Berlusconi is again making the news worldwide. This time for sleeping with an underage prostitute. Whether or not this is true is not really the point. The fact that a man of his political level is even accused of such a situation is a reflection on the rest of the nation. In other countries this situation would not be tollerated and he would have been forced to stand down.
We have to ask why the most powerful man in Italy and one of the world's richest men (surely this should attract enough women alone) has to pay for sexual services. We have to ask why in a technically catholic country that is still heavily influenced by the Vatican is this situation tollerated?
We have to ask why in a country that claims to be a democracy with a "modern and well written constitution" is he still permitted to stay in power.
The answers are many but a lot has to do with apathy and the phrase I hear often.."It is always like this here. This is Italy!"
However I am very interested in Italian history and especially leading up to the formation of Italy 150 years ago. It has not always been like this. Men like Camillo Benso of Caovour would be spinning in his grave as I write. Garibaldi, a patriot who fought to build the Italian state would be hopping mad if he could see the current situation. How has Italy descended into this circus?
It is difficult to say why but when you see how the politicians behave ( and are allowed to behave) you can begin to see why. They are nothing but a bunch of self interested freeloaders who are on to a good thing. When given the perfect opportunity to oust Mr B just before the end of December some of these representatives of the people decided that their own pockets held more sway than the people. B. payed of a large number of them and strangely they voted in favour. Nobody has since investigated this. Certain parties seem to be more interested in having a share of power rather than sticking to their political principles. Changing sides although an Italian habit, has never been honourable. Those that sold out should stand down.
However it is not just the politicians who should be blamed. The people themselves must take their share of guilt. There are however mitigating circumstances for the people. They have been so divided, demoralised, mislead and confused for the last 50 years or so that now no one trusts anyone else. There is no coherent group to counter Berlusconi.
This is the key to the whole process divide and conquer. Create fear and you have control. However the ony real thing in Italy that should be feared is Berlusconi. It has taken generations to arrive in this state and it will take several corragious and dedicated generations to turn things around. The future of Italy is now in the hands of the younger generations.