Who is Lorenzo Cesa, the honorable member who proposed “the parliamentary allowance against temptations”

He considers himself “totally unrelated” to the allegations. But, immediately after seeing the men of the Catanzaro District Anti-Mafia Directorate swoop into the house, Lorenzo Cesa he resigned as UDC secretary. Present until yesterday at the top of the center-right, the former parliamentarian now under investigation for external competition in the mafia association abandons the leadership of the party after 15 years at the helm.

While waiting to be heard by the Calabrian prosecutor and try to clarify his position, for Cesa there is only one certainty: he will not be able to resort to parliamentary immunity. The recent history of the politician born in Arcinazzo Romano 69 years ago is in fact dotted with unsuccessful candidacies: European parliamentarian until 2006, honorable in Italy until 2014 and then again MEP, Lorenzo Cesa stopped in 2018. But not before having proposed among the criticisms (after that Cosimo Mele, UDC deputy, ended up involved in a history of prostitution) the institution of a parliamentary allowance “against temptation”. A financial contribution to allow parliamentarians to move their wife and children to the capital.

Blitz in Calabria against the ‘Ndrangheta, the UDC Cesa house was searched, which resigns

by Alessia Candito

Returning to the polls, here are the débâcle. At the 2018 Politics, Cesa is one of the unelected candidates of the Nola college. In 2019 comes the second consecutive blow. At the European Union the UDC finds an agreement with Silvio Berlusconi, but his secretary, in the face of 42,229 preferences, will be the first of the non-elected.

Another story is that of the career within the party. In 2005 he obtained the leadership of the UDC succeeding Marco Follini, which celebrates his election unanimously calling him an “extraordinary human and political figure”. Cesa replies by labeling itself as “a transitional secretary”. The rest is news: he will remain in place until dawn on January 21, 2021, until his apartment in Rome is searched.

Not a first fruit. In 1992 the first investigation for abuse of office in the Municipality of Rome, when it ended up under investigation, only to be acquitted, with the then mayor Franco Carraro for a loan of 90 billion euros for the census of the capital’s real estate assets. In 1993, then, Cesa was accused of extortion: according to the prosecutor of Rome, he had collected a bribe on behalf of the then Minister of Public Works and president of Anas, Giovanni Prandini. After two days on the run, the prison. Confirmed the fact in the courtroom, Cesa however declared himself a stranger: confessed to the “political counterparts”, he repeatedly declared that the money was not intended for him. The first instance sentence of 3 years and 3 months for aggravated corruption was canceled on appeal for incompatibility: the Court of Ministers could deal with Prandini and not with Cesa. Berlusconi’s changes to the legislation put the case into statute of limitations.

Another investigation and another filing between 2006 and 2011. The prosecutor of Catanzaro accuses Cesa of having set up a 5 billion lire scam of European funds together with the executive Anas Giovambattista Papello it’s at Fabio Schettini, head secretariat of the then European Commissioner Franco Frattini. In 2010, the investigating judge seized assets of one billion lire from Cesa. Then the turnaround: for the judge, “the elements against him, while having the quality of clues, do not rise to the rank of gravity, precision and concordance such as to prove his possible involvement in the facts of the indictment and thus making it unfortunate the prognosis of sentencing in a possible trial venue “. Now below with the fourth investigation.


The man who wants to save Conte

SFor decades, Clemente Mastella has always been there when you need him in Italian politics. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte currently needs all the support he needs to survive the government crisis in Rome. And Clemente Mastella, now 73 years old and mayor of Benevento near Naples since 2016, is happy to be there for him. Mastella does not currently have a seat in parliament herself, but his wife Sandra Lonardo has been a senator since 2018.

Matthias Rüb

Political correspondent for Italy, the Vatican, Albania and Malta, based in Rome.

And in the smaller parliamentary chamber, where the ailing Prime Minister asked the vote of confidence on Tuesday, the majority situation for Conte is even more uncertain than in the House of Representatives since the left-wing liberal small party Italia Viva of former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi withdrew from the coalition last Wednesday.

Mastella is the epitome of the “voltagabbana”, the “coat changer”, as they are used to call political defectors in Italy. He has belonged to nearly a dozen different parties or political alliances, some of which he founded himself.

“How Italy’s politicians became untouchable”

In the bestseller “La Casta” (The Caste), published in 2007, two journalists from the newspaper “Corriere della Sera” described “how Italy’s politicians became untouchable” (the subtitle of the book). Mastella plays a leading role in it. Mastella began his career after studying philosophy as a journalist at the public broadcaster Rai, where he was directed in a senior position by party friends of the Democrazia Cristiana (DC). In 1976 he made the leap into the Chamber of Deputies for the DC.

He stayed there until 2006, then in the Senate for two more years. After the dissolution of the DC in 1994, Mastella belonged to various successor parties to the Christian Democrats, now right and now left of the political center. In the first cabinet of the Conservative Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Mastella was Labor Minister from 1994 to 1995.

From 2006 to 2008, Mastella was then, after a few more party political skins, Minister of Justice in the cabinet of the Social Democrat Romano Prodi. The feat of belonging to the governments of the two political archenemies of Italian politics of the past decades could only be accomplished by Mastella. In addition to his duties in parliament and government, Mastella found time to serve several times as mayor of his home town of Ceppaloni in Campania and to defend himself against all kinds of charges in court on allegations of corruption and ties to the Mafia.

An alliance called “Better Us”

In the European Parliament from 2009 to 2014 Mastella was remembered as one of the most reliable truants. He found that the daily rates and allowances granted in Strasbourg were pathetic compared to what he was used to as a parliamentarian in Rome. Mastella currently only commands one regional party in Campania. But he literally knows everyone in political Rome.

He is a regular in the capital, and likes to accompany his wife – a senator without party affiliation – to the session weeks. Mastella has offered his support to the counted Prime Minister Conte: In order to replace the missing votes of Renzis Italia Viva in the Chamber of Deputies and especially in the Senate, he could forge an informal alliance from the group of non-attached elected representatives in both houses of parliament, which would create a new cabinet Conte guarantee safe majorities. Mastella has already come up with a name for the alliance: “Meglio noi” (Better us).

So far, the experienced majority procurer Mastella has apparently only made slow progress in forging alliances for Conte – and thus also for himself. Usually such negotiations are conducted over the phone or in some other confidential manner, in back rooms in parliament or in coffee bars not far from Palazzo Montecitorio and Palazzo Madama, where the House of Representatives and the Senate are located. Several candidates, whom Mastella had approached under the seal of secrecy, made the unambiguous offers public – and turned them down.

Conte waves it away

Regardless of these setbacks, Mastella continued to be confident on Monday, especially as there were enough votes for Conte in the Senate – in any case, Conte can rely on Mastella’s wife Sandra Lonardo. The most likely scenario is that Conte will get the required simple majority of 149 votes in Tuesday’s vote of confidence.

Because the 18 senators from Italia Viva will abstain, according to Renzi, if Conte asks the vote of confidence in the smaller chamber. This reduces the threshold of votes required for a simple majority to 149. According to media reports, Conte is still at least four votes short of an absolute majority of 161 of the total of 320 votes in the Senate, which is required for relevant legislative proposals. Mastella wants to remain helpful in Rome, although he receives signals from Prime Minister Conte that they do not want his support. Conversely, Mastella seems to need help himself: He wants to apply for a second term in Benevento this year, but has not yet been able to forge an electoral alliance.


Italy’s Prime Minister Conte must avoid new elections

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte

If the non-party Conte wants to prevent new elections, he must quickly find new supporters in parliament. Italia Viva provides 25 of the 630 parliamentarians in the lower house and 18 of the 315 senators.

(Photo: Reuters)

Rom Matteo Renzi has to endure a lot of malice on Twitter. Under the hashtag #Renzivergogna (in German: Renzi Schande), the 46-year-old is shown either as a riot in the US Capitol or as a baby with building blocks – which are not from Lego, but from “L’ego” – Italian for “the ego “.

The former prime minister has dominated Italian politics for weeks: with threats, ultimatums and personal attacks on his successor Giuseppe Conte. It is still a mystery what the leader of the dwarf party Italia Viva actually wants. What is clear is only what he does not want: to continue to support the current government. On Wednesday evening, Renzi dropped his political bomb – and withdrew his two ministers from the cabinet after the dispute over EU aid. In the middle of the health crisis, which has already caused almost 80,000 corona deaths, Renzi is now giving the country a political one.

The current situation is difficult to convey to the Italian people. According to a survey by the polling institute Ipsos, 46 percent of citizens do not understand the government crisis. 73 percent of those surveyed believe that Renzi is only pursuing his personal interests – or those of his party. Just 13 percent think that the ex-prime minister is acting in the interests of the country.

The senator from Florence was right in his criticism of the content: Italy’s first draft for the EU reconstruction fund was not very ambitious, included too many old projects, and had no clear focus on investments. The new version that the cabinet decided after Renzi’s Christmas threats is definitely the better one. Renzi could have booked that as a success. But he bit into the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the billions of which he wanted to tap for the health system. It was clear from the start that the co-governing five-star movement would not move away from its no to the ESM.

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Right block at 46 percent

Prime Minister Conte now has to find a new majority in both chambers of parliament. Even if there are MPs there who do not belong to any parliamentary group, some opposition politicians are likely to be needed for an “alliance of those responsible”. Alternatively, there is already speculation about a non-partisan government of experts, which President Sergio Mattarella could convene.

If none of these scenarios work, the country would face new elections. The opposition is already scratching its feet. According to a survey on Monday, which the TV broadcaster “La7” commissioned, the right-wing populist Lega around former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini would be the strongest force in parliament with 23 percent. Even the right-wing national Fratelli d’Italia would get 17 percent more votes than the five-star rating. In addition, there would be around six percent of Silvio Berlusconi’s conservative Forza Italia. With a total of 46 percent, the way is not far to a right-wing majority.

That would not be good news for Europe and the world. Under Conte, the country has shown itself to be a reliable partner. The non-party lawyer appeared as a persistent negotiator vis-à-vis Brussels, especially in the dispute over the Corona development fund. Nevertheless, he was always pro-European, emphasizing several times that Europe owed the historic opportunity to be able to redesign the country with the many billions.

In the right-wing bloc, on the other hand, there are EU skeptics like Salvini, who has already proclaimed the “Italexit” based on the British model and railed against migrants, plus a party leader in Fratelli leader Giorgia Meloni who has never officially distanced herself from fascism. The ray of hope in this trio would then actually be an 84-year-old political warrior whose party demands more political competencies for Europe and works with the CDU in the EU Parliament: Silvio Berlusconi.

More: Matteo Renzi’s party withdraws from the government. Why the center-left coalition broke up.


Berlusconi and Trump – a phenomenon: the Trumpusconi myth

President Trump could soon be history. But not Trumpism. The example of its most famous political predecessor teaches us this.

Football fans with Trumpusconi masks in Moscow in August 2019 Photo: Pius Koller / imago

I can still remember that morning very well. I woke up, turned on the TV and found that, contrary to all expectations, a loudmouthed, politically inexperienced, yet very bold ex-real estate mogul with a pronounced media presence (and an equally pronounced contempt for women) had suddenly become an important decision maker in world politics. I was speechless. How could that happen? I wondered. How could we not stop – or at least foresee – the rise of this bizarre joke with its dubious acquaintances and adventurous affairs? But I couldn’t ponder it for long. I had to go to school. I was 15 and still lived in Italy. It was 1994. And the face that smiled at me from every screen was that of Silvio Berlusconi.

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Many Italians remembered the day Donald Trump performed in front of a cheering crowd at the Manhattan Hilton in 2016. “I’ve been an entrepreneur all my life,” said the newly crowned candidate – and seemed to be quoting Berlusconi’s words in his first victory speech in 1994.

The similarities between the two characters are striking. Like the Italian media entrepreneur, Trump is a political outsider. And just like Berlusconi, he knew how to use this role skillfully. Both Berlusconi and Trump have claimed they entered the political battlefield to fight the corrupt elite. Therefore, they would be persecuted mercilessly – by political opponents, judges, the FBI, the “Deep State”. In their self-narration, they seem like a kind of messiah.

And like any good Messiah, both leaders heralded the dawn of a new era in which the complex dynamics and rituals of representative democracy would be a thing of the past; a time in which there are no longer any politicians or voters, only the leader and his people.

In a democracy you have to be able to negotiate and find compromises. But not in the “Trumpusconi” democracy. This is primarily a competition. It is not for nothing that both of them like to use metaphors from sports (preferably football or golf): There are winners and there are losers. And they win. Always.

Indeed, Trumpusconi seems to be enveloped in an aura of invincibility. Ordinary politicians can rise and fall, they can embarrass themselves, fail – and, if necessary, withdraw into management consulting. But not Trumpusconi. He can be involved in more than 30 legal proceedings. He may be at the center of an FBI investigation and face impeachment. In the end, he still stands there with a big smile – and stable polls.

Berlusconi is stuck in the role of the supporting actor. But “Berlusconism” is more alive than ever

Trumpusconi seems invulnerable. The Italian and US media independently gave the former head of government and the current US president the same nickname: Berlusconi was the “Teflon knight”, Trump is the “Teflon president”. Scandals, embarrassments, blatant failures: everything rolls off them.

Well, not everything. Nine years ago, the “Teflon Knight” appeared for the last time as head of government in front of the cameras to announce his resignation. What neither the opposition nor the judges did, the financial crisis did. This shows that like all mythical heroes, Trumpusconi is at least vulnerable in one place. It’s not the heel and neither is the shoulder. No. Trumpusconi is only vulnerable if he is not the focus of the reporting, but instead has to watch as a supporting actor as a crisis unfolds around him over which he has no control – be it the euro crisis or the corona crisis.

That would suggest that Trump will soon lose his Teflon layer too. But if there is one thing we can learn from Berlusconi’s story, it is that the populist leader is always strongest when he is underestimated. Before he had to abdicate for the last time in 2011, the “Teflon Knight” was declared “finito” several times by the media – for the first time when his first government collapsed after less than nine months. Five years later he celebrated an even bigger election victory. Then again in 2006 when Romano Prodi beat him for the second time. Two years later he was back in power.

What is Berlusconi’s secret? The star political scientist Giovanni Sartori has dealt intensively with this question in the last years of his life. Even before he began his political career, wrote Sartori, the media mogul and political entertainer managed to turn an audience into an electorate that shares his aversion to the state, the laws and the rules of political fair play.

This electorate then made itself independent of the Leader. It initially supported the rise of the new anti-establishment “five star movement” and later celebrated the success of the right wing national populist Matteo Salvini. For several years now, Berlusconi has been stuck in the hated role of the supporting actor. Nevertheless: “Berlusconism” is more alive than ever.

This is probably the most important lesson we can learn from the Trumpusconi myth. It is impossible to predict what will happen if Donald Trump is voted out. Regardless of this, “Trumpism” will live on. The strong polarization of society, the hatred, the racism, the armed militias and right-wing extremist groups: all these things will not go away. They will have a lasting impact on society. Until the next Trumpusconi.


The Trumpolini effect

Trump embodies the same type of leader as Benito Mussolini. Says Ruth Ben-Ghiat. She researches what excessive consumption of women means for the “strong man”. A conversation about why guys like that hate Merkel – and about an election where anything is still possible. .

“He no longer answers the phone”, the junta case breaks out in Liguria – Libero Quotidiano

From the French Riviera they say that Silvio Berlusconi I am deeply disappointed by what has happened in the past few hours in Liguria, where Forza Italia was not included in the new regional council. “I am very angry with Giovanni Toti – are the words of the Cav reported by The Corriere della Sera – I called him and left several messages but he doesn’t answer me anymore“. Also Matteo Salvini e Giorgia Meloni they have been reached by the echo of this ongoing clash, but rightly they keep a safe distance from it not being directly involved.

The facts are these: Berlusconi became the protagonist of a suffocating pressing on Toti, who offered Fi the possibility of joining the only elected blue on condition that the latter, like the other councilors, left his place in regional council: the refusal of the person concerned arrived, the governor of Liguria rejected the request of the Berlusconians to indicate one of Fi as external assessor. “It is true that I have stopped answering his phone calls – Toti confessed to his collaborators – but I guarantee you that on my part there is no element of revenge. It’s politics, that’s all “. Understandable, as is the discontent of Cav which is seen thrown out by both the junta of Liguria and that of the Veneto.

A low blow and a betrayal.  Toti stabs Berlusconi, Senaldi merciless: with closed seats, perfect timing


Toti excludes Forza Italia. Thus unleashes the fury of Berlusconi – Time

They say that Silvio Berlusconi has taken very badly the exclusion of Forza Italia from the new council of Liguria. So much so that, 24 hours after the ouster, the Cav would return to talk about it with those who had the opportunity to hear him to reiterate all his bitterness towards the former pupil Giovanni Toti. The leader of Fi would not have understood the rationale of the choice not to leave any councilor in the blue party which has the flavor of a personal rudeness with inevitable consequences at national level. If Toti aspired to be the leader of the moderates, what he has made is certainly not a moderate choice, Berlusconi would have commented, according to what Adnkronos has learned.

The Cav would also have been annoyed by some sentences of the governor reported by the press, in particular the one about a Forza Italia now at the terminus. A politician who has ambitions as a national leader does not get into a local quarrel, would have been the reasoning of the former premier, who was disappointed after spending himself in the electoral campaign for the re-election of the former national force coordinator. In an increasingly confused FI with an uncertain future, the Ligurian case is read by some parliamentarians as a “declaration of war” that risks leading straight to a split, involving deputies and senators who are unhappy with the current management of the party, starting with those close to Mara Carfagna, who look favorably on Toti’s goal of building a new “container”, which goes beyond Fi and joins forces with Lega and Fdi to return to Palazzo Chigi with another format. They say, at least as reported by blue parliamentary sources, that Toti acted in total autonomy, without even listening to Matteo Salvini, who, in agreement with Giorgia Meloni, would have asked him not to “cut” Fi from the game of the Ligurian departments.


Striscia la Notizia, “Silvio Berlusconi’s double has been found. He is identical. Everyone knows he’s a pig … linen” – Libero Quotidiano

Strip the News found the double of Silvio Berlusconi. The satirical news of Canale 5 found a statuette from a pre-Columbian museum in Mexico: “But it is identical to the hottest politician in the Italian scene – comments the report Salvatore Ficarra -. And in fact, since the statue is prior to 1492, it could easily represent Silvio as a young man. “But the sarcasm does not end there because the conductor continues:” Even if the former president does not seem to have Aztec ancestry, everyone knows that he is un maia … flax. “Then the photos of the leader of Forza Italia and his double are juxtaposed and some resemblance can actually be found.

Naples, public transport at the time of the coronavirus?  Gruesome conditions, here are the pictures


Silvio Berlusconi remembers Jole Santelli: “She was a sincere friend, she was not afraid of anything”

“This morning I learned of the tragic disappearance with deep consternation.” So Silvio Berlusconi recalls the president of the Calabria region Jole Santelli, who disappeared yesterday.

Berlusconi a “Straight and Back” he wanted to honor her memory: “She knew how to put intelligence and culture into political commitment – she says – She was a sincere friend, she was afraid of nothing. She faced difficult battles, including the one that led her to the presidency of the region Calabria. Jole represented the redemption of a land. To her loved ones and her sisters I express my deepest and deepest condolences, their pain is also my pain. Hi Jole, we will miss you very much “.


“Hi Jole, we’ll miss you”, broken vote – Libero Quotidiano

“Hi Jole, we will miss you very much”. Silvio Berlusconi, on the phone with Paolo Del Debbio a Front and back, he is moved to remember Jole Santelli, the governor of Calabria who died at the age of 51 after a long battle against a tumor. “Jole has been with me from the start in Come on Italy, 25 years ago. This morning I learned the news of his passing with a deep consternation, no words are adequate to express the pain I felt “.

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“It leaves an unbridgeable void in our souls – explains the blue leader and former premier, with the voice broken by emotion -, she was a sincere, intelligent, loyal friend. She was a passionate woman and tenacious fighter, she was close to me in the most difficult moments, she was not afraid of anything. Neither sickness nor suffering. It represented the redemption of his land, the idea of ​​a South that has in itself the strength to be the protagonist of the future. “And also Del Debbio, dismissing Berlusconi, is visibly excited.