Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
by Fran on Sun May 10th, 2009 at 11:06:35 AM EST
Has Nicolas Sarkozy delivered? Two years on - Bruni, bling and barricades | World news | The Observer
Nicolas Sarkozy took office in May 2007 promising to transform France and restore its status as a great nation. Brash, confident and now married to one of the most glamorous woman in Europe, his presidency has not lacked drama. But approval ratings have plummeted, unemployment is rising and public sector workers are in revolt. Has Sarko really delivered?

A strange and somewhat surreal party took place last week on the Champs Elysées, on the pavement outside Le Fouquet's restaurant. Dressed in overcoats to ward off the unseasonal cold, the guests whistled loudly, held aloft a two-tier cake and sang a deliberately discordant rendition of "joyeux anniversaire".

Fond as he is of events held in his honour, Nicolas Sarkozy would not have enjoyed this one. The placards gave it away, particularly the one that read: "Sarkozy: a pandemic all by himself".

by Fran on Sun May 10th, 2009 at 11:12:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Papi Silvio 'to fix up' teen model as MP - Times Online
The girl at the centre of the Berlusconi divorce row claims the Italian prime minister will launch her into a career in politics

THE teenage lingerie model whose birthday party appears to have precipitated the divorce of Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, has said she wants to stand for parliament.

"Papi [Daddy] Silvio will fix it," declared Noemi Letizia, in an interview with an Italian newspaper.

Veronica Lario, 52, the prime minister's wife, complained publicly about his appearance at Letizia's 18th birthday celebrations before announcing last week she was divorcing him after 19 years of marriage.

[Murdoch Alert]
by Fran on Sun May 10th, 2009 at 11:12:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At least Murdoch got it better than the Times yesterday (which was incidently a good article).

Noemi's full declaration can be found here. The bottom line is still: What was the Council President doing with a minor after hours for so many years? What is the role of Noemi's father, a "friend" out of nowhere with a murky past?

As any commentator might hazard, why not simply offer Noemi or her father a substantial sum to go public (more than Berlusconi is willing to pay) as any newspaper elsewhere in the world would do? How much is Playboy willing to offer for a spread?

[Another sign that Italy is an upsidedown nation: Murdoch represents the free press against the Berlusconi media empire.]

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun May 10th, 2009 at 02:47:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually this article is thorough, too. It is standard anglo-saxon fair. Behind it we might make note that the Berlusconi government has been hostile to the Italian Murdoch media. Articles in the Times will get back at Berlusconi far more than local coverage on Sky.

Beyond this local reality, the Times is doing a job that the Italian media avoids doing.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon May 11th, 2009 at 01:46:59 AM EST
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Papi Silvio 'to fix up' teen model as MP - Times Online

... According to Berlusconi, he was invited to the party by Letizia's father to discuss the European elections. "We're family friends and I went to celebrate a girl's 18th birthday. Where's the harm in that? If I didn't do these things, I wouldn't be me," he said.

Most Italians seem to agree. A poll last week found that he enjoyed unwavering support of 66%, making him one of Europe's most popular leaders. ...

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Sun May 10th, 2009 at 10:36:21 PM EST
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This is an IPF poll which is done according to international standards. So it is as reported. Berlusconi's polls put him at 75%.

I have yet to meet anyone who approves of Berlusconi, but that may be the Roman mentality. I suspect that these figures are heavily loaded by the South and the racist North that widely approves Berlusconi's reactionary policies.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon May 11th, 2009 at 01:51:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
1.    Vladimir Putin sings patriotic duet with schoolgirl - Telegraph
Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, struck a rare false note yesterday when he attempted to sing a patriotic love duet with a pigtailed schoolgirl.

Normally a man of prodigious talent, equally adept at handling a rifle or a paintbrush as he is an opponent on the judo mat, the ex-KGB spy fell curiously flat when he turned his efforts to song.

Providing the Russian people with a rare glimpse of his compassionate side, the former KGB spy came to the assistance of a crestfallen pupil at a Moscow boarding school after she stumbled during the performance of a famous wartime song.

by Fran on Sun May 10th, 2009 at 11:13:47 AM EST
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