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An investigation was already opened by PM Salvatore Vitello after Berlusconi's innumerable rants about voter fraud by the opposition. Vitello will now handle the claim made by Diario in the DVD "Uccidete la Democrazia!" (Kill Democracy!)

The film is based on the book "Il Broglio" (The Fraud) which I reviewed here and here last June. I had also mentioned the possibility of voter fraud in a comment of April 6th.

The DVD hit the stands this morning after a publicity campaign that culminated in a preview projection for the House of Deputies. The actual opposition is up in arms. Former Minister of the Interior, Beppe Pisanu, has announced he sill sue the authors of the film- which is exactly what Diario wants.

Most announcements of suits finish on the front page without a follow-up- a classic PR ploy. However, in this case it is now a matter of notizia criminis and must be investigated by law.

This case exemplifies the power of the electronic media. The book went unnoticed. The film is causing an uproar.

I have yet to see the film but from reviews it further develops themes in the book. Basically, there was an utter and uniform collapse of blank votes on a national level. This appears to be statistically improbable as blank votes vary locally. In the general elections of 2001 there were over 1,600,000 blank votes that varied locally from 2% to 8%. In the 2006 elections blank votes fell to nearly 400,000 with uniform distribution.

The authors of the film interviewed Clinton Curtis who is involved in a controversy concerning the Florida elections that saw Bush take the state. According to reports Curtis wrote a program that would effectively count blank votes as Berlusconi votes without anyone catching on. Curtis is considered a controversial character though.

Unfortunately for now there is negative but suggestive evidence. We will see how the case develops. Stay tuned.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Fri Nov 24th, 2006 at 02:14:50 AM EST
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The PM in "PM Salvatore Vitello" stands for "Procura di Milano", right?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 24th, 2006 at 03:01:53 AM EST
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No, it stands for pubblico ministero = public prosecutor.

But de Gondi might consider to spell it out at other times due to the consusion with the common English acronym for Prime Minister.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Nov 24th, 2006 at 03:29:25 AM EST
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Thanks, DoDo. Will do so in future.

I think the more important news out of Italy is the annual budget law that passed the Senate yesterday without the crucial votes of the Life Senators. It was very important for the Prodi coalition and the financial health of ailing Italy- and substantiates Berlusconi's private dinner conversation reported here the other day that the Prodi coalition will hold.

Another news item is the death of Litvinenko in London last night. eternalcityblues has a good diary on the Litvinenko poisoning.  

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Fri Nov 24th, 2006 at 04:04:55 AM EST
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Yes and as his death-bed testament is all over the headlines and will make huge waves including/especially at EU/Russia level I'll update - useful to have an ongoing thread already up with all the previous background.

"Ignoring moralities is always undesirable, but doing so systematically is really worrisome." Mohammed Khatami
by eternalcityblues (parvati_roma aaaat libero.it) on Fri Nov 24th, 2006 at 08:54:46 AM EST
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There is an interesting and long piece in the Evening Standard today hidden behind the "the Kremlin did it" headline.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 24th, 2006 at 09:46:33 AM EST
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Here's the Link to eternalcityblues diary.
by Fran on Fri Nov 24th, 2006 at 10:31:07 AM EST
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