The Italianist

Things That Happen in Italy

Yes Berlusconi Day

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Yesterday it was the No Berlusconi Day. An event organised through Facebook by a group of italians, it quickly gained popularity so that in many cities around the world, citizens (mostly italians) gathered to protest against Silvio Berlusconi and officially ask for his resignation as Prime Minister. Sydney, New York, Toronto, London, Edinburgh (a few, but strong!), Paris, etc., with the biggest event hold in Rome. Some images of the event in various cities can be found at this link .

The key to the protest (which was completely peaceful) was the colour purple. Purple was supposed to be the only colour allowed – it’s neutral, it does not refer to any political entity, it therefore suits very well a protest which is supposed to be completely Party-less. Not a protest against the Government (not this time..), but against one person. A plea for making him accountable for his actions.

Unfortunately things turned out differently, and in Italy there were loads of political flags. Mainly the red ones of the communist party, but also those of IDV (Italia Dei Valori), a party founded by Antonio Di Pietro, an ex-magistrate. A lot of political members from the Left (Note: Left is a very vague word in Italy, so don’t take it to mean anything particularly, especially not as in “contrary to the Right”..) decided, at the last minute, to take part in the event. The media immediately used that as a sign that the whole event had been orchestrated by the Left (again, let’s say the a-Right) to make the Government fall. I have just watched the news on Internet, and got the impression of an own-goal . Of course, what happens on the italian media should never be considered even close to the truth. But I really don’t understand why Italians cannot abandon the football-like approach to politics, and just go in the street to ask for the resignation of a person who is not doing the interest of the country.. It is a bit disappointing because, in my view, the No B-day lost a lot of its meaning once the colour red started popping out..

At the same time,  while people were marching in the streets and mafia bosses were saying in the courtroom that Berlusconi used to be their best mate, the Italian police arrested, just today!, two apparently very important mafia bosses. With an incredible timing, this event  took over (and rightly so) a big chunk of today’s news. It has also offered Berlusconi the stage to defend the work the Government is doing against the mafia, and to reject “all the rubbish said by completely unreliable individuals against the PM”..

I am afraid the final score of the No Berlusconi Day is 2-0 for him.

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Written by TheItalianist

06/12/2009 at 04:49

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