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March 1, 2013

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T THE ITALIAN-AMERICAN VOICE OF MASSACHUSETTS (Formerly LA GAZZETTA del MASSACHUSETTS) VOL. 117 - NO. 9 BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, MARCH 1, 2013 $.30 A COPY GRIDLOCK! Exasperated by Austerity Italians Elect a Parliament Charged with So Italy voted and made a mess ... again! This time, though, it is not only impact- ing the country but also stock markets around the world -- hit by the news of the Italian election results like a shock wave on Mon- day, scared to various de- grees of drops and plunges. It began with Wall Street, where the DOW had the low- est closing in four months (-216 points). Ripples followed through Asia and finished in Europe, with the Milan stock market losing a full five percent on Tuesday, right off the bat. The reason a national vote raised so much global concern can be found in the explosive com- bination of two worrisome keywords: gridlock and euro- skepticism. Let us start from gridlock -- Italian Style. Usually bad by definition, when it occurs in a so-called "parliamentary Anti-European Resentment and Bound to Stalemate Pierluigi Bersani democracy" -- where parlia- ment not only passes laws but rather chooses every- thing from the presidents of the two Chambers, to the cabinet of ministers all the way to the president of the Republic -- gridlock can be more paralyzing than in other variations, such as presidential democracies [like the US) or seml-presi- dential ones {llke France). This time, the gridlock is of the worst possible kind, as it involves three party coali- No Question that the Ft. Hood Attack was Terrorism Thanks recently to ABC News and Nightline, the the Obama Administration's position that the shooting at Ft. Hood was simply "workplace vio- lence" has been discredited and has negatively impacted the victims in the vicious attack. Thank you ABC for doing the right thing here. I guess the mainstream media isn't as far in the tank for Obama as I thought it was. Victims of the Ft. Hood shooting say they have been neglected by the military, betrayed" by the president and denied full benefits in the name of political cor- rectness. I listened and watched Kim Munley, one of the two police officers who confronted Ft. Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan when he shouted "Allahu Akbar" and opened fire on U.S. soldiers. Thirteen people died that day and thirty-two others shot in that November 5, 2009 rampage at that Army base in Texas. Munley was shot three times when she and her partner Sgt. Mark Todd confronted Hasan. Munley was down and Sergeant Todd fired back helping bring down Hasan. According to news sources, three years after getting a hero's welcome at the State of the Union Address, Munley says the presi- dent broke his promise that the victims would be taken care of. Looking back three years when she sat next to Michelle Obama during his address to (Continued on Page 14) by Stefano Salimbeni Silvio Berlusconi tions with almost equal weight and no declared in- tention of allying with each other to form a parliamen- tary majority (and a fourth one which has the intention - but not the seats). Basically, the Italian elec- tion boiled down to a four- horse race: the PD (the Democratic Party and its allies, the heavily favorite center left coalition headed by Pierluigi Bersani); the PDL (People of Liberty and its allies -- including the North- ern League, -- a center right coalition headed by billion- aire media mogul and four- times Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who in only two months of savvy campaign- ing managed to recover a huge portion of his lost con- sensus); the Movimento 5 Stelle (Five star movement, a populist, grass roots move- ment inclined to radical re- form and intending to "clean house," headed by former comedian Beppe Grillo); the Lista Monti (Monti list, a centrist moderate group sup- Giuseppe "Beppe" Grillo ported by economic elites and catholics headed by the current Prime Minister Mario Monti and aimed at continuing its pro-Europe fiscally responsible agenda). Then came the results: numbers no one dared fully forecast but many -- inside and out of Italy -- had feared. It was basically a tie be- tween the Bersani and Berlusconi coalitions, each with little more than 29 per- cent of the vote (with a tiny 0.4 percent edge for the former); a huge success for the Grillo Movement at over 25 percent and a just as big defeat for the Monti coa- lition, which barely made the minimum required number to have seats in both Houses with 10 percent of the vote. In fact the "impossible majority" concerns only the Senate, where seats (and bonus seats for winning par- ties) are awarded on a re- gional basis. In the House matters are simpler: with the current electoral system HOUSESEATS MONTI, 45 10.56% Mario Monti the winner really takes it all, as 55% of its seats (340) are automatically given to the one party or coalition which obtained more votes (even if the difference is just a hand- ful of votes- 120,000 in this case) so as to give that party a solid enough majority to rule. But it is not enough. In the Senate the winner of each region is awarded a num- ber of bonus seats, propor- tional to that region's popu- lation. Hence, as it hap- pened last Monday, if Italy's 20 regions are split between the two major parties, no one reaches the magic number of 158 Senators. And ff there is nobody else willing or able, or both, as is currently the case, to form a post elec- tion alliance, nothing gets done. Nothing To make matters worse, especially in the eyes of foreign governments and markets, is the fact that, although moving from very (Continued on Page 8) SENATE SEATS MONTI, 18 9.13% THE POST-GAZETTE SATELLITE OFFICE IS NOW OPEN AT 35 BENNINGTON STREET, EAST BOSTON This office is open on Tuesdays from 10:(X) AM to 3.'00 PM and Thursdays from II.'00 AM to 2.'00 PM, for the convenience of our East Boston and North Shore clients and contributors Call 617-227-8929 for more information