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Italian report Italian report
by Euro Reporter
2009-12-30 09:31:45
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Berlusconi Forgives Tartaglia

Silvio Berlusconi has forgiven Massimo Tartaglia, the man who attacked him a week ago in Milan. However, Mr Berlusconi also said that when trying his assailant, magistrates should not send out the message that anyone can have a go at the prime minister, a public figure who must be defended. According to the ANSA news agency and those who were present, this was the gist of Mr Berlusconi’s conference call from Arcore with his Christmas greetings to the People of Freedom (PDL) headquarters in Rome.

Speaking about the attack in Piazza Duomo, Mr Berlusconi explained to PDL members that he had forgiven Mr Tartaglia in human terms, according to the reports. “You know I don’t nurse resentment”, Mr Berlusconi is reported to have said to those listening at the PDL’s Via dell’Umiltà premises. The prime minister then went on to say how important it was that Mr Tartaglia’s actions should not be taken lightly. This was how he put it: the message should not be sent out that anyone can have a go at the prime minister, who represents an institution. Otherwise, it could spark off a free-for-all. To back up his comments, Mr Berlusconi said that if the model cathedral had struck him a couple of centimetres higher, he could have ended up “six feet under”, or lost an eye. The prime minister told his audience that the Piazza Duomo attack was engendered by a climate of hatred. He is reported to have denied fuelling this climate, having only mentioned the orientation of certain institutional bodies, which is clearly a left-leaning orientation.

In the course of his phone call from Arcore to PDL staff and executives, Mr Berlusconi revealed the latest poll figures, claiming that his own personal approval rating tops 65% and that the party itself is on nearly 40%.

Alessandro Tartaglia, the father of the man who struck the premier in the face, is “grateful” to Silvio Berlusconi for saying that he is willing to forgive his attacker. “I’m pleased at the gesture and I would be happy if there were some way my son could make amends”. “Obviously, forgiveness will be a relief for Massimo Tartaglia”, said Daniela Insalaco, the lawyer acting for the prime minister’s attacker.

During recording of the Porta a Porta talk show, the Democratic Party (PD) secretary Pier Luigi Bersani also referred to the attack on Silvio Berlusconi. “Acts of violence should be condemned without further comment” but “in Italy, there is a rather oppressive atmosphere because no one listens”. Mr Bersani added: “Everyone should do their job. Any criticism or thrust should find a response. I too think that in some parts of the country, the atmosphere is not good”. On the issue of a clamp-down on internet, Mr Bersani again said that “there are other ways forward; there are self-regulation mechanisms for service providers”.


Corona Sentenced to 44 Months in Vallettopoli Trial

The court of Milan has sentenced Fabrizio Corona to three years and eight months’ imprisonment for extortion and attempted extortion, convicting him on the two charges for which he was on trial. The incidents involve photographs of motorcyclist Marco Melandri and footballer Adriano. Magistrates also sentenced Mr Corona’s collaborator, Marco Bonato, to two years and four months. The public prosecutor had requested seven years and two months for Mr Corona and acquittal for Mr Bonato.

After the sentence was read out, a visibly agitated, shaven-headed Mr Corona spoke to the journalists in court: “I’m ashamed of being Italian. I don’t know what I’ll do. I’ll do time. I don’t give a f...”, he said. He said about the judges: “What it says on courtroom walls about the law being the same for everyone is not true. I no longer have faith in the law”. He added: “For me, it was a battle and I lost”. Before leaving, the evidently irate photographic agent said to the press: “It’s a disgrace. Now they ought to find every photographic agency in Italy guilty, including the one in the Marrazzo case”.

The public prosecutor, Frank Di Maio, was happy. “This is a trial that has established a principle. From now on, it will be more difficult to withdraw photographs”. Mr Di Maio was referring to the common practice of offering compromising photographs to the individuals featured before contacting the press. The aim is to obtain money from celebrities whose image would be damaged if the photographs were published. It is the first time that this celebrity-targeted stratagem has been on trial in Italy. The public prosecutor also pointed out that “this trial was undertaken by the public prosecutor’s office on its own, without a single co-plaintiff”.


Commuters’ Four-hour Ordeal to Leave Central Milan

It’s a straightforward run but the six kilometres from Corso Vercelli to Via Ripamonti have taken him one hour and fifty minutes. Office worker Massimo Cecchi shuts the car and grumbles: “So who’s fault is it then?” Feet planted firmly in the snow, he sneers: “Is it my fault for going to work?” Last Sunday’s appeal by his city authority, Milan, is still buzzing in his ears: “Leave your cars at home or there will be chaos”. His response is: “Was I supposed to walk to the office?” Stuck in traffic, he has whiled away the time with thirteen phone calls and text messages to say he’ll be late, two weather-obsessed news bulletins, twelve cigarettes and one lost temper. Massimo wasn’t the only commuter to lose his temper at the twenty centimetres of snow that fell on Milan but it was worse in the hinterland. Yesterday, there was no way out of the city, by road or rail. By five in the afternoon, the city had become a dirty, ice-bound prison.


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Emanuel Paparella2009-12-30 12:52:02
In Boccaccio's Decameron there is an hilarious story of Saint Ciappelletto, a villain who is on the verge of dying and calls for a priest and makes a "saintly" confession by lying so that as soon as he is dead people begin clamoring for his canonization. Pari passu Berlusconi has now forgiven his assailant and the more dumb segment of the Italian people are ready to put him on a pedestal and pray to him as a saint. Quite a farce! Boccaccio has met his match.

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