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My two cents.

When, in 1976 Italy startled Europe with the introduction of private television, commentators called it a revolution not evolution: A typical Italian chaotic mess, they said.

When, in 1992 Italy startled Europe with the introduction of political and financial cleansing from corruption, commentators called it a "velvet revolution," and an "ugly one" to boot. Business Week even compared it to the Yugoslavian predicament: "Yugoslavia is the plague outside the [European] borders -- while Italy is the cancer within."

Granted, the Business Week reporter did not understand the subject, but even then, in 1976, reporters fully missed the mark. They came and saw chicken-wire transmitting antennas and laundry line-style of coaxial cable cascading from roofs and dismissed the whole independent TV process.

Now, reporters are seeing corrupt politicians in jail and crooked businessmen suicides and, once again, are missing the mark. "They are also viewed as warning signals that Italy could return to the dark days of terrorism in the 1970's," warned Business Week.

Firstly, the "dark days of terrorism," occurred precisely because of political corruption. Most of the bombs that rocked Italy were never traced to anyone. A clear signal that government's covert agents working for political bosses were involved.

Secondly, this "velvet revolution" is bound to spread into other European countries, if not Asia (i.e., Japan), just the way it happened for private television. What is not understood is that a large part of the high-flying Italian politicians and businesspeople were living the good life at the State's expense. When politicians got kickbacks for allowing a company with only $400 million in assets to borrow $19 billion from State banks, the whole country lost.

When politicians approved tax laws, broadcast rules and financial loopholes to enrich themselves and a few trusted businesspeople, the whole country suffered.

When hospitals and schools took 20 years to complete because of fund shortages after each kickback to politicians, the Italian people lost twice.

When a prime minister cohorted with mafia associates, the whole Italian society lost out. So, how can anyone call this political and economic cleansing a "cancer" is beyond me! In my view Italy is, once again, in the forefront of a political, social and business 'renaissance.'

Like the television "revolution" of the '70s, the new Italian social order of the '90s will benefit all of Europe, if not the world.
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Title Annotation:Italy's political and economic "cleansing"
Author:Serafini, Dom
Publication:Video Age International
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Sep 1, 1993
Previous Article:Censorship, copyrights and constraints.
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