Italy: The Blackshirts are Back
The Prodi government has fallen and blackshirts (see picture at the top of this post) have taken to the streets in Rome. If this scares the pants off you, it should.
Prodi's misery is all the fault of a certain squirrelly character by the name of Clemente Mastella, a right wing Catholic with sympathies for fascist l'Allianza Nazionale party and a friend of The Mob.
Prodi's unwise decision to name him Justice Minister was the result of compromise. The majority governs with a razor thin margin, provided by Mastella's centrist party, the UDEUR, which had demanded the Defense portfolio but received Justice. Mastella's wife, who serves in local government in the south, was recently indicted on corruption charges and Mastella himself has been under investigation for corruption and abuse of power since October.
Mastella resigned a few days ago, setting off such a tumult that there was vote of confidence in the Prodi government. The vote passed in the lower house but failed in the Senate, where the UDEUR abandoned the government. One courageous UDEUR Senator, Nuccio Cusumano,
The Berlusconi-led right is positively gleeful to the point that they popped champagne in the National Assembly.
Dark days ahead.