by Alessio Taranto
The only man in the world who can escape space, time… and justice; described in a few quotes
“An AIDS patient asks his doctor whether the sand treatment prescribed him will do any good. ‘No’, the doctor replies, ‘but you will get accustomed to living under the earth’.”
Thinking about this academic, erudite joke, with that refined taste in the choice of words, everyone would probably attribute the quote to a creepy sociopath pleasing himself with some black humour. However, the man who pronounced those words (probably at some G20 meeting) wasn’t just a random guy, but the man who had been a president of a European state for about twenty years. Ladies and Gentleman, may I present, Silvio Berlusconi!
As most people know, last month “the knight” (Il Cavaliere, as they call him in Italy) was convicted for a 7.3 million Euro financial fraud. Obviously, this is just a tip of an iceberg for a man who attended numerous trials for false witnessing, bribing the members of parliament, being involved in a criminal conspiracy (mafia), accounting fraud, induction to and exploiting the underage prostitution and so on. Even so, all these trials and charges were always barred thanks to some ad personam law (aimed at either allowing him not to attend the trial, so that with time the crime will be barred, or at decriminalizing crimes themselves, such as accounting fraud), implemented by his party to save him. Even the 7.3 million Euro fraud he was actually convicted for was initially supposed to be 30 million, of which 23 million was barred. As to his trials, he would always define it as a conspiracy of some corrupted and politicized left-wing judges who want to overtake Italy and start a communist revolution. He would accuse them of “judicial harassment that is unmatched in the civilised world”. And this man was not only able to sit in the Italian parliament from 1994 to 2013 and occupy the most prominent positions (such as various ministerial offices) but also to become the prime minister for a consecutive period of about 20 years, shortly interrupted by some left-wing failed governments.
That was the story up until now. In fact, on the 27th of November 2013, the parliament had to decide on the expulsion of Mr. Berlusconi from the parliament. The 192 votes in Senato della repubblica (one of the two chambers of Italian parliament) were cast in favour. It is supposedly high time for that 77 years old man to finally step down after depriving the entire country of its political life and leeching the public money for his personal use. Now, since his story would be too long to be told in just one article, I would like to present Mr. Berlusconi’s achievements through some of his numerous and most remarkable quotes and gaffes. Chosen among some of his finest, we hereby present some of his most classy acts, with the famous cuckoo to Mrs. Merkel included (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfjLGvQLQDg ). She was later finely addressed to as an “unfuckable huge-ass” (necessary quote – translation of “Inchiavabile culona”), like every gentlemen would do. Of course, he’s obviously used to other kinds of female, and he knew what he’s talking about when his quote found its way into the New York Stock Exchange: “Italy is now a great country to invest in… Today we have fewer communists and those who are still there deny having been one. Another reason to invest in Italy is that we have beautiful secretaries… superb girls”. The speech was so persuasive and touching that Italian stocks skyrocketed and there followed mass emigration from the US to Italy. The latter would surely become a world power, if it wasn’t for these damn communists!
Ok, maybe economics has never been his strength but, as a statesman, he surely knows how to manage emergencies. Sure it was a reasonable thing to do to advise people that had their houses destroyed and their family and friends injured or deceased because of an earthquake, to see their situation as “a weekend of camping”. I still wonder why people started shouting and wanted him to go away, probably the majority of survivors were communists. Everyone knows how sneaky they are. And of course, he perfectly knows how to be a perfectly diplomatic, especially in the delicate cases of terrorism. On 9/11 he defined Western civilization as superior, in contrast to “Islam, firmly entrenched where it was 1,400 years ago”. Not long after this statement, a McDonald’s was blown up in Italy. I wonder if that was some kind of message.
However, the richest man in Italy, and one of the richest politicians in the history of western democracy, is not all about money. He is a cultivated man, who looks at the past with a historian eye. His thorough analysis of one of Italy’s darkest periods may serve as a prime example. The fascist dictatorship of Mussolini was excused in the following manner: “Mussolini never killed anyone. Mussolini used to send people on vacation in internal exile.” You all got it wrong guys, the fault is probably on the writers of history books. They are all such commies, you can’t even imagine! He also shown his sensibility when referring to German Nazism. He proposed German MEP Martin Schulz to act in a movie about Nazi concentration camp and play a Kapo. The worst part was Mr. Berlusconi’s apology by saying: “I’ll try to soften it and become boring, maybe even very boring, but I am not sure I will be able to do it”. That’s the first and most difficult goal for a statesman, and everyone accepted his excuses and realized that in the same position, it would be quite hard to keep it cool. Everyone knows how hilarious it is to sit in the European Parliament, come on guys! Why so serious?
To conclude, I would like to stress on how power, money and women didn’t get on Silvio Berlusconi’s head. He’s still the same humble millionaire he was back in the 90’s. His best quotes are in fact the ones about himself. By proclaiming himself “the best political leader in Europe and in the world” he shows us how to be happy in simplicity. He continues: “There is no-one on the world stage who can compete with me”; “Out of love for Italy, I felt I had to save it from the left”(Thank you for your sacrifice!), “The right man in the right job”. Finally, to show that he also addresses the big Christian community of Italy: “I am the Jesus Christ of politics”. I don’t know about you, but my optimism keeps telling me that it’s all over, a new age will start and Italian politics will finally breathe some fresh air. However, there’s a little recurring image of a face hammering my brain from the time I wake up till I go to sleep. It sometimes infests my dreams, too, repeating compulsively: “I’ll be back”. And, unfortunately for me, it looks nothing like Schwarzenegger’s face.