September 15, 2011

Berlusconi's wiretap scandal spinning out of control

There is a major event unfolding in Italy which could have huge ramifications and damage the country at a critical moment in its history. What started as another sex scandal involving Prime Minister Berlusconi is getting completely out of control and risking to escalate to a major diplomatic incident if not worst.

From The Guardian:

Police this month arrested the alleged purveyor of women for Berlusconi's parties, Giampaolo Tarantini, and his wife, on suspicion of blackmailing the prime minister through an intermediary.

The prosecutors believe more than €500,000 (£438,000) was handed over.
According to leaked wiretap transcripts published on Thursday, after it was reported that an investigation had been launched, Berlusconi told the intermediary he should stay abroad. He reportedly added: "I will of course exonerate everyone."
Prosecutors in Naples have said they believe the money was paid to prevent Tarantini contradicting the prime minister's insistence that he was unaware the women, some of whom spent the night, were paid.
The prosecutors want to question Berlusconi, but he has avoided an encounter. This week they announced that, if he continued dodging them, they would ask a judge to order the police to bring him in.
Furthermore today's International newspapers got their hands on wiretaps of Berlusconi's conversations. We do not know yet the full content but it must be atomic material since Berlusconi today in the midst of a major economic crisis found time to try and pass a law banning wiretaps, after a rejection in the Parliament he rushed to visit the Italian President asking or rather begging to sign into law an emergency decree blocking wiretaps.
The Italian President diplomatically refused to sign and invited Berlusconi to be questioned by judges to avoid further turmoil in the country.
Berlusconi insisted in return to at least stop the wiretaps involving comments on foreign leaders and mentioned that if they will come out on the press they will destroy not only him and his government but will destroy Italy as well.
Few hours later the first wiretap has been published by major newspapers all over the world and read as such:

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi reportedly called German Chancellor Angela Merkel "culona inchiavabile" during a July phone conversation with an Italian journalist that was recorded by investigators. According to The Daily Mail the phrase roughly translates to "unfuckable lardarse." The comments were recorded during an investigation into an extortion plot against the Italian prime minister. In the same call, he also described Italy as a "shitty" country.

It appears this could be just the starter of a wave of revelations that risk toppling down Berlusconi's government.
There are over 1000 wire taps and most of them probably leaked to newspapers where it seems there is trash on everyone, how many of them at one stage or the other will be published it remains to be seen.

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