But the movement has no intention of surrendering.
Another movement exploded last autumn, "Onda anomala" (Anomalous Wave). It is the student movement arose in response to cuts in the school by Minister Mariastella Gelmini, a sort of puppet operated by Berlusconi, a woman that in 2001 to support the exam to the profession of lawyer from Brescia where is resident (in the deep North) went to Cosenza (in the deep South), one of the places considered most complacent. This example of civic consistency, now minister of education (!), received the thankless task of managing one of the fiercest assaults on public education ever seen in Italy. The slogan of the students was therefore: "We do not pay your crisis". No coincidence, on the eve of the G8 in L'Aquila, 21 among students who participated in recent months to protests organized by "L'Onda" have been arrested or placed in detention.
By the way, about G8, someone had bet on a surge of movements in Italy, the most we had not believed it. Especially after Berlusconi had decided to move the location of the summit, from "La Maddalena" in Sardinia to L'Aquila. Some foreign newspapers on the eve of the summit had criticized the organization and proposed to expel Italy from G8, someone thought of a collapse of Berlusconi. Instead, a useless and hypocritical G8 was passed as a success, and one wonders what advantage it has been for Obama by openly supporting Berlusconi this way. Maybe he needed the support of "his friend" (as Bush used to call Berlusconi) in Afghanistan during one of the most ferocious operation on the ground since the beginning of the occupation?
Returning to "L'Onda". This movement was radicalized in recent months in the universities, bringing a breath of fresh air because the players are not in any way responsible for the suicide of the political movement that was born in 2001 and which had somehow merged into Rifondazione Comunista. Another interesting movement is taking place in Naples against the affairs between the Camorra (Neapolitan Mafia) and local institutions (center-left) in the management of waste disposal, with contracts given to companies linked to the Camorra which have pocketed the money and built unsuitable waste disposal facilities. Consequently in 2008 there was garbage on the streets. Now there is less, because Berlusconi buried the wastes underground in a natural park. The neapolitan movement is always active on the ground, permanently, each time turning on different issues: waste, the privatization of water, education, unemployment.
In a documentary titled "Una montagna di balle" (a mountain of balls, like the balls of waste stored for disposal but abandoned because not in accordance with the facilities, but "balle" in Italian means also bullshits) produced recently by InsuTv, napolitan tele-street, on the waste emergency, points out that Italy is the country of emergencies. Waste emergency, earthquake emergency, criminality emergency, immigration emergency. Through emergencies the Berlusconi government can pass decrees without overtime law before the parliament. In the documentary it is suggested to study the "emergency" as a form of government, like the tyranny and dictatorship.
In early June, there were the European elections in Italy and also elections for province and towns. The Party of "Sinistra Critica", which inherited the movement vocation of Rifondazione, ran once again alone with disappointing results. Piero Maestri, a candidate in Milan said:
<Given that I do not believe that is so minority the adherence to the contents we've tried to send around and to polical proposals that we brought. I think that our electorate "potential", and part of what "real" last year, has seen little use voting "Sinistra Critica". I speak of utility because at the end is the main motivation for many who vote. Utility about the possibility of being elected. Electoral utility, then: and we are not seemed to be (over the percentage of the barrier of 4%). So many have decided to continue to vote for Rifondazione and its around, others have abstained>.
Rifondazione, on the other hand, is surviving in itself, far from any credible political people initiative.
If the movements have not disappeared in Italy, certainly the ideas about how to organize them are missing. In the months of next autumn hundreds of thousands of redundant workers in layoffs will remain without subsidies. There may be a wave of strong protest.
Meanwhile a recent study said that over the past 10 years 700 thousands Italians have migrated from South of Italy (historically poorer) to North of Italy (historically richer), 122 thousands only last year. We are waiting to know how many Italians left the country. The Diaspora has just begun>>. 
And suddenly I felt the need to return to study German. I found this funny children book here below. Life is really a storm (but to fall is as fast as a flash.., right?). 
Here's below a friend during my home readings: Parnault..
And here's below the tribe on the wave..

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