The Spanish way to resolve the crisis: the ostrich underground head. #GagLaw #LeyMordaza

The first thing that impressed me in 2004 in Madrid and later on in 2008 when I spent most of the year again in Madrid was the frequency of ETA’s attacks and the lack of communication outside Spain. Of course in 2004 what impressed me more, having been hosted nearby Delicias underground station, 5’ by foot far from Atocha Station, was the reaction of common people in Madrid after the Atocha attack. The Aznar’s lies in the upcoming national election about the organization besides the ferocious attack made him lose a very possible victory. People, besides this political choice, was in the streets and squares of Madrid for days voluntarily. Massively and without a strong role of any formal institution (like unions or so). It was a spectacle and a lesson for a possible rejuvenation for a flat and Berlusconi dominated Italy. At least, I was thinking this as an Italian young sociologist.

In 2008 people were often on the street. The reason was to join the flourishing economy of the previous 30 years and to try to deny the fatal crisis that knocked down Spain. Spain in 2008 looked like “The town of toys” of Pinocchio when the children wake up as little donkeys. However, Spaniard were massive, self-confident, noisy (in positive such as in negative term), clearly democratic. Having being told for months that Italy sucked by flatmates and people even in Academia (yes, diplomacy and politeness were not widespread and I got an almost dirty Spanish dictionary, and I always justified myself by saying that I lived close to Lavapiés…), I realized that Spain got a problem. The perfect metaphor was a Spaniard version of the Candlewick (Lucignolo) by Collodi. I reported many reflections in 2008 in a Splinger blog, but they went lost, alas.

In 2012 I was again back for three months. The democratic massive participation was even larger. People looked not tired at all after Indignados’ movement (the “Occupy Wall Street” Spanish version). Sol, and Calle del Arenal (the cuts on public street cleaners help… ) looked different in 2012 from what I watched in 2001 from Tv. The crisis was deep and couldn’t be denied any more. Zapatero was politically dead and even his persona was labeled as a lies teller. 2012 taught me that Spain was still very vital, like Italy was in the bloody 70s. But how long this goodwill to participate in demonstration if the local government is hostile? Don’t you get discouraged if you continue to assist to privatizations (included that of firemen, whose implementation may bring to have inequalities toward fires in a big city like Madrid) even though they are just business and retrenchment of the Welfare State?

For instance in 2012 I saw several times police hidden in strategic places in order to intervene promptly in case of necessity. Allegations about a not democratic behavior by them didn’t miss. Ok, after Genoa 2001 an Italian citizen should shut up, but Madrid did not appear to me the noisy and loudly loquacious safe place where to have fun. There were reasons to be in a positive mood. A Greek guy in a pub near Gran Via told us that Spain was much better than Greece: over there people got violent for a word. I mean: it was reported to me that people uses crash helmet to argue about politics… The statistical battles included to turn public lights on during the strikes’ days in order to show higher consumption of energy and therefore to justify official lower participation (the more the consumption in public places, the less the people in the streets to protest. It is technically called proxy and should be fair, not this way). I remembered to have joked, at Cantoblanco, with a statistician friend who told me that, on the contrary, the best indicator to measure the degree of conflict is to look at the range between the unions’ official declared number of participants and the Mayor’s one. The wider the difference, the harsher the conflict. In 2012 the range was comic with almost a ratio of 1 to 10.

Now there is Podemos [Podemos, “We can”, is the same slogan TVs and people used to support the Spanish national football team in European Championship in 2008, and it worked indeed], and the long conservative domain in Madrid is over.

This post is not about Podemos, because I sincerely don’t know that much. It is about a law that should turn into force on next July 1st nicknamed the gag-law.


This law drastically reduces the freedom of participation in public places (even here and here). It even declares forbidden to tape with a Smartphone what a police officer might do during his/her job in controlling the public safety (what if Smartphones were in Genoa 2001?!). Fares are super fat and you go straight to the penal trail if you say something not authorized. I don’t enter further details as I read only few articles, but this shocked me. How the Catalan people will react to this for instance? By saying: “Ok, now we shall never claim again the independence because it could be out of law”? Please, let’s be realistic. This cap over a boiling water will only makes water to boil with bigger bubbles.

Is this the way to resolve the crisis? Is it all about to deny once again that something unpleasant does exist? To have as a national strategy the ostrich underground head is clever, very clever, ladies and gentlemen.

In UK Mr. Cameron already plummeted the possibilities to have strikes by means of considering illegal any action by a union that has less than 40% or so of membership in a certain organization. Something like that would be totally anti-constitutional in Italy and I guess in many other countries. But it is possible in UK.

How can Europe exit this crisis if it is dominated by such Conservatives (you can see that when Polish Conservatives meet British Conservatives: just reciprocal incomprehension) parties and the Labor ones are so weak and ideas missing? The political crisis is more dangerous than any financial one.


How Mafias are continuing to rule in Southern Italy: the Camorra case in 2015 elections.

Same days ago I was kidding about some regional election that took place in Italy, and I was saying that Campania Region (that one with Naples) is dominated by Mafias (namely Camorra. You may know something from Roberto Saviano’s Gomorra and its related movie and tv series). Let me say few further words to this assumption.

The PD (Democratic Party) has a code of ethic and a wonderful clean logo with a white  background remembering the central strip of Italian flag. Accordingly to this code of ethic, people who are facing or about to face a trial, should leave the party.

In this 2015 competition, Mr. Vincenzo De Luca knew before to candidate that he could candidate and compete in election indeed. But he knew even that in case of victory he couldn’t take the office. This legal procedure is known as “Legge Severino” that was passed few years ago in order to appease a massive and increasing public opinion after – especially and above all – Berlusconi sexual scandals. However the Italian political system had a plenty of this people, especially Berlusconi’s friends. This law is the law that convicted Mr. Berlusconi to stay out of the political scene for a while. An absence that created an emptiness that still damage the Italian right wing that so far is incapable to identify a new leader (Berlusconi never gives up…).


Mr. Raffaele Cantone – a distinguished judge whose intellectual honesty I appreciated when I was in mafia studies in Sapienza University of Rome and currently involved politically with the Renzi’s establishment – used a very light touch to the question. This let me deduce that his career is intertwined with the Giglio Magico (“magic fleur-de-lis”, Renzi’s circle). But he might be even right, which means he is totally right. I mean: he said clearly that the legal procedure against De Luca denies him to take office, but the reason itself is not one of the most serious (at least for the Italian standards).

Miss Rosy Bindi – currently President of the Anti-mafia Commission in the Parliament – denounced the members of those parties who were “unfit” to take office (people from parties like those that permitted De Luca to win were not included). This was a technical communication already scheduled. A duty. The political system, first of all the PD from which Bindi comes and who was one of the founders (and even the first President) got crazy against her. She always has been attacked harshly, but usually from Berlusconi in person (“none would ever fuck her [and make her lose her virginity]”, a statement close to what Berlusconi said once about Mrs. Merkel “she has an ass that cannot be fucked”). The political attack from PD to one of its members was aimed at trying to win the election in Campania. At any costs. This really disgusted me at squared power.

Mr. Vincenzo De Luca – who is a very clever, smart, humoristic and hypocrite man like only the Southern people can be – offends heavily (but seldom not in a funny way) whoever criticizes him. His vignettes would be good if the scenario would be one of fantasy.

The main problem so far is that the PD of De Luca in Campania got less than 20% and he won reaching more than 40%. He won due to political parties created in case and clearly by Camorra’s affiliated. To this evidence talk by itself, none is doubting this, De Luca included who never denied this. Do you reasonably think those “factions” will stay quite asking nothing to De Luca? If you believe this is not a point, you must be one of them, a mental, or a masochist.

Now, Mafias after WWII always entered political parties (almost every party, with the exclusion of the Communist and few other minors). Nowadays mafia created overt fake parties to give a manifest help to a party that is formally clean, but substantially spoiled.

Currently De Luca should be advised that he can’t take the office as President, but he is still struggling to escape due to some quibbles (I foresee this will happen, I know my country). He could however nominate the assessors, which would be more than enough to bestow Camorra’s friends some friends of friends (it is more than enough).

How can the Italian system survive to that?

Simply, it will survive as usual, by suffering and continuing to lose in any sphere of human existence. The waste issue for instance will continue to be a serious epidemiological issue, with a percentage of cancers much higher than the regular ones in some areas of Campania.

p.s. I wanted to talk about the 1977 movements in Universities in Italy and the demise of “wishful revolution” in the 80s through Andrea Pazienza’s art. I hope to do that before visiting Greece.

Italian politics’ scorecards. Pagelle elettorali regionali

Yesterday 7 important Italian regions got elections for administrative political turn. Like any other occasion, they are discussed in Italy as a sort of mid-term thermometer for the national political situation. Currently Matteo Renzi (who is not from Florence, but from its countryside, just like Machiavelli was) is dominating the biggest party, which is the biggest labour party at European level (42% last year in European Parliament elections). He betrayed the former Prime Minister Enrico Letta, from Pisa by twitting “be calm [I’ll be loyal to you]”. The Establishment is almost the same with a small conservative party led by former dauphin Alfano and the spoiled political party led by Mario Monti, who fled early from its own creation. This coalition is basically more and more in the hand of Democratic Party that is apparently cracking and expanding at the same time (as many as a dozen from populists M5S joined the PD, and other 12 from Scelta Civita, the Mario Monti’s formation that already doesn’t exist anymore). The main question at national level now is: how long Renzi will be capable to be “the lonely leading man”? Will this center-left party that is gaining space in the centre continue to rule without splitting? What will come out from the dust of Berlusconi?

By commenting results of May 31st, I try to give my impressions.

“Labour vs. Conservative 5-2”. A journalistic easy way to count. However, three out of 5 of the center-left regions were already and always were left (Tuscany, Marche and Umbria, the “Red Belt”). Veneto was always Catholic-conservative and remains so. Liguria, Apulia and Campania are contesting and there it’s a 2-1 for Labour. In Apulia and Liguria divided parties decided (1-1); in Campania Camorra’s lists in favor of Labour were crucial. Considering all, the PD (Democratic Party) is still firmly the leading party in the country.


Mr. Berlusconi: 4. His decay looks endless. He says to want to successor but he actually doesn’t want to cease the remained power with anyone. All sparing partners fled or were expulsed during the last years. His persona appear pitiful. The most important journalist, Bruno Vespa, is obliged to repeat some questions as Berlusconi looks half deaf. He even got a slip by calling Mr. Vespa “Fede”, his loyal ad-personam journalist who used to praise him in news and later on was found guilty of hiding the age of whore Berlusconi used to guest (one of these whore was 17 and Berlusconi phone called police to tell to don’t touch her because she was Mr. Mubarak’s nephew. Lies over lies are always comic). He went to a public meeting to support one of his candidates for a municipality. He realized only after few minutes he was in the wrong one and even told to vote for Paolo (male name) while his candidate was a woman. We are still laughing at him as with his past as self-alleged tombeur de femmes he should recognize the difference between sexes. His speech are the same slop told again and again. He was even able to say he once upon a time rebuked President Chirac (!!!). He looks like AC Milan: very down, very old. It is visible that his real heir is Matteo Renzi himself. The two have public reciprocal sympathetic attitudes.

Matteo Salvini: 7. This person is famous in the European Institutions to be a lazy and filthy politician. As part of the Lega Nord he got first offices blaming rudely the south of Italy. He now got the vision to get Berlusconi’s votes setting up a à-la-Le Pen (of Farage Ukip if you prefer) party based on racism against immigrants. He is Euro-skeptical (and I’m translating his words into polite ones…) and very dangerous. He got tremendous consensus in all places but in the south: in Apulia he got few votes presenting himself without the party; in Campania he simply dropped. He really outscored Berlusconi and any other place, including Tuscany. Beware this man.

Other center-right, or conservative. Trails. Not classified.

Matteo Renzi: 7. He is a master of communication. He needed a safe confirmation and he got it despite the Liguria affair and the links with Campania mafia. He was smart in avoiding any straight confrontation with Matteo Salvini, but one day this duel must happen. “The scraper” (il rottamatore) is a political animal who is able to defend the top of the hill, like any other arrogant person.

Other Matteo Renzi’s party [I mean, people of the same party who are organizing revanges]: 6. Only Pippo Civati, the twin of Renzi who started the mission to rejuvenate the moderate left the PD. One by one, all the defeated old generals demised. The last is the old lefty-catholic Rosy Bindi, used to be publicly, rudely and harshly offended by Berlusconi. She was one of the few taking a clear position against the Camorra connections of De Luca in Campania region. It was ineffective. All the others basically bended toward the arrogance of local politics, included Renzi so far who only 3 years ago declared to be happier to lose in the south rather than bending toward old smelly connections. The party set up in Liguria gave Renzi an envoi: be careful, we still count.

Others: not classified. For the second time in my life in a row little parties are totally irrelevant, included the radical left. I am not sure this is good.

M5S: 6. The experiments of the direct democracy is over, or never was at stake. They continue to float and are finding their clearer fantasy-to-power identity, as in 2013 around a third was voted by quasi-fascist people. As they continue to generate click-through ads, the editors in chief behind the “party” can be satisfied. They get 15-20% of votes. A lot for the Italian system, but they don’t care to use them to bargain anything. In that occasion, their voter would consider them dirty.

Party of the not-voting: 47.8%. Those citizens are the real winner. People in Italy don’t go anymore to vote. A small percentage of them are those who got paid by some mafias to let abettors win. Usually these “dishonest” people were from the Berlusconi side, but never exclude anything in this issue (see this time in Campania, among the others Roberto Saviano claimed worries). Many other simply can’t orientate anymore, can’t find options, lost the ability to develop an opinion or are too busy in being unemployed to spend time for participating.

The fall of western democracies should worry us more than financial turmoil.