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Italian State TV Journos Threaten to Resign Over Berlusconi Censorship

battleground tv | 16.02.2004 17:23 | Globalisation | Indymedia | Technology

Main journalists of Italian state TV threaten to resign over censorship and disinformation....

The situation around censorship has now became so unbearable that the news journalists of RAI (state television) will strike and have threatened to resign collectively.

2. The president of RAI has declared that public TV has become "the graveyard of professionalism". This statement followed the veto, by Berlusconi, of a prime-time news program which would have shown different points of view. Only journalists who support him would be approved.

3. RAI 3, the channel which shows more diverse news, has become the target of budget cuts and surprise inspections. The director of RAI 3 is being punished because he has allowed an interview with the director of "The Economist" which showed the shortcomings of Berlusconi.

4. RAI 1, the main Italian news, have been censoring declarations by the Italian president, by the President of the European Commission and by practically anyone who states that the present government is nothing but successful. When statements by the opposition are shown, they are cut so that they appear incomprehensible.

5. Lately, the General Prosecutor, Vincenzo Apicella, stated that the government's economic policies are a failure: unpaid taxes are pardoned, the Minister of the Economy abuses his powers with unbudgeted expenses and has increased in 50% the use of "consultants" without parliamentary control. None of this was reported.

6. To understand better what is going on in Italy, we must remember that Berlusconi "spiritual adviser", father Gianni Baget Bozzo, declared last week that Berlusconi has been "inspired by the Holy Ghost to fight the Communists". Commenting a speech by Berlusconi he then added: "(this speech) proves the great wisdom of our commander. He is our absolute leader".

7. Our readers who do not live in Italy may think that we exaggerate what is going on in that country. But the situation is extremely serious. In the eighties, Parliament discovered that a Masonic lodge, deviating from its purpose, was organizing the taking of power by elements of the extreme right. Berlusconi, the judges found out, was the holder of membership card 1816, about which he lied in court and was sentenced for perjury (the sentence was not carried out because of a general pardon). In 1993, Berlusconi's company, Fininvest, had debts equivalent to then 4.5 million million lire (roughly 2.5 billion euros). He and his closest managers would have probably been taken into custody, were it not for his decision to start a marketing company, Publitalia, which then turned into a political party, Forza Italia. Among Berlusconi's doings, we should remember that he eliminated the crime of false balance sheet reporting. Such is the person who is governing Italy.

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