Berlusconi unfit for office, says Antimafia Commission

Silvio Berlusoni in Turin with Alberto Cirio. Photo credit: Torino Corriere

ROME – Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been named by the parliamentary Antimafia Commission as one of five individuals who are not fit for election to the EU parliament, reported La Stampa.

 This came as the ex-Cavaliere went on the attack against both Five Star and the League, and urged moderates and those still to make up their minds to get out and vote in the upcoming European and local elections on Sunday.

 Nicola Morra, head of the bicameral commission which combats organised crime, named Berlusconi along with two others from Forza Italia, Giovanni Paolo Bernini and Salvatore Cicu. Emmanuela Florino, a CasaPound candidate, was also on his list of those who do not conform to the regulatory code for election because they have outstanding criminal allegations. He recommended people don't vote, either, for a fifth candidate, Pietro Tatarella of Forza Italia, because of his involvement in the Milan inquest into bribery.  

 Berlusconi is under investigation for bribing some 28 witnesses in the trial which overturned his 2010 conviction on charges of sex with a minor and malfeasance in office, when he was sentenced to seven years in prison. The inquiry was put on hold to allow Berlusconi to stand. He hit back at Morra, saying “No government did more against the mafia than mine did.”

 Berlusconi addressed voters at the launch of Alberto Cirio’s campaign in Piemonte: “Don’t stay at home, vote to take down the M5S bluff.” He also went on the offensive against Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, pointing out “he’s only passed two laws of the centre right.” The 82-year old was confident that the M5S movement would soon collapsed and there would be a return to normal politics.

 “There has been a period in which many Italians remained at home or preferred to experiment with new formulas, like M5S,” said the Milanese veteran, before linking the new political landscape more closely to his own career. “This happened when I was condemned on charges of fraud and they had expelled me from the Senate. But now Italians have understood that the new [party] is a bluff.”

  Berlusconi is running in the European elections “out of a sense of responsibility,” though he has in the past courted controversy on the European stage. In 2003, he suggested German MEP Martin Schultz, who later became president of the European parliament, should star as a Nazi concentration camp leader in a film.

  The 9th round of European elections, in which Italy elects 73 MEPS, is widely considered to be the most important in the EU’s history. The Democratic Party (PD) won the last election in 2014 with 29 MEPS, but this round of voting looks set to reflect the wave of right wing politics and populism which has since gripped Europe.

 In Italy, most polls predict a win for the League, whose slogan is “Italy First,” followed by M5S and PD, with Forza Italian trailing in fourth. Politico, an American news agency, makes its predictions by aggregating numerous polls. It projects 25 seats for the League, 19 for M5S and 18 for PD. Forza Italia are set to win 7, and Brothers of Italy just 4.

 Alliances within the European parliament, composed of 751 MEPS from across Europe, are complicated and shifting. However, M5S has stated its desire to for a new, anti-establishment faction within the EU. Salvini announced in April that he would form a new right-wing populist alliance called the European Alliance for People and Nations.