Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The article does not explain what the "constitutional row" is all about. In fact it is misleading as it only discusses the fact that President Napolitano did not sign a government decree that he judged unconstitutional and not in compliance with Article 77 of the Constitution which states that decrees may be adopted only in extraordinary cases of necessity and urgency. It's perfectly within his powers since a government cannot emit a decree to overturn a Supreme Court sentence.

The row is over Berlusconi and his government that use the pretext of the Englaro case to verbally assault the President and the Constitution. Berlusconi forced his ministers to take a unanimous decision to make a three line decree. When Napolitano declined to sign it, Berlusconi attacked him alleging that the president is obliged to sign it, which is categorically false, a deliberate public misrepresentation. Berlusconi then attacked the Constitution declaring that it was written by philo-Soviet ideologues and that he would do away with it for that. His rant was that the present Constitution does not allow him to govern. Apparently- at this point- one may conclude that he hasn't the ability since he controls all the media, the executive and a grovelling rubberstamp parliament.

The public backlash brought people out on the streets Friday evening. Polls show Berlusconi's approval in the case at 32% while 61% agree with the Englaro family and 55% with President Napolitano.

In "Catholic" Italy over 60% disapprove of the Vatican's meddling in this case. This of course doesn't matter so long as it's not on prime time.

The next day Berlusconi (Saturday) ate his words and once again accused the opposition of misrepresenting what he had said. I suppose digital recordings also defy the laws of physics by systematically misrepresenting Berlusconi's words. Berlusconi has used the Englaro case to force discredit on institutions and the constitution with the unconditional backing of the Vatican State. At the same time he seeks to distract public opinion from his disastrous incompetence in affronting the economic crisis and his war against the judiciary, the only branch of government still fairly independent  despite a 14 year war of attrition.

As for Senate president Renato Schifani, one of Berlusconi's interchangeable toilet mats, he actually sought to discuss the bill in the Senate on Monday in the hope to see the bill made into law within three days. Gianfranco Fini however has scheduled discussion on Tuesday evening in the Chamber of Deputies. In the meantime the government is resorting to all possible means to intimidate if not outright seize the clinic where Eluana is recovered. Considering the incredible white mafia sanitation scandals in which the Berlusconi's party members and the Vatican are implicated, it's all the more macabre.

Here's the bill. One sentence. Three lines.

"In attesa dell'approvazione della completa e organica disciplina legislativa sul fine vita alimentazione e idratazione in quanto forme di sostegno vitale e fisologicamente finalizzate ad alleviare le sofferenze, non possono in alcun caso essere sospese da chi assiste soggetti non in grado di provvedere a se stessi".

Until the approval of a complete and organic law disciplining life's end, nutrition and hydration as forms of vital support and physiologically finalized to alleviate suffering, can in no way be suspended by persons assisting individuals who are incapacitated to provide for themselves.

Berlusconi also made crass remarks against Mr. Englaro accusing him of wanting to get rid of an inconvenient situation. He further remarked that Eluana could bear children and has a menstrual cycle.

While the Church thunders from pulpits in deserted churches throughout Italy against this "murder" or "execution" it is worth mentioning in conclusion that there is overriding evidence that John Paul II was therefore also "murdered." Despite anecdotal and pious indignation by sundry prelates or Fox anchormen, the hospital records concerning his final months show that he was deprived of artificial nutrition to the point of no return.

I logged on some information as this confrontation unfolded in Friday's open thread.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun Feb 8th, 2009 at 06:21:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
terry schiavo redux?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Feb 9th, 2009 at 04:03:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Schiavo family has jumped on board in this case with a letter from the father. However there is a difference established by three court sentences. In the Schiavo case it was the will of her husband as opposed to that of the family. According to news reports it was not a question of Terry's will or her possible biological testament.

In this case the courts- all the way to the highest courts- have accepted as true that Eluana had often voiced that she would not accept life-prolonging therapies were she to be in an irreversible coma. Therefore the courts have ruled that her will is to be executed.

The Englaro family has been conducting a legal battle since 1999 over the case and it is only in this last  minute dash that the government has cynically decided to exploit the case not only at the behest of the foreign Vatican state but for reasons that have nothing to do with the case. Further the Englaro family wrote letters to the highest political and institutional authorities four years ago beseeching them to make a law on biological testaments.

Berlusconi denied ever having received the letter. Today la Repubblica published the letter written four years ago to Mr. Berlusconi and then-President Ciampi. Ciampi answered the letter, Berlusconi ignored it.

The problem of biological testaments has been in public view for years. It is only now in a moment of maximum emotional tension does the government decide to exploit the case to its own ends.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon Feb 9th, 2009 at 04:45:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the chanting religio-zombies on the street praying for eluana's family's suffering to continue must be renouncing their own sovereignty over their life and demise, possibly ending up years in a vegetable, non-sentient state themselves.

why don't they see this?

or is it because fear of going to hell when they die has terrorised them into believing this way?

blinded them to seeing that hell, in this case is right here?

politicising schiavo proved to be a major, katrina-sized mistake for the right in the usa.

i saw a poll on rai last night that showed 88% of the italian public feel this case is being exploited politically, so the electorate is not fooled (much) by pious rhetoric.

ferragamo fascism.

the ass-backwardness here continues to leave me perplexed, we have the right wanting to downsize telephone tapping for anti-criminal police activity!

i think both sides want total surveillance, except the right wants privacy for itself.


eluana is just distraction-politics, don't look at the much worse stuff to be concerned about, think about poor eluana and the murdering state that wants to martyr her. rescue her from her heartless family, thank god for silvio, riding into the rescue!

eat that, sarko

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Feb 9th, 2009 at 05:07:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can you post this comment as a diary?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 9th, 2009 at 05:02:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]

diary please de G!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Feb 9th, 2009 at 05:08:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Will do so as soon as possible- without updates. I can update later.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon Feb 9th, 2009 at 06:33:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series