by de Gondi
Sat Jul 29th, 2006 at 07:40:23 PM EST
Italy is a catholic nation. This evening Italy once again pranced around as a catholic republic. Certainly not the religious sentiment that so many justly harbour, but that limited and antisocial solidarity that scoundrels flaunt at the county fair or in church jamborees under the guise of humility and charity.
Mister Clemente Mastella, Prodi's so-called Minister of Justice, saw his act of clemency, or shall we say plenary indulgence, pass the Senate with 545 votes against 56 and become law. Mister Mastella immediately made it known that he dedicated this act of republican faith to the late Pope John Paul II who for reasons of his own felt compassion for those in prison.
Mister Mastella and the coalition he represents apparently feel that a little bit of one-upmanship wouldn't spoil things. Realpolitik.
Freeing over one third of the prison population is a noble jest, nearly 13000 prisoners on a total population of over 35000. Prisons in Italy are archaic and densely populated. So Mister Mastella, as his racist Druid predecessor, saw fit to propose a compassionate law, but with a touch of overkill.
Why bother justly liberating 13000 prisoners if you can't throw in a de facto amnesty for all the white collar crimes perpetrated up to May 2006? After all, with such a noble jest, Saint Silvio of Arcore and his court, need no longer worry about many future legal vexations. To hell, Mister Mastella, with the tens of thousands of citizens who have lost their savings in the Parmalat scandal. Or all of those who have stupidly paid taxes in the stead of scoundrels. Or we, the state, who must pay damages.
Mister Prodi's coalition has turned a blind eye to evidence. Had the indulgence been made for but a year discounted, nearly 12000 prisoners would have been released without a grave weight on those social structures that help the social and economic reinsertion of delinquents. By magnanimously voting a full three years of indulgence, our sovereign Parliament, in a rare expression of antisocial solidarity, has freed the half dozen criminals actually serving time for white collar crime. And seen to it that the criminal elite that never saw verticals in their life can continue as before, ever mindful that impunity is the norm in Italy.
Mister Prodi has offered a God-send to Mister Berlusconi.
Mister Prodi is also aware that in politics there is no such thing as gratitude.
You've paid the tiller, Mister Prodi, but as far as a large part of your constituency is concerned, you're on probation.
The actual prison population in Italy is about 61000, not 35000.