The hallmarks it would seem of Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi are headlines and a flamboyant lifestyle. On the back of his government’s 70 billion-euro austerity package, anger is rising in the country as it is felt the country’s rulers are not prepared to abandon La Dolce Vita.
Influential Catholic magazine, Famiglia Christiana blasted then with the headline: “Politicians are not giving up one euro.”
But it is a facebook page, with revelations about MPs behind the scenes which has galvanised the simmering anger. Its anonymous author calls himself Spider Truman, allegedly a former parliamentary aid. Books and newspapers also echo the public’s anger.
“It is as if our politicians have turned the country’s priorities upside down. First there is their own business and then there is that of the people. And that is how this is seen quite clearly by the population,” explained Sergio Rizzo, a journalist and co-author of a book on Italian politicians called “The Caste”.
One politician, Alfonso Papa, is paying the price for a charge of corruption as he spent his first night in a Naples prison. Parliament voted to lift immunity over his arrest.
Will Spider Truman’s facebook page – which already has almost 350,000 “likes” – ensare any other of the country’s lawmakers?