Redressing the balance
Given the feelings in the UK today regarding the political system, here’s a little comparison:
1. The Home Office Minister – Angelino Alfano – whose NCD party wallows in about 3% of the national vote and yet has a hugely disproportionate influence in government has announced that it would be a ‘good thing’ if the migrants from Africa worked ‘for free’ for the comunes in which they are placed.
2. Matteo Renzi, the Italian PM, has never been elected to parliament.
3. The forces of law and order yesterday ‘discovered’ an accountant in the Italian town of Villabate – (a town of 20,000 souls) who had amassed a fortune of 800.000.000 euros without raising any suspicion. He has been arrested on suspicion of being connected to organised crime.
4. The government voted to stop the payment of the ‘vitalizio’ to members of parliament imprisoned for various crimes. The vitalizio is paid to MP’s as a type of pension for when they are no longer MP,s and can easily be in excess of 8000 euros per month. Except that it is not just lifelong benefit for the MP themselves. In the event of their death it is paid to the widow and children. in Sicily it is paid to family members long after the deputy has died. There was significant opposition to this move in the House, even from the left wing who claimed the vitalizio was ‘an earned right’. It is not to be applied to sentences for ‘abuse of power’ and allows those concerned to regain the payments when they’ve completed their sentences.
5. The move of the Monti government to put a cap on pensions which were in some cases over 15000 euros per month has been declared unconstitutional by the high court and the government now has to pay back the sums, plus interest, immediately – it will be about 5 billion euros they have to find.