Posted tagged ‘berlusconi’

Berlusconi does it again

January 26, 2009

read my post

Italy Dispatches Military into Cities

August 6, 2008

The New York Times reports the use of military forces within the cities of Italy.

It seems the main target of this additional police presence is the immigrant community. By the look of things on the street, Italy has become a melting pot the likes of which has not been seen since lower Manhattan in the 1850s. Courageous people from the Balkins and North Africa have swarmed into Italy over the last decade or so. More recently Eastern European immigration has become the most prominent. No one seems to know how all the Chinese got here, but some reports say they are the largest immigrant population.

I’m absolutely opposed to this transparent attempt on the part of the Berlusconi government to appease the conservative fears and xenophobia of their constituents. These new arrivals to Italy are among the bravest people I’ve ever seen, people who took tremendous risks and went to incredible lengths to get here. It’s been on the news almost daily for the twenty years that I’ve lived here.

Italy is changing and by breaking a few heads, literally and figuratively, the government is not going to stop it.

Please let us know what you think by commenting.

Barack Obama coming to Europe

July 4, 2008

In this Salon.com article about Obama’s planned trip to Europe, I enjoyed the suggestion that the German Chancellor will have to be careful how enthusiastically she receives him.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom Obama will definitely meet, is well aware of Obama’s broad appeal. But she can’t afford to give him an overexuberant reception because that could alienate President George W. Bush, who just visited her a few weeks ago during his European farewell trip and whose father, former President George H.W. Bush, is due to attend the July 4 opening of the new U.S. Embassy in Berlin.

Like any good politician, she’ll also have to consider the possibility of Obama’s losing and having to deal with McCain in the future.

An interesting gamble is mentioned in this video. McCain supporters are naturally portraying Obama as inexperienced in foreign policy. As a result Obama needs to do something to address that, but since he’s leading in the polls, it’s a risky trip. If anything goes wrong, he could lose so much more than he would have gained. I see his decision to visit Europe as yet another example of his integrity and fearlessness. I like the guy, as I said here.

Although Italy is not on the planned itinerary, there would be an even more delicate situation here. After Berlusconi’s sycophantic toadying to Bush and company, how could he possibly deal with the chances of Obama taking over. Somehow, I don’t think it’ll be too daunting a dilemma for the Italian Prime Minister, slick politico that he is.