Every day throughout the past few months I felt being constantly, and systematically, bombarded by a single and monotonously repeated word, shelling my six senses from all over the European and International press, newspapers, TV nets, over the Triple Ws “Global Information Free Highway” commonly known as the Web, at the news-stand where I buy the newspaper and in the cafeteria while having my morning coffee and croissant.. Every single day’s morning, noon, afternoon and night. A word that an old common mortal simple man like me always thought it had only one use to define two very similar human physical exercises: “Sex” and “Gymnastics”.. Spread!!
It never crossed my mind that it could be used in the meticulously encrypted jargon used by that mysteriously dark world of international economy and finance.. Spread.. What a suggestive term.
Anyhow.. I discovered that as the economic crisis is seriously jeopardising the entire European Continent’s ambitious project for its complete unity, it has been decided to set a standard by which to measure every country’s economic and financial credibility. The standard was almost imposed by the European Central Bank, I say almost because the suggestion came as a whisper from the Federal Reserve conveyed through its loyal emissary the International Monetary Fund!
In very simple words the norm imposes the ECB to compare, on daily basis and on every financial market, each member’s national bonds value compared to those of the mighty German Bonds. So that the figure expressing that comparison’s variations, positive or negative it may result, will be preceded in every communiqué, memorandum and correspondence by the term “SPREAD”.
You know that I live in Italy. A beautiful country that is being defeated and suppressed by its own cultural and social contradictions.. A country that the notoriously acclaimed journalist like Marco Travaglio described as: “.. has a Senate President (Schifani) investigated for Mafia connection; was governed seven times by a friend of the Mafia (Andreotti); one time by a corrupt Prime Minister (Craxi), and three times by an accused, investigated and under trials for a long list of offenses corruption, false accounting , tax evasion, bribing, whore-mongering and induction to prostitution, bid rigging, receiving stolen material, extortion, office and power abuse (Berlusconi)”. A country says Travaglio “.. with a Parliament of over 100 between condemned, investigated, prejudiced Honourables, sentenced definitively or plea bargained their term”.
The problem is that none of those individuals had the decency to resign.. On the contrary, they ‘all’ seek permanence in function using various practices like: extorting laws and decrees in change for electorate vote guarantees, selling their own votes inside the parliament to pass certain laws favouring colleagues, using friendly newspapers and journalists to convince the public that “.. it’s not important if a politician or a public figure is dishonest, it is most important that he’s competent to get the job done”!!!???
Travaglio reveals, in his valuable review of the last 20 years of Republican Governance, that “having such a corrupt élite practicing corruption as a norm for rule, inevitably resulted in decuplicating (multiplied ten folds) the deficit from 6 billion in 1992 to over 60 billion in 2011, adding the estimated tax evasion of 120 billion, one can have an idea of the enormity of the corruption consequences.. Due to such an ever ‘normalised’ practices of corruption, the average cost of one kilometre of street paving have exceeded four times its equivalent in France, England or Germany; and over six timed its equivalent in the northern countries; that’s why Italy has one quarter of the average European infra-structure..” !
Now my friends, I want to observe the scene of the German President Wulff resigning his office after the revelation of having acquired a loan from a friend at only 4% interest rate, which is lesser than bank interest rates; he announced that he is resigning “to be tried before the law, as such is incompatible with performing his functions and would prevent performing adequately his office tasks”.. He didn’t hold to a constitutional immunity, didn’t induce the parliament to cook a special law for him, and did not even issue a presidential decree to maintain his throne. Even the German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared to the people in Parliament: “.. The President cannot serve the people anymore”.
I believe that precisely this constitutes the real “Spread”.. The moral and ethical spread.. And the financial spread is just its logic and inevitable consequence. There is no way that some mercenary pen would say “they all do so, they are all the same” to make us accept an anomaly, or would simply say that “there is no ethics in politics” just to keep us away from the political arena and lead us to abandon our primary role: “to watch over every public servant’s behaviour and overall performance in order to better evaluate where and to whom our vote will go in any election act”. Because any public service is performed according to an ethically formulated social contract, and any type of deviation from its charter would mean a violation of the terms and automatically would entail the immediate breach of the contract.
If you look into the “2012 Index of Economic Freedom”, an annual publication by “The Heritage Foundation” in association with the “Wall Street Journal”, measuring the economic and financial independence of 183 countries of our world; and under the title “Mostly Unfree” you’ll find Italy listed at the 92nd position, and Egypt at the 100th.. While countries like Bahrain and Qatar are ranked 12th and 25th respectively under “Mostly Free” together with Canada, USA, UK, Japan and Germany!
Among the major factors dictating the outcome of the study are: Political Incompetence, Bureaucracy and Corruption.
In that context I will quote parts of my own article posted this past January and entitled: “The Master Sail for a safe navigation”.
>>>>> Quote <<<<<
>>>>> Unquote <<<<<
One more consideration to add in order to underline another variation of “Spread”.. A Democratic one.. Because no matter to what extent corruption has infected the Italian Institutions and public life, through Free Masons and White Collars Mafia infiltrations; still the Italian Jurisdictional System along with very few conscious intellectuals never lost hope and are continuing to fight a fierce battle to expose the phenomena and bring offenders to justice. I can’t a more explicit example than the daily commitment to such endeavour by figures like:
1) Antonio Di Pietro whom first as a Public Prosecutor investigated and brought to justice over 900 public figures to start the outbreak of what the press calls “Il Caso Mani-Pulite” meaning the Clean Hands Case, which forced the Prime Minister Bettino Craxi to escape and seek self exile in the seaside town of Hammamet in Tunisia after being sentenced in default to prison and fine for receiving bribes from Silvio Berlusconi and others to tailor some convenient laws and decrees using his parliamentary majority to influence such acts, he was also sentenced for office abuse and conspiracy. The same case also involved figures like Giulio Andreotti sentenced for Mafia connections, as well the investigations and consequent trials brought to light the money laundering scams done by the Vatican Bank the “Ambrosiano” leading to the suicide of Mr. Calvi its top figure. The case unveiled the roles of hundreds of businessmen, political figures and parliament representatives and senators. Antonio Di Pietro once realizing that his mission is almost completed, decided to bring his fight for justice one higher step and founded his political party through which he is conducting a restless war against White Collar Criminality.
2) Honourable Magistrate Gherardo Colombo, actually retired and totally dedicated to non-governmental activities to present and explain to younger generations all over the national territory the Constitution and the impact of corruption on the overall economic and social fundamentals of a given society; having battled all his career against corruption and bringing to justice fearsome powers like the Free Masons and the Mafia in the notorious cases of P2, Mani-Pulite back in the nineties, also being a permanent trusted consultant to the Parliamentary Investigation Commission on Terrorism and Mafia. In all his career he faced bravely all the threats coming in various forms directly from the institutions as well the lobbies.
3) Honourable Constitutionalist Judge Gustavo Zagrebelsky, the ex president of the Italian Constitutional Court and now president of an active NGO to educate and expand the constitutional and legal culture among the largest possible portion of the Italian population, and while in office fought firmly and stood vigilantly against the passing of any law or decree with the least shadow of Unconstitutionality.. That’s why he was confronted violently by the unseen pressure from both the Free Masons and the Mafia; however he resisted till his retirement.
4) The respectable journalist Marco Travaglio, ever since the break out of the Mani Pulite case back in 1992 and till now he never betrayed his duty to accurately inform, thus acquired himself lots of enemies among politicians and mostly among other journalists, simply because he and others like Luca Telese, Antonio Padellaro and Paulo Floris Arcais decided to start their own daily newspaper completely self financed without a single cent from the governmental public financing. The Newspaper, “Il Fatto Quotidiano” is only 2 years old yet it secured the largest market share ahead of classic prestigious titles. Marco Travaglio became the reference in legal and constitutional analysis, and mostly specialized in Silvio Berlusconi’s illegalities documentation.
These examples prove that whenever “Democracy” is well served through “Transparency, Right Education and Free Accurate Impartial Information”, justice may have a better chance to prevail.
Allow me one last word to our politicians, or anyone who plans to venture within the public service institutions, for whatever reason they may have: to draw some benefits, secure one’s future, find missions for the relatives, profit from power, enlarge their haves, to escape prosecution for past, present or future illegal or immoral offenses or truly to serve the people; I tell you all to understand that “Immunity is not Impunity”..
And for that reason personally, if I’m in command, I would establish two most radical solutions to the problem:
I. Abolish any kind of immunity because, for a humble simple mortal old man like myself, a similar norm contradicts in principle the fundamental undisputed constitutional right enforcing that “All Citizens Are Held Equally Responsible Before The Laws Of The Republic”.
II. Delete completely and erase from every type of offense cited on our civil and penal codes the norm of “Prescription”.
I would state one more personal reflection to conclude. A reflection over the words highlighted in this article.. If we cannot find a way to put them into practice by knowing exactly what they mean, what they do and what are their consequences on our lives and the way of life we shall leave to the generations to follow; then this whole effort is nothing but a simple ordinary pass-time exercise of brain masturbation.. A Game Of Words.Pass On The Word.