The Corner

When Italians Betray You

I loved this bit from yesterday’s NPR story on Berlosconi’s troubles:

Bookmakers have had a hard time figuring the odds of Berlusconi’s survival. A week ago, he was declared politically dead. But in the last few days, there have been numerous defections from the Berlusconi opposition in parliament.

At one press conference, a member of the opposition Italian Values Party — notoriously anti-Berlusconi — denounced two fellow party members who had just switched sides. “You are shameful,” he yelled at them. “How can you betray us just days before the confidence vote?”

The reasons given for switching sides? One said the party ignored him. The other claimed he could no longer remain in a party that does not grasp the value of acupuncture.

The media dubbed this “the cattle market,” and reports surfaced of some parliament members’ mortgages suddenly being paid off and offers of lucrative consultancies.

Rome magistrates opened an investigation into possible corruption. But Berlusconi dismissed the vote-buying rumors as indecent.

Frankly, that’s a better excuse than some of the nonsense I’ve heard from some of the No Labelers.

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