Tuesday, January 25

Berlusconi's Babes-Follow the Money

The English press, since their own politicians usually can't have nearly as much fun as their Mediterranean counterparts always have a heyday when Berlusconi gets caught with his pants down. As much as the Brits love to vacation in Italy, they seriously can't take Italy...well, seriously. Forget being cozy with Putin, Berlusca is 'peeing off the plane' Boris Yeltsin's protégé.

The most disturbing facts surrounding this media circus however, have seemed to pass the media by (not to mention the EU & World Bank for that matter). That the government has been at a standstill, aside from the internal cat fights, for seven months, while Berlusconi & pals entertain new ways to get him off the hook, instead of trying to resolve Italy's stagnant growth, brain drain & myriad problems. Today's ace up their sleeve? Introducing a law to fine 100,000 euro anyone issuing an order for telephone interceptions (read: judges - which is what tripped him up in the first place), if there is no ultimate proof of wrongdoing (the chicks aren't chirping, so, it will get him off in the second place).

Another issue much ignored by the anglo press is, of course, that paying for escorts is not illegal. It's the girl's age and playing the 'get out of jail free' card that may cost him Park Place.  Every day I see policemen picking up prostitutes to keep them off the streets - but, it's hard to uphold that law when your PM seems to be getting their phone numbers and inviting them to his villa. Only the church seems to be talking about decorum and how one should assume a more 'statesmanlike conduct' (and we know how good they are at saving face in the face of scandal). Let's face it. If any of us carried on like this in our jobs, except for Hef, we'd be fired.

But, my biggest beef is none of this.  I wonder, while Italy has income tax revenues too low to speak of, State spending above their GDP, no money to pay their teachers, remove their garbage, build nursery schools, maintain the streets, rebuild Aquila, etc. etc., why Miss Minetti, the 25 yr. old ex-dental hygienist cum City Councilwoman (and, allegedly, the Madam of the mansion), and who, I am certain, is, according to Berlusconi, "a splendid person, intelligent and educated,"

makes as a fledgling City Councilwoman in Milan, more than Barack Obama.

Her pay? 12.555 euro per month (times 14 months' pay and including about 8 weeks vacation - more even, than George W. Bush). This comes out at today's (lower) exchange rate to $245,155/yr. - and I believe that's after taxes. Multiply this by their thousands of city council people and...Work in the EU? The pay is over 50% more than that. We've already seen the picture play out on this legalized graft -- it's called Greece. This is the real scandal.  Of course, one could also state that the escorts don't make out so badly either. 

What did P.J. O'Rourke call it?  Parliament of Whores -- and that was the US Government.

7 comments:

Jacques said...

What do you mean the escorts didn't make out so bad? Last I read, they got kicked out on the sidewalk with 8 days notice, by the "amministratore del condominio" (for those who don't know this term, it is a figure that strikes more fear and loathing into the hearts of average Italians than the "Mostro di Firenze").
The reason given was that the other building residents didn't think the behavior of the girls was appropriate to the image of the "condominium" (read they didn't give any free samples to the neighbors, and felt cheated).
Oh, che vergogna!

BlackGirl said...

Wow, ex-dental hygienist turned city councilwoman pulls in that much money? Sounds similar to a local "rags-to-power" tale I heard over here in Prague this weekend. Connections. Some folks have it; the rest of us wonder about it.

Francesca Maggi said...

@Jacques - kicked out with thousands of crisp new euros in their pocket, book deals & TV shows to come!

@BlackGirl
Where oh where did I go wrong??!!

AleC said...

he was not caught with his pants down..... these are fairy tales in the italian press wrongly reported in the international press.... and appreciated by sexually frustrated people (and sfigati) from all over...

Francesca Maggi said...

My response comes by way of Monica Cirinnà, the only Assessore on the Roman City and President of the Elette (councilwomen group - now of one, I imagine):

Condivido in pieno l'appello delle donne del Pd, deve dimettersi immediatamente, ma mi spaventano e mi lasciano di stucco l'atteggiamento e le dichiarazioni delle donne del Pdl, c...he lo difendono. Avere come Capo del Governo un uomo che utilizza e diffonde nel Paese l'idea che le donne siano solo 'corpi' da usare per il solo piacere sessuale è molto pericoloso, e deve fare indignare tutte, perchè pagheremo sulla nostra pelle questo atteggiamento che si sta diffondendo nella nostra società. Sarà molto facile emulare questo comportamento per alcuni uomini, che ricoprendo posizioni apicali o di comando potrebbero sentirsi autorizzati ad ogni sorta di ricatto; questo rischio ci riporta tutte all'anno zero.
Mi appello a tutte le donne perchè abbiano la consapevolezza di quanto stiamo rischiando non solo in termini di immagine, ma soprattuto in termini di diritti. Le donne che tutti i giorni cercano di conciliare i valori della famiglia con quelli del lavoro, affermando con grande sacrifico le loro capacità professionali e così conquistano un ruolo nella nostra società, non possono accettare un Primo Ministro come questo un solo giorno di più.

Francesca Maggi said...

Translation: She calls for Berluconi's resignation (like the entire opposition), and says she is stunned by the women in his own party who knee-jerk defend him.
"...To have a Govt. Head diffuse the idea that women are just 'hot bods' to use for his own sexual pleasure should make all & sundry indignant. This is very dangerous, and will have repercussions on our society for generations to come. Women need to defend their work, their talents, their family, their dignity. And no woman in Italy should accept a PM like this for one day more."

Dave514 said...

Francesca:
How come all these other bods got to comment before me...LOL!!

As I emailed directly, Il Duce brings shame on Italy and especially on those Italians that support him.

I see Italy's next stop a la Grec. Then the fit will hit the shan.

Davide