Italian Councilwoman: European Political System Ignores the People

Thursday, 05 Apr 2012 05:22 PM

By Henry J. Reske and Kathleen Walter

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The economic crisis in Europe has been spurred by a self-serving political system that rewards itself and its friends while ignoring the people, Italian politician Lillia D'Ottavi tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview.

D'Ottavi, a pharmacist and business owner and member of the Regional Council of Lazio, said the solution to the economic crisis in Europe goes beyond the massive rescue fund set up to handle the debt run up by countries on the Euro. She said money distributed from the rescue fund “are not real loans. They are really grants that actually we know will never be repaid.”

“We are starting to do this reform by cutting down the costs of the political system, including the number of Congressmen and Senators and the privileges that they are accustomed to,” she said when asked what the solution would be.

“So we’re cutting down their salaries and the whole setup of politics itself. The next thing we’re going to work on is bureaucracy within the government.
I’ve been doing politics for many, many years and I believe that even though it’s very different from the United States, to a certain extent, like you, one of the problems is the political system. The way the parties are actually creating programs that cost billions and they are only to serve certain special interests while the real politics; you know the one with a capital ‘P’ – the word people — is not actually being served too much. I think that the first thing we have to do is to follow the rules. In America, that would be Constitutional rules.”

D’Ottavi has been active in Italian politics since the late 1970s. She has also travelled extensively in the United States and was recently in Florida to explore the possibility of a “sister province” project between her province, Latina, and Palm Beach County. She notes there are a lot of similarities between the people of the United States and the people of Italy.

“I feel very, very close to the people, the middle class, the people that work, the people that pay taxes and in this sense both the people of the United States and in Italy, they face the same desires, they have the same desires: security both on the job and in their families, and a certainty, a stability in the government that’s supposed to represent them,” she said.

Like the United States, Italy has an illegal immigration problem.

“I live the problem of illegal immigration very closely,” she said. “Italy, it’s a relatively new country as such and especially in the First World War, we had to fight with blood for every inch of our territory. And now it’s just being taken over and not only but because of its position. It’s the gate from where most of the North African and Arab illegal immigration is coming through. It’s hurting directly and very closely a great majority of the Italian people. We are very friendly. We love to have people but we want respect of our laws.”

She said that Italy, a country about the same size as Florida, must face up to the problem because in 2030 as many as 30 million illegal immigrants are going to be in the country in a population of about 60 million.

“One of the reasons it is so large is also because a lot of them receive work,” she said. “They work, of course illegal only, but they do work. They’ve been given shelters and many times even the government itself gives them . . .  free education, free health, and a lot of services that actually they are denied to Italians and retirees. So what we have to do is first of all respect the laws that already are there. If somebody is illegal, he should not work, he should not get all the things that they are getting. If we just stick up for these simple things, then our Christian values and our Christian principles are going to lead us to the right solution.”

On other issues, D’Ottavi said:

— The way to combat Islamic fundamentalism was to “use security measures, you know, like we use against any other criminals.”
— That Italians favor sanctions against Iran, adding, “We have to support Israel because Israel is not only one of the greatest allies of the United States but also one of the greatest friends of Italy, especially because of our Judeo-Christian traditions.”
— That there are “two different faces of the Obama administration. In internal affairs within the United States, the Obama administration has taken an extreme leftist position in all kind of social issues. In foreign affairs, they have been trying to be very diplomatic and middle of the road without swinging too much one way or the other.”
— She would like to recognize the leadership of Sen. Claudio Fazzone and of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.



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