the slippery slope of Scajola
Lost in the election coverage there is a gripping story here in italy which has already led to the resignation of the minister of economic development. In 2004 he bought a house with a view of the Coloseum in Rome, for a mighty 3500 euros per square metre. Except that in that zone houses go for 10.000 euros psm. Paying 660.000 euros at the act of sale, the minister seemed blissfully unaware that someone else had already turned up and paid the owners 800.000 euros in small cheques to ‘help’ the minister. Scajola maintains he knows nothing of this, but has resigned to fight his corner. The person who paid the balance, is the head of a company who has won all the public contracts for the last 6 years, building barracks, organising the transformation of the arsenal in Sardinia for the G8 last year, which suddenly changed location and which employs the wife of the head of Civil Protection Bertolaso, who in turn is being investigated for corruption. Its all turning out to be a great stirring up of the sludge at the bottom of the barrel and Berlusconi only comment thus far…. ‘ there is too much press freedom in Italy’. How comforting.