Sunday, December 19, 2010

Riots erupt after Berlusconi survives no-confidence vote

Whenever the subject of Italian politics comes up, it's enough to make one want to close their eyes and shake their head. Our only genuine interest is the founding of a Northern Nation. A spiritual pursuit. An Israel for OUR people, no more, no less. Although we're expected to support Berlusconi, what we really need is a nation state, not a right wing party. Left and right politics have been a disaster there for at least a century, and will not provide the outcome that we want. Now with European bankers running the show through the EU, the odds are stacked against us. In other words, behind the scenes bankers like Lord Carrington, or unelected bureaucrats like Javier Solana, can decide the fate of other peoples.

The politic of the day is fabianism, which in short is far far right economics mixed with far far left socialism. In other words, monopoly capitalism and finance (not free market capitalism) married to social marxism. They make a good pair. The plutocrats at the top, and the sheep at the bottom, forming a symbiotic-globalist status quo. We have the exact same thing in the United States, so it would be highly hypocritical for either side to point the finger at the other.

Throwing Berlusconi out on his ear in favor of someone on the left would be the same as going from Bush to Obama. Just two arms of the same globalist monster, all backed by the same money.

Riots erupt after Berlusconi survives no-confidence vote

Italian premier tarnished by gaffes, sex scandals is left with razor-thin majority News Services - December 14, 2010

ROME — Premier Silvio Berlusconi won back-to-back confidence votes Tuesday in the Italian parliament, narrowly surviving one of the toughest fights of his political life. But violent protests greeted his victory, as rioters torched cars, smashed windows and clashed with police.

Riot police fired tear gas to try to disperse the crowds in Rome after earlier trying to cordon off the area around parliament. Clouds of white tear gas and orange flares engulfed some streets, shops full of Christmas goods hurriedly closed down and employees at one bank cowered in fear as waves of stone-throwing youths swept by.

Protesters rampaged in the the area around parliament and Berlusconi's residence, which had been cordoned off by heavy police presence. By sundown, almost 100 people, both protesters and police, were reported injured, including about two dozen hospitalized. About 40 were reportedly taken into police custody.

The chaos followed speculation in recent weeks that the end of the Berlusconi era was near.

Weakened by sex scandals and a bitter breakup with his one-time closest ally, Berlusconi seemed destined to be sent packing. The split with Gianfranco Fini had eroded the premier's once comfortable parliamentary majority and left him vulnerable in the lower house.

But Berlusconi battled back, as he has countless times when his political career seemed to be on the ropes. Tuesday's drama confirmed his status as the ultimate political survivor — but he emerges from the battle severely weakened and one top opposition lawmaker called his success a "Pyrrhic victory."
Newsweek: No-confidence vote will cripple Berlusconi

In the most dramatic and closest of the two tests, Berlusconi survived the no-confidence motion in the lower house by just three votes. Scuffles between lawmakers forced a brief suspension in the voting session.

Earlier in the day, Berlusconi had secured a more comfortable victory in a confidence vote at the Senate.

The vote's slim margin means Berlusconi can no longer count on a secure parliamentary majority for passing legislation. Some experts predict he might resign in upcoming weeks, a move that could lead to early elections, which he hopes to win again.

But Berlusconi has repeatedly defied the skeptics, shrugging off a string of gaffes and scandals to win three elections and transform Italy's political landscape since gaining power for the first time in 1994.

The opposition is too splintered and there are no possible challengers among Berlusconi's allies, according to Richard Bellamy, a political-science professor at University College London.

"He survived many times and I doubt that, even if he loses in the lower house, that will be his end," Bellamy said in a telephone interview. "The challenge is whether there is a credible coalition opposition, as Berlusconi has always benefited from the inability of the center left to win."

Berlusconi triumphed in the upper house, where he has a majority, by 162 to 135, Senate Speaker Renato Schifani said.

An intensive campaign of lobbying and persuasion appears to have won over enough deputies to give Berlusconi a chance of survival; many commentators had estimated the government was likely to have just have the numbers to scrape through.

In speeches to parliament Monday, Berlusconi battled back against his critics and outlined why lawmakers should support his government.

'Continuing with change'

"Today what's at stake isn't the future of the prime minister," Berlusconi said, smiling, as opposition members jeered. "Today, what's in play is the choice between continuing with change or restoring old ways."

He offered to negotiate a new legislative agenda that would allow the government to survive until parliamentary elections are held in 2013. He promised to change the membership of his Cabinet to give government positions to those who support him in the votes.

And he argued that his government had successfully protected Italy from becoming engulfed by the eurozone's debt crisis.

"The last thing Italy needs is a political crisis," Berlusconi said, as his close ally Umberto Bossi, leader of the Northern League, sat next to him.

Berlusconi's government has generally won praise for its reaction to the global financial crisis, steadfastly directed by Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti and including a rigorous austerity package.

Italy has a high public debt level, and recently faced renewed economic threats. But it is still widely viewed as low-risk due to the low level of private debt, a relatively sound banking system, and experience in dealing with high public debt levels.

"If your concern over Italy's difficult situation is honest and real, then the only possible way forward is renewing confidence in my government," Berlusconi said. Such a vote, he said, "will be proof of realism and political wisdom."

Berlusconi also defended his friendship with Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin following revelations that the U.S. diplomats were uneasy about the premier's close relationship with Moscow.

He dismissed suggestions that he had personally benefited from business deals between Italian and Russian companies, saying that "not one dollar ... has been put or will ever be put in my pocket."

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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