Miracle in 100 Days.

 

Per chi non conosce l’inglese è uno dei pompini giornalistici migliori mai pubblicati al’estero sull’Italia. Alla faccia della stampa estera critica con Berlusconi. Rosicate sinistri, rosicate. Il più alto gradimento che un governo italiano abbia mai avuto nei primi 100 giorni. Più alto del gradimento di inglesi, francesi e spagnoli verso i loro governi. Se non è luna di miele questa …

How Berlusconi brought order to chaotic Italy, and what comes next.

da Newsweek di oggi 12 agosto 2008.

In his first 100 days in office, Silvio Berlusconi may have done the impossible: to a degree unprecedented in modern Italian history, he asserted control over this seemingly ungovernable nation. The opposition parties are mired in squabbling, and Berlusconi, now prime minister for the third time since 1994, has an approval rating of 55 percent—higher than Britain’s Gordon Brown, France’s Nicolas Sarkozy or Spain’s José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

That anyone in Italy has managed to be so successful is surprising. More than most Western European countries, Italy has long been bedeviled by corruption and a system that gives disproportionate political weight to small parties. Berlusconi’s predecessor, Romano Prodi, was stymied by his center-left party’s tiny Senate majority and the government’s fractious nine-party coalition. But Berlusconi, the 72-year-old media mogul, cannily exploited a 2005 electoral law that wiped out these small parties to win a surprise landslide victory from which the opposition is still trying to recover.

His center-right party now has 174 seats in the Senate (versus the left’s 132) and while he enjoys something of a honeymoon period with the electorate, he has also wasted little time in consolidating his authority. One of his first acts: pushing through a bill that gives the top four national officeholders, including the prime minister himself, immunity from prosecution while in office. The bill passed overwhelmingly last month, and put an end to outstanding criminal proceedings against Berlusconi (which he and supporters say were politically driven).

That this new law was a possible conflict of interest did not go by unnoticed, but Italians are feeling too poor to pay it much attention. After 10 years of near-zero economic growth—Bank of America predicts 0.5 percent growth this year—they are demanding security, financial and otherwise. And Berlusconi is delivering, with an iron-fist-in-velvet-glove competence. Emblematic has been his ability to clean up Naples, buried for months under trash in part because the surrounding communities simply did not trust the government to manage the landfills. Ever the showman, Berlusconi held cabinet meetings in Naples—fulfilling a campaign promise to do so until the trash was cleared—and appointed a “garbage czar” to fix the problem. In July, Parliament approved Berlusconi’s plan to open new landfills and incinerators, and permit soldiers to protect temporary landfills from angry residents. Days later Berlusconi said 50,000 tons of trash had been removed.

With a similar resolve he tackled the perception that violent crime is on the rise (despite data showing otherwise), and that foreigners are to blame for it. In July, the government declared a state of emergency to fight illegal immigration and proposed a law mandating fingerprinting for all Roma living in camps in Italy. Berlusconi softened the plan in the face of opposition from human-rights groups and the European Union. But in early August, he deployed thousands of troops throughout Italy in a bid to crack down on immigration and petty crime.

Such tough tactics could give Berlusconi the cover to tackle some of Italy’s deeper issues. Italians now pay some of the highest taxes in Western Europe, at 43 percent, and have some of the lowest salaries—leading to widespread tax evasion. Public debt remains at more than 100 percent of GDP; servicing it costs Italy 5 percent to 6 percent of GDP annually, says Bank of America’s Gilles Moec. Berlusconi has pledged to reduce spending (in contrast to his first term), but doing so will make it harder to fulfill a pledge to cut taxes or to stimulate growth. Yet Berlusconi must figure out a way. Italians like him now, but what they really want is economic stability. Cleaning up trash and harassing immigrants won’t be enough.

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19 risposte a “Miracle in 100 Days.

  1. Please Sorvy, but J legg only Family Christian, bicòs to me very like his director Mr Sciortino. Certly you Know that J am very stiticus and only his name has on me miraculous effects; figuratt if you legg an articulous.
    Good newsweek at all, but propr all.
    Your Sancho

  2. BlogPrivato?

    To be fair the only person here that doesn’t seem to have an outstanding grasp of the english language it ‘s you.
    If the overall judgement appears to be positive you should not overlook some subtle remarks concerning both the law making process (namely “..he has also wasted little time in consolidating his authority. One of his first acts: pushing through a bill that gives the top four national officeholders, including the prime minister himself, immunity from prosecution while in office. The bill passed overwhelmingly last month, and put an end to outstanding criminal proceedings against Berlusconi (which he and supporters say were politically driven).

    That this new law was a possible conflict of interest did not go by unnoticed, but Italians are feeling too poor to pay it much attention.”) and some law enforcement measures (“With a similar resolve he tackled the perception that violent crime is on the rise (despite data showing otherwise), and that foreigners are to blame for it”). Finally, the conclusion is not quite clear cut: it could be decoded both as an invite to outperform himself on the economic task ahead or as a subtle indictment of the kind of “crowd pleasing” cosmetic policies he has been pursuing in the fields described above (“…Yet Berlusconi must figure out a way. Italians like him now, but what they really want is economic stability. Cleaning up trash and harassing immigrants won’t be enough.”).
    Defining all this a ” journalistic blowjob” seems an overstatement to me.

  3. One of his first acts: pushing through a bill that gives the top four national officeholders, including the prime minister himself, immunity from prosecution while in office. The bill passed overwhelmingly last month, and put an end to outstanding criminal proceedings against Berlusconi (which he and supporters say were politically driven).

    Questo è il gradimento della stampa estera??? e ne sono accorti loro di una legge ad personam e noi no… che bravi che siamo noi italiani…

  4. Dear Blogprivato you know who gave Berlusconi the best blowjob ever? The Italian people when they gave him an electoral landslide. That is the only thing that matters.
    Some foreign newspapers are just starting to find out now what the Italian people have found out by themselves a while ago.
    Thanks for visiting us.

  5. BlogPrivato?

    Dear Shark, thank you very much for your prompt and yet useless reply.
    I’m not interested in understanding who gives heads and why, I raised some valid points about the interpretation of the article and I would like you to address those rather than waste precious time discussing trivial propositions.
    If you are unable to do that then consider adopting silence as a strategic choice. (that’s what Sorvegliato Speciale is doing, for example…or is he still trying to grasp what I wrote?)
    Best Regards

  6. Dear Blog Privato, first off I would like you to just stop acting like a spoiled kid, while as a guest you should act polite and respectfully to people. This has not been the case of your second comment.
    On the points you raised I actually happen to agree with them, though not completely – Yet, either you apologize and start talking nice or I will have to ban you from here. Also, a good sign of politeness would be to write your name at the end of each comment. Best regards to you.

  7. BlogPrivato?

    You obviously have a chip on your shoulder.
    I fail to see what my “alleged”lack of politeness is to do with all this. I posted a comment arguing that although the article painted a fairly positive picture about Berlusconi’s first 100 days it also had a certain degree of ambiguity to it. In response I received a rather unsubtle (and I dare saying everything but polite) remark having nothing to do with the points I raised before.
    Now, I’m a bit incensed by your vaguely menacing tone. You talk about politeness but you don’t sound like a Lord yourself.
    I’ll save my best regards for someone else.

    Yours Truly
    Shark Hunter

  8. BlogPrivato?

    first off..what?
    Where you trying to say something like…first of all?

  9. Dear Hunter, I have already replied that I agree with you on the points you raised so I wouldn’t call that a subtle, let alone rude reply (“thanks for visiting us” isn’t exactly a rude way to address someone).
    On the other hand, “…waste precious time discussing trivial propositions”, “If you are unable to do that then consider adopting silence as a strategic choice. (that’s what Sorvegliato Speciale is doing, for example…or is he still trying to grasp what I wrote?)” is definitely not the nicest way to express oneself either – you should rather work on your punctuation.
    Two more things: “first off” is an adverb used both in AE and in BE and means “before anything else” as you could find out in any good dictionary.
    Also, it is not a pleasure talking to you and keep it polite, more offenses won’t be tolerated.

  10. sweetsvevaomine

    “Rosicate sinistri, rosicate.”
    Qui non si tratta di rosicare o meno, di incazzarsi o invidiare la Destra, si tratta dei cittadini. Del popolo. Qualcuno se ne frega delle persone, e non della loro posizione politica?
    Francamente me ne infischio di quale partito porterà l’Italia al massimo del lustro (e sono sicura che questo partito non sarà quello di Berlusconi), ma mi interessa solo che ci si arrivi, a questo punto.
    Qui insomma non rosica proprio nessuno, se non i cittadini, che di questo miracolo (in parte) non hanno proprio visto nulla.

  11. BlogPrivato?

    Dear Shark,
    I beg to differ once more with what you are saying. First off is, as defined by Oxford English “informal, chiefly N. American”. I speak and write BE and I’m a sucker for pomposity.
    Hunter

  12. Yes Hunter, I do speak and write AE instead and it is not big deal I believe.
    But still “chiefly North American” means it is, though rarely, used in BE, if I’m right.
    A couple of friends I have in UK do use this actually.
    So yeah, whatever.

  13. Italians like him now, but what they really want is economic stability. Cleaning up trash and harassing immigrants won’t be enough.

  14. Beh…
    E’ il Newsweek la voce fuori dal coro.
    Il Financial Times non lo loda di certo….
    http://www.ftd.de/politik/europa/:Agenda_Die_Silvio_Show/399176.html

  15. I speak english too.
    And I’ll write in english (or “chiefly North American”)… are you agree, friends?
    so: GOD SAVE BERLUSCONI!!!
    … and Italy from uncool leftist of the all world.
    Sorvy
    (international)

  16. BlogPrivato?

    Yes, of course.
    This might be the reason why it took you 17 days to post a reply..Where you flicking through the dictionary…?

  17. You probably meant “WERE you flicking…” but hey you’re the smart one in the end.

  18. BlogPrivato?

    Well, it was a typo involving something called a “heterograph” if you know what I mean.
    By the way, you made a similar mistake in your previous comment (all/whole) that I conveniently overlooked… I might be a smart arse but it looks like you’re not faring any better.

  19. BlogPrivato?

    Ah, by the way..you might want to fix the nessun comento (sic!) thing as well, I suggest an additional m between m and e.

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