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(CNN)   A country on the verge of collapse, no clear leadership, and the probability of even more hardship for its citizens... no, this is not the US in three days- it's Italy right now   (edition.cnn.com) divider line 35
    More: Fail, Italy, Mario Monti, primary residence, Swiss bank accounts, Berlusconi, tax fraud  
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745 clicks; posted to Politics » on 26 Feb 2013 at 10:26 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



35 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-02-26 10:33:31 AM
I was stationed there when dinosaurs roamed the earth, and it was on the verge of collapse then.
 
2013-02-26 10:33:38 AM
They couldn't be bothered to actually describe the election results or the coalitions involved, much less any historical context from past elections? Instead they simply assert "Italy be all farked up"
 
2013-02-26 10:37:53 AM

Lost Thought 00: They couldn't be bothered to actually describe the election results or the coalitions involved, much less any historical context from past elections? Instead they simply assert "Italy be all farked up"


It's all about page clicks. Be as vague as possible so partisan hacks on both sides in the US can use it to justify their agendas and criticize the other side's.
 
2013-02-26 10:42:50 AM
The austerity imposed by the Germans have done such wonders for them.
 
2013-02-26 10:44:29 AM
They should invade Ethiopia.  It couldn't hurt..
 
2013-02-26 10:45:41 AM
I say leave the technocrats in charge.  I'm not sure democracy is really the right answer when you have such morans making the votes.

FFS, the choice is between a womanizing mobster and this guy:

static.guim.co.uk
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-02-26 10:45:42 AM
I'm not sure that "no clear leadership" is a bad thing in Italy.

Especially where Berlusconi is involved.
 
2013-02-26 10:46:27 AM
That article sounded like it was written by a German banker. Claiming the austerity moves were the "only way" out of the recession, saying Italy has lost any chance for democracy, and talking about chaos taking over, just the kind of hysteria needed to fear more financial troubles in the markets.
 
2013-02-26 10:46:44 AM

Lost Thought 00: They couldn't be bothered to actually describe the election results or the coalitions involved, much less any historical context from past elections? Instead they simply assert "Italy be all farked up"


To be fair, that's a pretty honest assessment.

I would have also accepted "The Vatican" for the OP's headline.
 
2013-02-26 10:47:06 AM
Have they had any clear leadership in the past 40 years?
 
2013-02-26 10:47:39 AM
I do not understand why italians still vote for Berlusconi.

...but then again, I don't understand why USAns vote GOP, so ...
 
2013-02-26 10:49:55 AM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Have they had any clear leadership in the past 40 years?


You could argue that Mussolini is the only person who managed to hold the Italian states in a single coherent entity.
 
2013-02-26 10:51:18 AM
I'm an American living in Italy, and this article is terrible. There's a good article on Slate which explains why Grillo is so popular (political comedian, effectively banned from Italian for twenty years) and also no links to any of the current parties, all of whom are generally admitted to be completely corrupt.
 
2013-02-26 10:51:21 AM
The fact that Berlusconi can get more than 3% of the vote is amazing. That guy is so crooked he makes Tony Sopprano look like a choir boy.
I read a book a few years back that I would recommend to anyone interested in Italian life and politics, Silvio in particular. The dark heart of Italy by I think Tobias James. I read it 6 or 7 years ago but it had some pretty interesting stuff in there from what I remember. I might have to find it and re-read it.
 
2013-02-26 10:52:33 AM

Shaggy_C: I say leave the technocrats in charge.  I'm not sure democracy is really the right answer when you have such morans making the votes.

FFS, the choice is between a womanizing mobster and this guy:

[static.guim.co.uk image 220x132]


That guy really likes microphones.
 
2013-02-26 10:54:56 AM

Bendal: That article sounded like it was written by a German banker. Claiming the austerity moves were the "only way" out of the recession, saying Italy has lost any chance for democracy, and talking about chaos taking over, just the kind of hysteria needed to fear more financial troubles in the markets.


Yeah, I was surprised by that too.  Granted, my expertise in economics is limited, and I haven't followed the Italian situation closely, but saying austerity is the "only way" out of the recession seemed like an odd blanket statement (which the author of TFA didn't back up with any kind of evidence).  Austerity certainly hasn't helped the UK or Spain, and in fact probably made things worse.  I'm not debating the Italy is probably wasting all kinds of gov't money, because it IS Italy after all.  I just can't shake the idea that maybe things would go better for them if people, you know, actually paid the taxes they're supposed to pay.  Italy and Greece both seem to have that problem of people skipping paying their taxes and then wondering why the (corrupt) government is broke.
 
2013-02-26 10:57:31 AM

FARTNOISE FARTNOISE JUNIOR: Lost Thought 00: They couldn't be bothered to actually describe the election results or the coalitions involved, much less any historical context from past elections? Instead they simply assert "Italy be all farked up"

It's all about page clicks. Be as vague as possible so partisan hacks on both sides in the US can use it to justify their agendas and criticize the other side's.


Pretty much; it's hilarious how quickly people can use "Europe has shifted to the right", "European contries are socialist", and "we're America, why should we care what Europeans are doing?" interchangably whenever the Eurozone is referenced, whichever one best fits the data to their worldview.
 
2013-02-26 10:58:14 AM

Ring of Fire: The fact that Berlusconi can get more than 3% of the vote is amazing. That guy is so crooked he makes Tony Sopprano look like a choir boy.


The problem is that people are voting for his coalition rather than him. I.e. they're voting for any of the centrist to rightist parties which have agreed to work with him under his banner- and there are nine of these parties. The two most important are Populo della liberta (people of liberty), roughly the centrist republicans of the US, and the Lega nord (northern league), the vaguely racist, anti-immigration, extreme branch. No one really thinks that Berlusconi is anything other than a crook, but they like the policies of the parties in his coalition. He's the leader of the coalition because he's really farking powerful- he owns most of the non-state media in Italy.
 
2013-02-26 11:02:07 AM
To people who are saying austerity is the problem here:  who are they going to borrow money from to pay their debts?  If there is no one willing to lend money to them, what other options do they have?
 
2013-02-26 11:02:24 AM

Uncle Tractor: I do not understand why italians still vote for Berlusconi.

...but then again, I don't understand why USAns vote GOP, so ...


Berlusconi owns a huge chunk of the broadcast media there. I'm sure it's fair and balanced coverage.
 
2013-02-26 11:04:08 AM

and Natasha: Ring of Fire: The fact that Berlusconi can get more than 3% of the vote is amazing. That guy is so crooked he makes Tony Sopprano look like a choir boy.

The problem is that people are voting for his coalition rather than him. I.e. they're voting for any of the centrist to rightist parties which have agreed to work with him under his banner- and there are nine of these parties. The two most important are Populo della liberta (people of liberty), roughly the centrist republicans of the US, and the Lega nord (northern league), the vaguely racist, anti-immigration, extreme branch. No one really thinks that Berlusconi is anything other than a crook, but they like the policies of the parties in his coalition. He's the leader of the coalition because he's really farking powerful- he owns most of the non-state media in Italy.


Yeah I get that. But you would think that his name alone would be poison. I mean I'd be like the Republican Party trying to run Bush jr. again. Americans have short memories but that would never fly. Im pretty sure the only reason he wants back in power is to get out of all his legal problems.
 
2013-02-26 11:04:40 AM
Italy has actually used up many of its final chances in this electoral season. Not only has the country chosen not to embrace continuing austerity under technocratic leader Mario Monti, which is necessary by any calculation to actually start moving Italy out of the recession.

This is the only paragraph you need to read.

His need to throw out the word technocrat like it is a bad thing and his hard on for austerity shows he is either motivated to see Italy fail or is a moron.
 
2013-02-26 11:09:51 AM

devek: Italy has actually used up many of its final chances in this electoral season. Not only has the country chosen not to embrace continuing austerity under technocratic leader Mario Monti, which is necessary by any calculation to actually start moving Italy out of the recession.

This is the only paragraph you need to read.

His need to throw out the word technocrat like it is a bad thing and his hard on for austerity shows he is either motivated to see Italy fail or is a moron.


These are people who see government spending as a percent of GDP going up whenever a recession hits and assume that a lower numerator will increase the denominator.
 
2013-02-26 11:10:24 AM

Ring of Fire: and Natasha: Ring of Fire: The fact that Berlusconi can get more than 3% of the vote is amazing. That guy is so crooked he makes Tony Sopprano look like a choir boy.

The problem is that people are voting for his coalition rather than him. I.e. they're voting for any of the centrist to rightist parties which have agreed to work with him under his banner- and there are nine of these parties. The two most important are Populo della liberta (people of liberty), roughly the centrist republicans of the US, and the Lega nord (northern league), the vaguely racist, anti-immigration, extreme branch. No one really thinks that Berlusconi is anything other than a crook, but they like the policies of the parties in his coalition. He's the leader of the coalition because he's really farking powerful- he owns most of the non-state media in Italy.

Yeah I get that. But you would think that his name alone would be poison. I mean I'd be like the Republican Party trying to run Bush jr. again. Americans have short memories but that would never fly. Im pretty sure the only reason he wants back in power is to get out of all his legal problems.


That's probably why he didn't step aside in favor of a younger candidate. And we all know about the 28% who will vote for their guy (read: party) every single time regardless. Berlusconi's coalition got about 29% in the elections; his actual party got somewhat less. He offered the refund on the property tax, he's pretty charismatic, his party/coalitions's policies can be attractive (depending on your politics, etc). Plus Italy has a long and storied history of corruption in their leaders. It's not shocking or anything.

Berlusconi has also been named by a mob boss turned state's evidence as buying votes through the Neapolitan mob. Italy has corruption that the US can't even dream of, which most of the reason Grillo is so popular. He's cleaner than the judges who run the corruption trials.
 
2013-02-26 11:11:16 AM

Lost Thought 00: They couldn't be bothered to actually describe the election results or the coalitions involved, much less any historical context from past elections? Instead they simply assert "Italy be all farked up"


It's not news, it's CNN.com
 
2013-02-26 11:14:07 AM

MattStafford: If there is no one willing to lend money to them, what other options do they have?


They could default. It  worked out OK in the long run when Brazil did it.

Alternatively they could actually try collecting taxes, for a change.
 
2013-02-26 11:16:51 AM
Italy's problem mirrors that of Greece. most of its budget deficit is the result of tax evasion and corruption.

now, could the Italian government be run with less waste? Absolutely. But across the board cuts that the Germans insist on won't fix the the problems of inefficiency and waste unless the corruption problem is solved.

Perhaps Italian voters see what happened to Greece....massive across the board cuts, but no end to tax evasion, worsening corruption, and 25% unemployment.

But why they had to bring Mr Bunga Bunga back (when he should be rotting in jail) completely astounds me.
 
2013-02-26 11:18:36 AM
I was hoping Silvio Berlusconi would have the majority. He is great friend to Bush.

He could still run for Pope.
 
2013-02-26 11:24:00 AM
Still the best food in the world, though.
 
2013-02-26 12:37:59 PM

HMS_Blinkin: Bendal: That article sounded like it was written by a German banker. Claiming the austerity moves were the "only way" out of the recession, saying Italy has lost any chance for democracy, and talking about chaos taking over, just the kind of hysteria needed to fear more financial troubles in the markets.

Yeah, I was surprised by that too.  Granted, my expertise in economics is limited, and I haven't followed the Italian situation closely, but saying austerity is the "only way" out of the recession seemed like an odd blanket statement (which the author of TFA didn't back up with any kind of evidence).  Austerity certainly hasn't helped the UK or Spain, and in fact probably made things worse.  I'm not debating the Italy is probably wasting all kinds of gov't money, because it IS Italy after all.  I just can't shake the idea that maybe things would go better for them if people, you know, actually paid the taxes they're supposed to pay.  Italy and Greece both seem to have that problem of people skipping paying their taxes and then wondering why the (corrupt) government is broke.


I would guess it's because the Germans don't want to pay for Italian fark ups.
 
2013-02-26 12:41:11 PM
Insert Eddie Izzard joke,

ciao
 
2013-02-26 12:43:31 PM

AntiNerd: The austerity imposed by the Germans have done such wonders for them.



Uber allies?
 
2013-02-26 01:22:25 PM

Lost Thought 00: They couldn't be bothered to actually describe the election results or the coalitions involved, much less any historical context from past elections? Instead they simply assert "Italy be all farked up"


That sounds about right. Via Yglesias at Slate:

"Heading into the elections, everyone's been assuming that the center-left Italian Democrats will win a plurality of votes for the lower house and thus secure a majority of the seats. The question has been whether they can also secure a majority of seats in the upper house, or will they need to form a coalition with Mario Monti's small centrist party. But now initial reports are making it look like we might see a train wreck, in which the Democrats control the lower house and Silvio Berlusconi controls the upper house.

In America that kind of situation leads to gridlock. In Italy, it's worse-it'll mean you can't form a Cabinet at all. Meanwhile, the country is still operating under the watchful eye of a European Central Bank that removed Berlusconi from office last time and clearly wants Italians to return a Bersani-Monti coalition. If they end up in a state of Berlusconi-induced stalemate, you can expect the whole eurozone bond crisis to boil back up again."
 
2013-02-26 01:24:12 PM
So there are enough idiots in Italy to vote for Silvio Berlusconi.  I guess the US does not have a monopoly on morans after all.
 
2013-02-26 01:54:01 PM
Berlusconi is the Mafia's biatch. Monti is a whore for the banks.
So in this election Italians get to choose "Cheech or Death!"
 
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