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Berlusconi: ‘The man who screwed an entire country’ 9, June 2011

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Random.
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…is the title of a recent Economist article eloquently dismembering what’s left of the reputation of Italy’s philandering joke of a leader. To wit:

 

the lurid saga of his “Bunga Bunga” sex parties, one of which has led to the unedifying spectacle of a prime minister being put on trial in Milan on charges of paying for sex with a minor. The Rubygate trial has besmirched not just Mr Berlusconi, but also his country.

his second failing: his financial shenanigans. Over the years, he has been tried more than a dozen times for fraud, false accounting or bribery. His defenders claim that he has never been convicted, but this is untrue. Several cases have seen convictions, only for them to be set aside because the convoluted proceedings led to trials being timed out by a statute of limitations—at least twice because Mr Berlusconi himself changed the law

[His] Worst [failure] by far has been a third defect: his total disregard for the economic condition of his country.

When Europe’s economies shrink, Italy’s shrinks more; when they grow, it grows less.

only Zimbabwe and Haiti had lower GDP growth than Italy in the decade to 2010. In fact GDP per head in Italy actually fell.

the public debt is still 120% of GDP, the rich world’s third-biggest. This is all the more worrying given the rapid ageing of Italy’s population.

A quarter of young people—far more in parts of the depressed south—are jobless. The female-participation rate in the workforce is 46%, the lowest in western Europe. A mix of low productivity and high wages is eroding competitiveness: whereas productivity rose by a fifth in America and a tenth in Britain in the decade to 2010, in Italy it fell by 5%. Italy comes 80th in the World Bank’s “Doing Business” index, below Belarus and Mongolia, and 48th in the World Economic Forum’s competitiveness rankings, behind Indonesia and Barbados.

‘Nuff said

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