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  1. #1
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    Il New York Times incorona Ferrara

    Il New York Times incorona Ferrara


    [Un "trinitario" ] Giuliano Ferrara, promotore della lista "Aborto no grazie"


    Il quotidiano americano: «Veltroni?
    E' un baby boomer che ama il rock»
    TORINO
    Il New York Times incorona senza farne le lodi Giuliano Ferrara come la «personalità politica più avvincente» della campagna elettorale in corso in Italia, in grado quantomeno di evidenziare «il vuoto di potere» esistente in questo momento nel Paese, tanto quanto «uno sguardo veloce» del potere. Più dei candidati leader delle due maggiori formazioni politiche, Silvio Berlusconi e Walter Veltroni, liquidati come i «soliti sospetti in uno scenario politico quasi incomprensibile agli osservatori esterni, dove gli stessi politici compaiono e svaniscono in dissolvenza promettendo riforme e producendo stasi se non declino».

    Il lungo articolo che porta la data del sei aprile non appare come un applauso incondizionato alla figura del giornalista e polemista, bensì come un amaro riconoscimento che nel desolato panorama politico italiano è la sua figura a staccarsi con maggiore forza. In una corrispondenza da Roma firmata Rachel Donadio, non si esclude una possibile vittoria alle elezioni del «carismatico miliardario leader del centro destra Silvio Berlusconi» che «potrebbe ancora una volta riemergere dalle ceneri», e questa volta «per sconfiggere Walter Veltroni, un baby boomer amante del rock’n’roll che si è appena dimesso da sindaco di Roma».

    Ma, aggiunge il quotidiano, neanche il Cavaliere è orientato alle riforme, orientato alle riforme, «impegnato nell’organizzare una cordata di investitori, di cui fanno parte anche i suoi figli, per comprare la maggioranza di Alitalia». Non tutto è roseo, però, neppure per il direttore del Foglio. Ferrara, scrive Donadio, è un «comunista trasformato in conservatore, l’intellettuale provocatore più melodrammatico e mutevole» del Paese. «La vita politica dell’Italia è sempre stata assurda, ma il recente tocco tetrale di Ferrara è un tantino più profondo. È un barometro culturale, altamente in sintonia con la disperazione in cui versa l’umore nazionale». E così, «più della "real politik" dei candidati principali, Ferrara, con la sua insistenza nelle idee, incide nelle ansie dell’Italia sul futuro dell’Europa, la perdita delle identità nazionale, l’aumento dell’immigrazione, il declino del credo cristiano».

    http://www.lastampa.it/redazione/cms...1666girata.asp

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  2. #2
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    The Atheist Urging Italy to Get Religion



    INCOMING Attacked by tomato-tossing hecklers in Bologna, Giuliano Ferrara returned the fire.

    By RACHEL DONADIO
    Published: April 6, 2008

    ROME — In the Italian national elections next weekend, the charismatic billionaire and center-right leader Silvio Berlusconi may rise once again from the ashes, this time to defeat Walter Veltroni, a rock ’n’ roll-loving baby boomer who just stepped down as mayor of Rome. It would be Mr. Berlusconi’s third stint as prime minister — or Mr. Veltroni’s first.



    OUTGOING Giuliano Ferrara greeted Pope Benedict XVI but denies he has ties to the Church.

    But those two aren’t the most gripping personalities. They’re the usual suspects in a political landscape nearly incomprehensible to outsiders, where the same politicians fade in and out, promising reform and delivering stasis if not decline.

    One fringe candidate is different.

    He is Giuliano Ferrara, a Communist turned conservative who is Italy’s most operatic and most mercurial intellectual provocateur. A newspaper editor and former government minister, Mr. Ferrara is best known here as a television talk-show host. He combines the political theatrics of an Abbie Hoffman with the rhetorical flair of a William F. Buckley.

    Italy’s political life has always been absurd, but Mr. Ferrara’s recent theatrics touch on something deeper. He is a cultural barometer, highly attuned to the desperation of the national mood. More than the real-politiking of the mainstream candidates, Mr. Ferrara, with his insistence on ideas, taps into Italian anxieties about the future of Europe, the loosening of national identities, the rise of immigration, the decline of Christian belief.

    In his latest incarnation, Mr. Ferrara is running for Parliament on a small slate devoted to a single issue: “pro-life,” which he defines loosely. An avowed atheist and nonbeliever, he has called for a “moratorium,” but not a ban, on abortion, to call attention to the value of life.

    “I’d like to win, it would be extraordinary,” he said in a recent interview here in Rome. “But it’s not the central thing. I’m a man in search of ideas, not votes. That’s only a means.”

    Mr. Ferrara’s campaign is almost certain to fail in the polls, but his rallies have elicited an outpouring of support — and some protests. In Bologna last week, young protesters pelted him with tomatoes as the riot police held back crowds. Still, Mr. Ferrara has helped put social issues on the table — much to the annoyance of the front-runners, who fear they’ll polarize the electorate. Mr. Berlusconi, for one, has declined to include Mr. Ferrara’s list in his center-right coalition.

    Mr. Ferrara, a longtime player in Italy’s political tragicomedy, was most recently the host of a popular prime-time talk show called “8 ½.” He gave up the show to campaign, but remains editor in chief of Il Foglio, the gadfly newspaper he founded in 1996 with seed money from Mr. Berlusconi.

    The paper takes an eclectic line rare in Italy, at once neo-con, theo-con and civil libertarian; it is pro-America, pro-Israel, pro-Iraq war, intent on limiting the power of prosecutors and friendly to the Vatican. But it has a penchant to shock; it once ran a full-page homoerotic photograph by Robert Mapplethorpe.

    Mr. Ferrara, 56, discussed his evolution and his campaign at his Rome apartment. It was Good Friday, and raining; out the window, the Tiber flowed jade green. A hefty man with a bushy red beard and bright blue eyes, Mr. Ferrara looks like he could be the fourth tenor. Normally effusive, he was ill with a fever and visibly tired. Settled in a leather easy chair, he lit the first of many cigarettes. “Running for office doesn’t interest me in the slightest,” he said. “It’s a big stress.” Ideas are another matter.

    Born into a family of upper-middle-class Communists, Mr. Ferrara spent part of his childhood in Moscow, where his father was a correspondent for the Communist daily L’Unità. In his 20s, he was the chief organizer for the Italian Communist Party at the Fiat headquarters in Turin, when labor relations were tense and the Red Brigades were unsettling the country. But Mr. Ferrara soured on the Communist hard-liners, and in 1982 left the party entirely, becoming its most vocal apostate. He grew enamored of the political philosopher Leo Strauss, who wrote of the tensions between Athens and Jerusalem, reason and faith.

    Then came socialism. In the mid-80s, Mr. Ferrara became an adviser to the Socialist leader Bettino Craxi, who he believed could bring about serious Third Way reform. But in the early 90s, Mr. Craxi was ousted in a huge bribery scandal. The collapse of the old regime paved the way for Mr. Berlusconi, Italy’s richest man, to enter politics. Mr. Ferrara became a trusted adviser to Mr. Berlusconi’s nascent Forza Italia Party and, in 1994, the chief spokesman and a minister in Mr. Berlusconi’s short-lived first government.

    In 2003, Mr. Ferrara caused a stir by writing in Il Foglio that in the mid-1980s he had been a paid C.I.A. informer whose brief was to explain Italian politics to the agency. (A spokesman for the C.I.A. said the agency “does not, as a rule, respond publicly to these kinds of allegations.”)

    Such a trajectory could be possible only in Italy, where the lines between politics and journalism, ideas and showmanship, appearance and reality, are ever blurred. To his supporters, Mr. Ferrara has admirably undergone transformations his country has been unable to achieve; they applaud him for trying to introduce ideas into a Machiavellian realm of pure politics. To his critics, he is an opportunist, a consigliere ever in search of a new prince, a misogynist meddler trying to draw Catholic votes away from the left.

    “It looks like flip-flopping, it looks like an inclination to have an adventure,” Mr. Ferrara said of his trajectory. “And instead it’s integrity. I’m a terribly boring person. My ideas are substantially the same from my education as a young Communist to my old age as a Ratzingerian,” he said, referring to Pope Benedict XVI, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. The substance, he said, is the same: “I hate hypocrisy, I hate mendacity.” He cited Churchill: “I’d prefer to be right than consistent.”

    In many ways, though, Mr. Ferrara’s pro-life campaign seems baffling. With all the problems Italy is facing — a stagnant economy, rising cost of living, organized crime — abortion and embryonic research would seem the last of its worries. Then again, a quick look at the major candidates can explain the impulse for radical theatrical gestures, if not perhaps for Mr. Ferrara’s ideas themselves.

    Mr. Veltroni, a mild-mannered former Communist, has adopted Barack Obama’s “Yes We Can” slogan for his campaign. But he probably can’t. He lacks the Obama charisma and momentum, and the support to push through needed economic reforms.

    Not that Mr. Berlusconi is keen on reform. He’s been busy organizing investors — including his own children — to buy a major stake in Alitalia, Italy’s bankrupt flagship carrier, which until last week was on the block to Air France-KLM. The idea of a potential future prime minister buying the national airline, then appointing the transportation minister and finance minister, is “absurd,” Mr. Ferrara said. If Mr. Berlusconi wins, he said, Palazzo Chigi, the prime minister’s residence, “will be more like Casa Rosada” — the seat of the Perons in Argentina — “than the White House.”

    Non-Italians are often baffled that Mr. Berlusconi remains in office even after having been found guilty, and then acquitted, in multiple corruption trials. But cynicism runs through the culture here like veins in marble; it is widely assumed that elected officials are on the take and the justice system subject to political manipulation.

    Italians are also less inclined to moralize. (If an Italian politician had been caught with a prostitute, a leading magazine wrote recently apropos of Eliot Spitzer, there would have been bipartisan calls for a new law against wiretapping, rather than insistence he step down.) But most of all, the fragmented Italian left hasn’t produced a coalition strong enough to displace Mr. Berlusconi, the most vivid manifestation of a corrupt political culture in which everyone is implicated.

    In light of this, Mr. Ferrara’s campaign seems a cry for life in a country steeped in death and decline. Still, the campaign can be surreal. When a health inspection found that an illegal, late-term abortion had been performed on a fetus with Klinefelter’s Syndrome, whose symptoms include small testicles and large breasts, Mr. Ferrara said that was no grounds to abort. He said he, too, might have the syndrome — and anyone who doubted him could take a look. But Mr. Ferrara is an unlikely pro-life crusader; he has acknowledged that in his early 20s, three of his partners had abortions.

    Indeed, no one seems to understand exactly what Mr. Ferrara is up to. He began his strange crusade just when “8 ½” had given him national intellectual credibility, even from the left. The campaign baffles even close friends, like the columnist and former leftist radical Adriano Sofri, who wrote a book, “Against Giuliano,” taking him to task.

    One obvious question is whether Mr. Ferrara is inching his way toward the Church as if it were the last best hope for a politics of ideas. He denies this. “I’m not asking for their support, not in any way,” he said. “Of course it’s also true that I don’t have it.” Indeed, three leading Catholic publications have criticized Mr. Ferrara’s campaign, saying matters of faith should remain private. But on a recent visit to a church in Mr. Ferrara’s neighborhood in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI shook his hand. Mr. Ferrara said in the interview that he had a “relationship” with the Church, but no political ties.

    Many Italians have noted a rise in religious conservatism since the election of Pope Benedict XVI in 2005. That year, the Berlusconi government passed a law to restrict artificial insemination, and Catholic newspapers successfully urged Italians to reject a referendum to re-liberalize it. The English writer and Italy expert Tim Parks, in The New Statesman in 2006, observed that the “crucial change” in Italian life since 2001 has been “the collapse of every grand political idea,” while politicians of all stripes “have been eagerly declaring their Christian credentials.”

    For his part, Mr. Ferrara says he remains an atheist. “I’m not a converted Catholic,” he said. “I’m still a nonbeliever, even though my idea of reason is the idea of a reason which is open to mystery.” Whatever his motivations, his new crusade says as much about the power vacuum in Italy as the power. After all, as the critic Nicola Chiaromonte observed in the late 1940s, “In Italy, the Church offers not heaven so much as protection from the sheer impact of history.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/06/we...06donadio.html

  3. #3
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    ringrazio Dr.Hans per la segnalazione!

  4. #4
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    Quel luccichìo negli occhi di Giuliano Ferrara quando ha baciato la mano del pontefice non è certo «captatio benevolentiae». Solo uno stupido potrebbe pensare che è tattica elettorale...
    Se farai l'ultimo passo che ti manca (pensa che eri già avanti rispetto a Magdi Allam, essendo battezzato), caro Giuliano...ma forse vuoi aspettare, gustarlo fino in fondo, capisco. E se anche non lo farai, andrà bene anche così.
    Ricordo che Battiato, durante un concerto alla presenza di Giovanni Paolo II (insieme ad altri artisti) decise di esibirsi solo dopo essersi sincerato che non avrebbe dovuto baciare l'anello del pontefice.

    Ci vuol coraggio per un laico, dunque. Ma non per lui, per questo «pazzo» che mi ha ridato la gioia di andare a votare in mezzo al puzzo di naftalina della nostra politica.

 

 

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