Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Silvio, the Sexist Septuagenarian

In the face of Italy's growing economic problems, disenchantment with government in general, and politicians in particular; Italian opposition leader Silvio Berlusconi seems to be flippant about the voters' concerns in the coming general elections. Instead, he delights in surrounding himself with glamorous women and then utters an earth shattering statement about female politicians from the right being more beautiful, and the left have no taste in women.

Having a reputation for making outrageous statements, this latest comment raised a howl from the centre-left who called the septuagenarian sexist. Mr. Berlusconi was forced to apologize to his wife last year for flirting with other women after demanding a public one for the humiliation she received. Twenty months out of office and it seems the media mogul turned politician is out to make an amorous comeback, dealing with his flirtations first before the problems that beset the country.

Young Italians have lost all hope of making it out of the family home by 30. The more talented ones talk about "precariousness" in Italy and see no future for themselves. Most have chosen to
pack their bags for other countries like France, to take advantage of opportunities there rather than to suffer a life of penury in Italy. In Palermo, old folks talk about the end of La Dolce Vita and lament the rising prices causing people to be in deep debt. Workers are aghast at the absence of raises in salaries due to the difficult economic situation. Retirees find extreme difficulty in stretching their pensions when 60-70% goes to rent, leaving nothing for food. In Sicily and the rest of Southern Italy, about 100,000 young people have left. If the trend continues, only the old people and the mafiosi will be left.

Politicians are seen to help only their friends and those they can profit from. The mozzarella issue and the garbage dumps in Naples have contributed immensely to the collapse of Romano Prodi's fragile centre-left coalition. It was a wide open gap in crisis management knowhow which lost its grip on the faith and confidence of Italians in their suitability to govern. Today, the sweet life that Italians have been so proud of seems to leave a very bad taste in the mouth. And Berlusconi seems to find fulfillment reminding Italians of what they're missing in voting for the left, by showing the decadence of his centre-right lifestyle.

At 71 and trying to overcome the ravages of age in his looks, Berlusconi's projection of virility may be based on his reading of the Italians' natural fondness for romance. He should set his priorities correctly if he is to succeed in anything that would attract Italians to his cause. He may have more difficulties, at his age, to raise the physical requirements of his own virility than to raise the country's economy.



Zhu said...

I dislike Berlusconi almost as much I dislike Sarkozi...

But what you said about Italy and its youth is true. There's a kind of no-future feeling right now in Europe especially in countries around the Mediterranean sea... sad.

Tapline said...

Brad, doesn't sound like he has many answers..? stay well....

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Zhu,

Berlusconi is the wrong man for Italy right now, considering his nonchalant mentality and "happy Days are here again" manner of dealing with the expected power he will assume from his party's victory.

The youth are the victims here, but the larger victim is Italy itself. If the youth have no future, Italy will have none too. This sad trend should be resolved and reversed. :-)--Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Tapline,

I think he does not even have any inkling of what the questions are. I guess he is fonder of the trappings of power than serving his country.
:-)--Durano, done!