Berlusconi Defends Need for Bribery

Guy Dinmore and Ferdinando Giugliano, Financial Times, February 14, 2013

Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has defended the need for bribery in winning contracts for Italy’s multinationals, as politicians campaigning in general elections have been forced to respond to a welter of corruption scandals revolving around the nexus of politics and business.

“Bribes are a phenomenon that exists and it’s useless to deny the existence of these necessary situations when you are negotiating with third world countries and regimes,” Mr Berlusconi, leader of a centre-right coalition and seeking his fourth stint in office, said on Thursday.

Mr Berlusconi defended Giuseppe Orsi, head of the state-controlled Finmeccanica defence group who was arrested on Tuesday and accused of involvement in bribes paid to Indian government officials to secure a helicopter contract. Mr Orsi, appointed chief executive under the last centre-right government in 2011 and replaced on Wednesday, has denied the accusations.

“These are not crimes,” said Mr Berlusconi, describing payments as “commissions”. He also defended state-controlled energy group Eni, whose chief executive Paolo Scaroni is under investigation for alleged bribes paid by its Saipem subsidiary to win contracts in Algeria. Mr Scaroni denies the allegations.

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  • NYB

    What do they call it in Washington when someone is wined, dined, given an all-expenses paid trips and receives other benefits in consideration of doing something they are expected to do?

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    • The__Bobster

      How about we just delete you, Mr. POS?

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  • The__Bobster

    Silvio is right. When in Rome, you do what the Romans do. It’s ridiculous handicapping multinationals based in your country by trying to hold them to First World morality standards when they are dealing with the Third World. You know that China wouldn’t think of doing that.

    • brengunn

      Similarly, calling for democracy in the third world is pretty ridiculous. I’d rather we didn’t work with the really bad tyrants but some allowances must be made for the fact these countries are centuries behind us. Therefore, so are some of their practices.

      • AutomaticSlim

        Honestly, calling for democracy anywhere is ridiculous.
        1) The rest of the world is none of our business.
        2) We can’t afford to “democratize” other countries. Never could, never will.

        3) We do not have a democracy here. If we did, then Prop 187 would still be in effect in Ca.

        America first. A good rule to live by.

        • brengunn

          The rest of the world is none of our business.

          I’m inclined to agree with you, but business interests get in the way.

          We can’t afford to “democratize” other countries. Never could, never will.

          Not only can we not afford it, it doesn’t really work. At least not for backwards, agrarian countries.

        • anon

          Calling for democracy is ridiculous in any case because democracy is one of the worst political systems in the world. Democracies always degenerate into corrupt oligarchic kakistocracies run by various factions who have figured out how to use the media to control the mob, which in turn has figured out that it can vote itself money and benefits from the treasury. Case in point: the USSA.

          • It is my understanding that the founders of the American republic wanted a system that was a mix between monarchy, aristocracy and democracy — Not purely either one of these three systems, while the presence of each system would check each other such that we would wind up with the most desirable element from each system while losing the worst from each.

            Monarchy = Presidency

            Aristocracy = Senate (pre-17th Amendment)

            Democracy = House

          • AutomaticSlim

            The activists judges on the “circuit courts”, among other things, have really thrown a monkey wrench into that system.

          • IstvanIN

            No, not really. The president is the head of state and commander in chief, equivalent to the monarchs of the 17th century, but not representative of a monarchy. The Senate isn’t at all aristocratic, but is the body that represents the several states in the Federal government. The House of Representatives represents the people, and would be equivalent to the Commons.

          • StillModerated

            USSA? I prefer PROTUSA — Peoples’ Republic of the USA.

    • Jackryanvb

      Agreed. Remaining White nations, White communities need to stop being straight, honest Jimmy Carter types and learn to play the game, do whatever is necessary to secure the existence of our people. Yeah sure, bribe the leaders of third world countries to keep their people from flooding in to our countries. The Italians did this with Quadafi. Of course there will always be the problem of American race denying liberal, Libertarians, pro lifers who insist that all the people in the world should have American civil rights, democracy , the right to come in to Europe, USA. These idiots should be sent to the new Rainbow nation of South Africa to be killed on the exact street Amy Biehl was mustered. This should become an acceptable form of human sacrifice.

  • odious liberal

    The third world has no more understand of what democracty than what obama has of a job.

    • Natwest

      Then why are retail giants and other auto giants spending billions lobbying in the U.S. to enter these “third world” countries with no understanding of democracy? Something is not right here. Maybe bribing or corruption isn’t only a third world thing.

  • Jackryanvb

    AutomaticSlim writes:

    1) The rest of the world is none of our business.

    America first. A good rule to live by.

    Jack replies:

    No. America First, American isolationism were good policies for the United States in the 1940s when America was a 90% plus White European country, Whites were mostly in control of our political, academic, cultural institutions, even the US media was largely in White hands. This is no longer the case.

    It’s also just a huge lie that the horrors of the Third World, Black Africa wouldn’t effect us if we just ignored this world, left the Muslims alone, left the Black Africsns, Mexicans alone. Blacks, Muslims have never let Whites alone, they’ve always invaded, gone for our women, gone for our land. Why would Blacks, Pakis want to stay I ther horrible countries whe. They can try to push in to Sweden, Minnesota, Vegas?

    • AutomaticSlim

      “It’s also just a huge lie that the horrors of the Third World, Black
      Africa wouldn’t effect us if we just ignored this world, left the
      Muslims alone, left the Black Africans, Mexicans alone”

      I disagree 100%. But I do admit that things need to drastically change along with an America First policy.

      1) Repeal the 1965 immigration Act
      2) Permanently ban ALL 3rd world immigration, and possibly travel visas as well.

      3) End birthright citizenship
      4) End all welfare/food stamps/WIC/medicaid/head start/public housing, etc..
      5) Repeal 1964 civil rights act
      6) Repeal 1968 housing act
      7) Repeal all hate crimes legislation
      8) Repeal all laws pertaining to “discrimination” in the private sector
      9) End all foreign aid, including food and medicine to 3rd world countries.
      10) Close all foreign military bases – unless the foreign country is willing to pay 200%

      of the full cost of operations.

      11) Put 50,000 troops on the Mexican border. They can be rotated in and out on a 6

      month basis.

      (2) alone would solve most of the problems you bring up. Except maybe the Mexicans. But (3), (4) and (11) should take care of them real fast.

      • Jackryanvb

        1) Repeal the 1965 immigration Act
        2) Permanently ban ALL 3rd world immigration, and possibly travel visas as well.

        3) End birthright citizenship
        4) End all welfare/food stamps/WIC/medicaid/head start/public housing, etc..
        5) Repeal 1964 civil rights act
        6) Repeal 1968 housing act
        7) Repeal all hate crimes legislation
        8) Repeal all laws pertaining to “discrimination” in the private sector
        9) End all foreign aid, including food and medicine to 3rd world countries.
        10) Close all foreign military bases – unless the foreign country is willing to pay 200%

        of the full cost of operations.

        11) Put 50,000 troops on the Mexican border. They can be rotated in and out on a 6

        Jack replies:

        You are dreaming.

        Obama is president. Not Himmler.

        • AutomaticSlim

          Himmler???
          You equate being true to the Constitution with National Socialism?
          Obama and his ideas are far closer to Himmler than any conservative could ever be.

          In fact, the America First political philosophy is the complete opposite of the Nazis. They were the ultimate interventionalists.

  • bigone4u

    When the USA lowers itself to the level of third world primitivism by bribery we corrupt ourselves. For example, south Texas political and business practices resemble those of Mexico. The creeping dishonesty, the creeping immorality that sets in when lowering oneself to the level of a Hugo Chavez for example, will result in the death of much that was good about America. Bottom line: Berlesconi is wrong.

    • “When the USA lowers itself to the level of third world primitivism by bribery we corrupt ourselves.”

      Not if we are more open and logical about it. Open about how we define certain words , eg corruption and commissions, and what the same words are defined as in other areas of the world. And without our pulling in negative emotions and judgements about how the words are used elsewhere.

      We have race realism. Why not nation realism and respect (for other nations).

  • StillModerated

    I’m shocked, shocked I tell you, to know that Italians pay bribes. Who do they think they are? Al Capone and the Chicago Police Department, a Washington Beltway Bandit, or Tammany Hall and the New York Democrat machine?

    The Financial Times ought to know better, but when you scratch a liberal reporter, you’ll pretty much always find a puritanical blue-nose.