Tag Archives: Berlusconi

Life on the Reservation


The recent victory of the Italian right wing has brought a new wave of anti-immigration rhetoric, enforcement, and legislation.  It has also brought anti-immigrant violence.

This poster of the right wing Northern League coalition of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi warns: “They underwent immigration, and now they live on the reservations.” The point of the poster is to suggest that if Italians continue to allow foreign immigrants into the country, the native Italians will soon find themselves in a minority, subject to the arbitrary rule of those foreigners.

This image is from the slide show accompanying an article in today’s New York Times: Michael Kimmelman, “Italy Gives Cultural Diversity a Lukewarm Embrace,” New York Times, 25 June 2008.

Bush a Roma

Bush e Berlusconi.jpg

President George W. Bush is in Rome today. Here he is visiting with Italian Prime Minister Sylvio Berlusconi, recently re-elected to the office.

George Bush has visited Rome more than any other European city in his term as president.

The photo is from today’s La Repubblica, which reports that the American Academy in Rome displayed on its facade the slogan, “Basta Bush” — enough of Bush.

Berlusconi has supported the U. S. war in Iraq; the Italian people appear to be strongly against the war.

Naples garbage – a job for the army

Prime Minister Sylvio Berlusconi is going to send the Italian Army to help clear up the Naples garbage crisis, which has gone on for years. Organized crime brings garbage and toxic waste from all over Italy to the Naples area, sometimes dumping it in the streets. Nearby landfills are at capacity, and local residents resist plans to open new ones. The crisis has made Naples, already a dangerous city, even more dangerous, and has caused ripples throughout the economy. There have been fears that mozzarella di bufala from the region was contaminated by toxic wastes seeping into the water.

The Berlusconi plan, and reactions to it, are described in a Reuters dispatch in today’s International Herald Tribune.

Sylvio Berlusconi is back in office

Berlusconi 16 April 08.jpg

Alessandro Di Meo/European Pressphoto Agency – New York Times, April 16, 2008

Sylvio Berlusconi is to be the new prime minister of Italy — his third chance at the office, which he has held twice before. Berlusconi is not much liked by the press, except of course for the very large share of the press that he owns. Berlusconi is the richest man in Italy, and he controls the television networks (when in office he controls both the public and the private networks).

This photograph manages to show us of how carefully mediated Berlusconi is, staged, framed, illuminated. The press likes to remind us that Berlusconi is extremely self conscious of his looks — plastic surgery, hair treatments, trophy women. Berlusconi is 71 — the same age as John McCain.