The Italianist

Things That Happen in Italy

The Sock Revolution

with 5 comments

A court in Italy has recently ruled that Mediaset, the media empire owned by the Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, will have to pay 750 million Euros to compensate a rival over bribery. This stuff surprises almost no one in Italy, where many people seem to consider bribery as a normal practice. However, as is also normal practice in Italy nowadays, the ruling has been rejected with disdain by the individual accused. Let us not forget that the Berlusconi has recently defined himself the best leader Italy has had in the last 150 years (i.e. since Italy was unified).

This is the Italian Prime Minister:


A few days after the verdict, on a news programme on Canale 5, one of three TV channels of Mediaset (see above), a short video was presented, as part of a discussion about the ruling on Berlusconi. The presenter, at a certain point, stops the discussion and, speaking to the camera, says: “But now, let’s go and see who is the man who has condemned Berlusconi”.

A short video follows, in which Raimondo Mesiano, the magistrate who issued the verdict against the Prime Minister, is showed walking in the street and going to the barber. The images on the screen are accompanied by the pleasant voice of a young woman, who highlights the ‘weird behaviour’ of ‘the man’ (she uses the label ‘man’ to distinguish it from ‘judge’, since the movie shows Mesiano off-duty). The video can be found here, together with a more detailed discussion of its content.

The ‘weirdest’ thing about Mesiano appears at the end of the video: ‘the man’ is sitting on a bench, smoking a cigarette, and the young lady’s voice points out, “look carefully: he is wearing turquoise blue socks.”  Such an eccentric individual is the man who was allowed to decide on Berlusconi’s bribe accusation. A debate follows after the video, with the conclusion that such a strange individual should not be trusted. Rather, he should apologise and, unpredictably, Berlusconi’s condemnation to pay 750million Euros should immediately be withdrawn.

Now, it can certainly be a coincidence that Canale 5 is owned by Berlusconi, and that one of its TV programmes is trying  to discredit a judge (the first, to my memory) who has condemned him for bribery. We can also overlook the fact that the video has been made by spying on Mesiano (‘the man’, hence the citizen, hence a citizen with citizenship rights), following him as he goes to the barber and zooming in from a car to see what he is doing. In some countries this may sound slightly scary, but that’s a different story.

Nevertheless, a suprising effect of this event has been that the opposition party, PD (Partito Democratico), which has not been performing at its best recently, suddenly has been moved to react. “That’s too much!” – the opposition leader, Dario Franceschini, blasted today.

This is Dario Franceschini:


He showed his support to Mesiano against this (he says) illegitimate attack by uttering, ‘I am wearing turquoise socks too! Down with the King!’.  Apparently, magistrates in Italy are organising a “sock protest” for tomorrow (Monday), against Canale 5 and its choice to follow judge Mesiano.

They’re all gonna wear turquoise socks. Now Berlusconi’s days are numbered. sky_blue_youth_kids_basketball_sock


Written by TheItalianist

18/10/2009 at 21:41

5 Responses

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  1. Long live the “Sock Revolution” against Prime Minister Sivio Berlusconi and his “friendly face of fascism.” May his days be numbered as well as those of his political “gurus,” Karl Rove and Michael Ledeen (of the American Enterprise Institute)! And may this just be the beginning of the transformation…

    Please click on this link for more info regarding why the American Republican Party needs Italian fascism to succeed and for some background into the reciprocal relationship between Rove, Ledeen, the American and Italina right wing movements –


    19/10/2009 at 02:32

  2. Thanks Ron, your article is really intersting, and scary. And you must really be onto something, given what CNN is showing this week in Diane Von Furstenberg’s “Revealed”:


    19/10/2009 at 21:20

    • Thanks Piero. I just went to von Furstenberg’s website for the Belusconi program and the site is down. Looking forward to watching the program. Please keep me posted on things.


      19/10/2009 at 22:47

  3. The Italian political scene remains fascinating – even from one generation to another.

    Frank Berne

    28/10/2009 at 15:46

  4. Yes it is fascinating. A friend there told me about how 3 million turned out for the Democratic Party primary last week and how enthusiastic the participation was. There is hope, and I pray my friend’s hope is realized there; that Berlusconi does NOT die in office, but that the democratic process of millions of activated Italian citizens drives him and his corrupt cronies and systemic sheisterism out of the political scene 🙂


    28/10/2009 at 21:30

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