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Why Italy Matters in Trump’s Time

But the system simply cannot cope. Last year Severino said there were backlogs of 5. A shockingly high proportion of inmates in Italy's overcrowded prisons are awaiting trial. Meanwhile, others remain free pending appeals against lower court convictions.

Spreading Italian Corruption Scandal Exposes Dark Side of Political System

Berlusconi, for instance, was convicted of tax fraud last year. He is appealing against the verdict and is campaigning for a fourth election victory. Often, by the time defendants have completed the two appeals to which they are entitled, the statute of limitations has expired and the slate is wiped clean. If there is one industry in Italy that has not suffered from the economic crisis, it is organised crime. It is a sector that booms year in, year out.

With three significant mafia organisations — the 'Ndrangheta, the Camorra and the Sicilian mafia — the country remains a hub of organised illicit activity, even if the nature of that activity is changing with the times.

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Long gone are the days when the scourge was confined to the south; mafiosi now operate throughout the country and beyond. The 'Ndrangheta, for instance, has its roots in Calabria but dominates the European cocaine trade and the huge contracts being put out for tender at Milan's Expo are under particular scrutiny for signs of mafia involvement.

Long gone too is the image of the gun-toting Godfather-esque gangster: the mafia, while remaining strong in areas such as drug trafficking and prostitution, have also moved into industries such as transport and public health. During the recession organised crime groups took advantage of ordinary Italians' plight, offering loans to individuals or businesses with extortionate rates of interest, thus making a whole new group of people beholden to them. According to a report last year by anti-crime group SOS Impresa, the people acting effectively as loan sharks are likely to be apparently respectable professionals.

Estimates of how much this shadow economy is worth vary wildly.

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Whatever the sum, the problems are clear. Just as pernicious is the corruption that bleeds the state of billions of euros every year. Twenty years after the Tangentopoli bribery scandal brought an end to Italy's postwar political order or so-called First Republic, the stench of corruption still lingers. Only last week a series of arrests and graft allegations prompted Monti to compare the situation to that of the early s.

In recent years a series of scandals involving high-profile figures — often politicians — have infuriated people struggling in the recession. In a bid to curb that disillusionment and crack down on graft, Monti's government passed a watered-down anti-corruption law in the autumn increasing jail sentences and banning those convicted definitively of corruption from running for public office. It was hailed as a modest step forward but, according to TI, which ranked Italy 72nd of countries in its corruption perceptions index last year, more needs to be done. Sometimes it's easy to have the law approved but now Italy needs to implement it," said its regional spokeswoman, Valentina Rigamonti.

I have no real evidence about the wrongdoings of the current president.

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From the moment he stepped into the White House his behavior, values, and actions became an issue for the whole nation. And since America is not Italy, it is an issue concerning the entire world. On the other hand, if the intel agencies would cooperate and coordinate their investigations, and if Congress would react in the better interest of this nation, then this country would be able to stop being a character in a real-life horror movie.

We have now seen enough evidence to confirm that this president wants to change the world order by dismantling Nato and letting Putin break apart Europe. He will destroy the most important alliance America has in Europe by turning back to the Germany.


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Now that this political tool to contain China is in the trash bin, China has rewarded Trump by granting him 38 trademarks. Since American presidents do not have to comply with laws against conflict of interest, Trump will be quickly making business with China. And, apparently, for those same reasons will not begin to press China for a fairer trade relationship even though this is what he promised during his campaign and before his eventual inauguration as president of the United States.

Let us not forget the most important news story of the moment. He left Russia as it became increasingly authoritarian; he now sees a disturbingly similar pattern in his adopted country. The same people. They care less for democracy and values, and more for personal success, however that is defined.


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  • This and much more inside stories revealed by The New Yorker shed more light on Russian-Trump relations. Having to do with subpoena power, having to do with calling witnesses and all the rest. Even the best of media with all the goodwill and energy spent in the investigation cannot do more than point out the facts. The power of the media stops there since we have no executive power, Remnick seems to be saying. Who will do the rest? The question became crucially important a few days ago when President Trump accused his predecessor Barack Obama of wiretapping him and his associates.

    As you can read in this Vanity Fair interpretation, President Trump misunderstood or falsified the information that appeared many months before. Parties that, for half a century, had played a very dominant role in Italian politics were wiped out. The two had come, respectively, first and third in the general election of April in between them only the Communists.

    But two years later, when a new general election was called, the Christian Democrats disappeared and the Socialists became irrelevant. For many, marked the end of an era.


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    It was a watershed moment. The somewhat glorious past — that had seen the country renounce fascism, abdicate monarchy, embrace democracy and quickly turn the post-second-world-war wreckage into a social and economic miracle becoming one of the largest economies of the world in the process — was over. The German word perfectly captures the pleasure the common people derived from seeing corrupt politicians and businessmen publicly shamed.

    Italians wanted revenge against a crooked political class that had let them down.

    Tangentopoli, storie e luoghi ritornano 20 anni dopo

    The daily scandals unearthed by the Milan prosecutors, the violent shockwave of the bomb blasts in Sicily, and the plunging economy enraged the electorate and cleared the way for a new era — the so-called Second Republic — to begin. At the general election, two years after the magistrates began their investigation, Italy found itself at a political crossroad.

    The Communists and their ideology, whose disastrous failures were epitomised by the recent collapse of the Soviet Union, lost. The winner was a newcomer, at least in the political arena: Silvio Berlusconi, the media-tycoon-turned-politician, who has since become more renowned for his many trials for fraud, false accounting and bribery , his unrepentant philandering and his Bunga Bunga sex parties than for the enlightened value and financial acumen of his neoliberal policies.

    Unquestionably, one the most-memorable moments of that period involved Craxi. On April 30, , the day after the House of Representatives had vetoed his indictment, Craxi was confronted while leaving the Hotel Raphael in Rome by a mob of angry people waiving lire bills and tossing coins at him while mockingly chanting:. After an unsuccessful search for a suitable candidate to support at the election, and fearing the worst the Communists in power while the judges start digging into his dealings with Craxi , Berlusconi had no other choice but to enter the political arena himself.

    Winning the election was his only hope of avoiding jail and protecting his collapsing economic empire. A contemporary Robinsonade — York, York.