16 thoughts on “Berlusconi censors eighteenth century Italian painting

  1. 2008-08-04 16:19
    Public opinion on troops mixed
    Soldiers arrive in Italian cities to help fight crime
    (by Fiona Winward).

    (ANSA) – Rome, August 4 – Italians and tourists on Monday had mixed reactions to the arrival of the first troops on city streets as the government’s scheme to use 3,000 soldiers to help police fight crime got under way. In Rome, around 400 of more than 1,000 troops expected in the capital arrived to patrol suburban metro stations, embassies, government buildings and an immigrant holding centre in the outskirts of the city. ”It’s ridiculous. It’s like being under a military regime, as if Rome were in (the Pinochet regime’s) Chile,” said a bus driver looking at an army jeep parked a few metres away at the Mattia Battistini metro station in the Rome suburbs.

  2. Death of an Italian fascist

    Admiral Gino Birindelli died in Rome last week. In 1971 he was in command of Nato’s Mediterranean fleet, which was based in Malta.

    That year saw a hard fought general election on the island during which the admiral warned if the Labour Party was elected “Malta would lose its freedom” and that the party’s leader, Dom Mintoff would allow the Russians to use it as a naval base.

    Labour did win, by a narrow majority, and Mintoff expelled the admiral from Malta.

    On his return to Italy Birindelli was elected to parliament as a neo-fascist MP.

    Mintoff succeeded in getting the naval base shut down. During the 1990s he was sidelined in the Maltese Labour Party, regarded as being Old Labour.

    Elena Cachia, West London


  3. 2008-08-20 18:23

    Row over Communist custody boy
    Youth’s party membership used against him, politicians say

    (ANSA) – Catania, August 20 – Members of Italy’s Communist parties were up in arms on Wednesday after a Catania court took a 16-year-old boy away from his mother, allegedly because he was a youth member of the Communist Refoundation Party (PDR).

    Custody of the boy, identified as M.P., and his 11-year-old brother was granted to his father after social services told the court the boy ”visited places frequented by young people where the use of alcoholic and psychotropic substances is widespread”.

    They described the young communists with whom the boy associated as ”extreme”.

    The boy’s mother was also blamed for hiding his irregular school attendance from her husband and for allowing the boy to stay out over night.

    But Communist politicians jumped on the court decision as politically motivated.

    PDR leader Paolo Ferrero said the decision was ”unacceptable” and asked President Giorgio Napoletano to intervene in what he described as ”an extremely serious Constitutional violation”.

    Orazio Licandro of the Italian Communist Party backed Ferrero’s comments.

    ”Isn’t Italy a democratic country? Are the Communists now an extremist organisation just because we don’t have any seats in parliament?” he asked, referring to the knock-out of Communist candidates in April’s general elections.

    ”I think this matter just goes to show that being a Communist in southern Italy is difficult and dangerous,” he added.

    But the judge, Massimo Escher, shot down criticism of his decision, which he said was unconnected to the boy’s political affiliations and based on the mother’s lack of parenting skills.

    Escher said the 16-year-old was living ”without rules” and referred to the woman’s ”difficulty in managing her son”.

    The mother’s lawyer, Mario Giarruso, said they were still trying to come to terms with the judge’s decision.

    ”The boy does not take drugs, he hasn’t committed crimes,” he said.

    The 16-year-old was also unhappy with the outcome, saying that his father ”does nothing but associate communists with drugs, alcohol and a wayward life”.

    The court ruled that the boy’s mother, who is a doctor, must pay her city council worker husband 200 euros a month in maintenance.

    It also awarded the family home to the father.

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