While much of world attention has focused, understandably, on Pope Benedict XVI’s February 11 resignation announcement, another resignation and election in Italy are at the center of global financial concerns. When Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti (shown) resigned in December 2012, he set in motion the process for general elections, which took place February 24-25. The results of the election have been indecisive, to say the least, with no party gaining a majority in the parliament, and no candidate for prime minister commanding a clear mandate. Pier Luigi Bersani, the ex-Communist Party leader who now heads the Democratic Party, scored a narrow victory in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Parliament, but was unable to come up with a majority in the upper house, the Senate. Bersani is now scrambling to fashion a workable coalition with opponents. Unless and until he does that, Italy, the eurozone’s third largest economy and the world’s eighth largest economy, is faced with a “hung parliament,” without a prime minister and without a government.
Nouriel Roubini, the New York University economist known as "Dr. Doom," said the election results “make Italy ungovernable. It is political, economic and financial chaos.” He is not alone in that assessment; many predict that Bersani will be unable to pull together a workable coalition and that Italian voters will have to go back to the polls again within six months.
Bersani’s Democratic Party/Italy Common Good leftist coalition took 29.5 percent of the national vote. The People of Freedom coalition led by billionaire media mogul and three-time prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, claimed 29.1 percent of the vote. The wild card that upset all expectations is the populist, anti-establishment Five Star Movement, a recent phenomenon launched by comedian Beppe Grillo, who struck a chord with millions of Italian voters by attacking and exposing the corruption in both the Berlusconi and Monti governments. Grillo’s Five Star Movement took 25.5 percent of the vote. Mario Monti’s outgoing Civic Choice coalition won the support of only 10.5 percent of voters.
Grillo has said his party would not back a confidence vote on a new government formed by any of the mainstream parties. He has called for new elections, which he may expect would bring even more voters to his banner. Having already exceeded the expectations of most analysts, and with disgust among Italian voters for the corruption and scandals of the current parties, it’s likely that Grillo’s vote tallies would swell in a rematch.
Kremlin’s Hand in Italy’s Politics
What has gone virtually unmentioned in coverage and analysis of the Italian elections is the win-win-win situation for Putin with the Bersani/Berlusconi/Monti lineup; the only unknown in this respect is Grillo.
Pier Luigi Bersani’s past history as a Communist Party leader has been passed off by media pundits as nothing to be concerned about, which is a strange nonchalance considering the extensive information concerning critical infiltration of the Italian government by the Soviet KGB/Russian FSB over many decades, as exposed by the Mitrokhin Commission, KGB/FSB defector Alexander Litvinenko, and others. The Kremlin strategists targeted Italy as a top priority not only because of its economic prominence and its key roles in the EU and NATO, but also, of course, because it is home to the Vatican and the Holy See. As the headquarters of the worldwide, billion-plus-member Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican has long been a top target of KGB intrigue (see here, here, and here).
In addition to his long Communist Party pedigree, Bersani also served as minister twice in the administrations of Romano Prodi, whom Alexander Litvinenko identified as the KGB’s top man in Italy. It was very likely his exposure of Prodi that led Vladimir Putin to arrange Litvinenko’s public assassination by polonium poisoning in November 2006.
The New American reported in 2007:
The revelation that most likely sealed Alexander Litvinenko’s death warrant was his charge that Italy’s current prime minister, Romano Prodi, was known as the KGB’s top man in Italy. If true, that would also make him one of Russia’s top assets in all of Europe, since Prodi served as president of the European Commission from September 1999 through November 2004, one of the most critical periods of the European Union, which included the launching of the euro currency, expansion of the EU to include former communist countries, and drafting of the proposed EU constitution. And if true, it would make Litvinenko a bomb that could, potentially, topple governments, end high-level careers, send government officials to prison, and destroy a vast intelligence network that has taken more than a generation to put in place.
According to Alexander Litvinenko, when he was planning to flee from Russia in 2000, he consulted his former KGB boss and trusted friend, General Anatoly Trofimov, who advised him not to seek refuge in Italy, since it was loaded with KGB agents. “Don’t go to Italy,” General Trofimov said, “there are many KGB agents among the politicians: Romano Prodi is our man there.” At the time, Signor Prodi was Italy’s prime minister. That was immediately before his stint as EU Commission president, which was followed by his return as Italy’s prime minister in May 2006.
The Mitrokhin Commission faced enormous pressures, obstructions, and stonewalling, along with vicious attacks from press. Little wonder: Among the many individuals fingered as KGB operatives in Italy by KGB defector Vasili Mitrokhin were diplomats, military officers, cabinet ministers, intelligence officers, and prominent journalists and editors of the nation’s top newspapers. The New American reported at the time:
There has been speculation in political and intelligence circles that a particular Italian professor/politician revealed by Mitrokhin, but referred to only by the KGB code name UCHITEL (“the Teacher”), pointed to Prodi, a former professor and longtime insider in Italy’s top business and political echelons. This would help explain why Prodi, during his earlier stint as prime minister, failed to take any action when British intelligence provided his government with information in 1996 about 261 Italians who had been operating for decades as agents for the KGB. When British sources publicly released this information in 1999, Prodi claimed not to have been informed about it earlier. However, his defense minister confirmed that he had given the British information to Prodi.
Subsequently, when the Mitrokhin Commission began delving into the matter, Prodi and his influential media and political backers went into hyper drive to stop publication of the report. It was due out in March 2006, but still remains unpublished. More recently, on November 20, just three days before Litvinenko’s death, Prodi fired the chiefs of three of Italy’s intelligence agencies, all of whom would have been important to any investigation of the Mitrokhin information. If Prodi is Moscow’s man, as General Trofimov is alleged to have said, then Russia’s intelligence structures would stop at nothing to protect such a valuable, long-term investment.
The New American reported further, in a separate article on Prodi, that even without the Mitrokhin and Litvinenko revelations, there were plenty of clues from the public record that Prodi was “Moscow’s Man.” Among those clues was the huge presence of “former” Communist Party officials in his cabinet, which was high even for Italy, where the communists have had a firm foothold for much of the past century, running openly for office, winning election to Parliament and serving in top government posts. We noted in 2007:
Prodi’s left-wing Olive Tree coalition government boasts current and “former” communists, such as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Massimo D’Alema, who was secretary of the Italian Federation of Young Communists in the 1970s, then a top member of the Italian Communist Party, and now head of the Democrats of the Left, an offshoot of the Communist Party; Minister of Social Solidarity Paolo Ferrero, a leader of the Communist Refoundation Party; and Economic Minister Pier Luigi Bersani and Labor Minister Livia Turco, both former members of the Italian Communist Party, now with the Democrats of the Left. Not to mention radical Marxists in the Prodi cabinet such as Emma Bonino, Giuliano Amato, Fabio Mussi, Francesco Rutelli, and Alessandro Bianchi.
Is Bersani himself one of the KGB recruits mentioned under code name in the Mitrokhin investigation? What about his main opponents? Silvio Berlusconi may seem like an unlikely prospect for a KGB operative, but there are more ways to recruit — or trap — an agent of influence than with ideology or money. Sex appears to be the ticket for the scandal-plagued billionaire, who is infamous for his “Bunga Bunga” parties with underage girls. And as we noted in “The KGB Chief & the Media Mogul: The Strange Putin/Berlusconi Relationship,” Berlusconi has developed a troubling relationship with the “Godfather of the Kremlin” and his Mafiya oligarchs. Berlusconi and Putin have neighboring luxury villas on Sardinia’s Emerald Coast, and Putin has even sent his daughters to live in Berlusconi’s villa.
Then there’s Mario Monti, the “technocrat” economist, dubbed “Super Mario” by the press during his glory years on the European Commission (1994-1999), where he helped engineer the financial integration of the European Union. Like many other EU politicians, Monti epitomizes the “Davos Man,” the jet-setting globalist denizen of the World Economic Forum (WEF) who is comfortable confecting a socialist-corporatist New World Order with the communist leaders of Russia and China. Monti is not only a regular WEF attendee, but also a member of the Atlantic Council, an advisor to Goldman Sachs — and a member of that ultimate Insiders' club, the Bilderberg Group.
Yet there is another very important elite “club” that is rarely mentioned in which Monti is not only a member, but a founding member: the Spinelli Group. Named for Altiero Spinelli (1907-1986), a leader of the Italian Communist Party and a key activist for European federalism, it includes the following members: Jacques Delors, a leader of the French Socialist Party and former president of the European Commission; Joschka Fischer, a former communist student leader and associate of the terrorist Red Army Faction, and later German foreign minister; Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a 1960s communist student leader, ally of terrorists, confessed child sex abuser, and member of the European Parliament on the Greens ticket; and Pier Virgilio Dastoli, an assistant to Spinelli and a leader in the Communist and Allies Group of the European Parliament.
Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement may turn out to be a front for other forces than are apparent on the surface, but it is clear that the alternative parties led by Bersani, Berlusconi, and Monti are all hopelessly corrupt and would lead Italy to disaster.