IN THE RADICAL PRESS / MICROMEGA
Paolo Flores d’Arcais
Today, Saturday, March 23, there will be two piazzas in Rome, two ways of understanding politics, two Italies. In Piazza del Popolo, there will be Berlusconi supporters, devoted to immeasurable wealth and financial and media power, motivated by contempt for the Constitution of the Republic that was born from the anti-fascist resistance and hatred towards the magistrates who alone obey the law. In Piazza Santi Apostoli, you will find citizens demand the implementation of the Constitution and its values of justice and freedom, in a Franciscan climate of absolute poverty; attacked by the silence and censorship of the monopoly of state broadcaster RAI and Berlusconi’s private Mediaset channels, but self-organizing by sending email, text messaging, twitter, facebook, phone calls, compensating with civic passion the lack of means and access to the traditional media.
But be clear: Piazza Santi Apostoli will not just bear “witness” to an ethical choice, but it is also designed to intervene in politics, so the citizens can count as protagonists. Because the watchword of Italian politics today is ineligibility. It marks a watershed which no longer allows for misunderstandings by Bersani’s Democrats, who on Friday were given the task by the President of forming a new government: either respect for the law 361 of 1957, which bans Berlusconi from Parliament, or the perpetuation of that filthy mess of a Democrats-PDL alliance. Bersani’s decision on Berlusconi’s ineligibility for office will decisively affect the solution of the crisis of governance in Italy.
Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement said on the day of the opening of the houses of parliament that it will seek the application of the law. And the Democrats? It is obvious that if they “rescue” Berlusconi again (by once again trampling on the law!), the Democrats will lose face and all credibility gained with the election of two figures who not from the political establishment as speakers of parliament. Will the Democratic Party give the chair of the Senate electoral commission to Berlusconi’s PDL, or the Five Star Movement? If it gives it to one of Berlusconi’s people then any possible alliance with the M5S, however tenuous and hypothetical, would be destroyed forever.
So far only one leader of the Democratic Party, Senator Luigi Zanda, has chosen to pursue the path of upholding legality, of affirming the ineligibility of Berlusconi, who has joined a few days ago the call of MicroMega (which now has over the 230,000 signatures). Zanda was subsequently elected Democratic leader in the Senate, a good omen. But the rest of the party is silent, including most notably Bersani.
This is, it is said, because he has just been landed the job of forming a new government. It seems to me that for this reason the position on Berlusconi ineligibility for office should be clear: to block off any temptation to form a governissimo, a euphemism for one great political scam, or inciucio, that may be harboured within his party, where too many confuse opportunity with opportunism, hoping that sooner or later Napolitano will bend Bersani to a grand coalition, designed to achieve specific goals. But these goals have been heralded by Berlusconi: a government supported by the Democrats and PDL that will ensure Il Cavaliere impunity into his tomb, through a combination of Immoral Suasion on magistrates and intervention on the laws of amnesty and pardon.
Bersani has vowed “never again with Berlusconi.” Then he should behave accordingly. He should act like the senator Zanda, and take an uncompromising position. And, in every act, avoid even the slightest suspicion that the Democratic Party is equidistant between Grillo’s Five Star Movement and the fascistic Botox shock troops who recently caused such uproar against the courthouse in Milan.
Micromega 22 March 2013
Photos from Piazza Apostoli, Rome
Translation/edit by Revolting Europe