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Haupt arrow newsitems arrow ECHR to influence Italy's Prime Minister Election after Hearing on controversial Ban of Berlusconi ?

ECHR to influence Italy's Prime Minister Election after Hearing on controversial Ban of Berlusconi ?

Geschrieben von ACM
Wednesday, 22 November 2017
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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- ECHR is practically due to decide, in the Next few Months, indirectly but surely,  who will be Italy's next Prime Minister, (See Infra), if one believes Polls which show a Majority, in the forthcoming Elections of Spring 2018, for a Center-Right Coalition led by Silvio Berlusconi, whose British/Italian Lawyers have just Fired, Today at a Hearing in Strasbourg, a series of Strong Legal Arguments against a Controversial Decision, taken by a Hostile Political Majority back on 2013, through a Retroactive Measure, to "Ban" him from being Elected, regardless of People's wish, until 2019.

 

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The Problem is that, in such a particular case, ECHR canNot Avoid at all to Inevitably Play an Important Role vis a vis the Forthcoming Italian Elections of Spring 2018, because, whatever might, eventually, be its Decision, (f.ex.: Reject, Acceptance, or Delay in Judging Berlusconi's claim about alleged Violations of Human Rights, including Electoral rights), at any case, Strasbourg's EuroJudges will certainly Affect, in one way or another, the Public Opinion, and therefore, the Voters, (See Infra)...


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During ECHR's Public Hearing on one of the Complaints lodged by Berlusconi against the Electoral "Ban" which has striped him of his Senator mandate and Hinders him to participate in the Spring 2018 Elections, several EuroJudges raised More Questions than usually, mainly to the currently Center-Left Italian Government's Agents, not only on the "Retroactivity" of that Controversial Measure, but, Particularly, on alleged Abuse of Discretionary Power by the Governing Majority, (quite Similar back on 2013, when the Decision to "Ban" Berlusconi was taken, and Nowadays on 2017), as the Former Long-Time Prime Minister's Lawyers Denounced, (See Infra).


And a Surprizing Fact, which Emerged at Today's Hearing in Strasbourg, is that the Center-Left Italian Government's Agents, astonishingly, didN't even Reply, Anything at all, to those EuroJudges' Questions about alleged Abuses of Discretionary Power, reportedly Committed, back on 2013, by those who pushed to "Ban" Berlusconi (while they did Reply to Other, Different ECHR's Questions) ! On the Contrary, his Italian and British Lawyers, prefered now, (in Addition to the "Retroactivity" and/or "UnFairness" of that Controversial Sanction), to Mainly Focus, precisely, at that Risk of gross "Arbitrariness" in the Decision-Making Process of those Electoral "Bans", on which they Concluded, (See Infra)...


However, CoE's PanEuropean 47 Member States-strong Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law's various relevant bodies, are, recently, more and more Clearly Stressing the Need for Legal Guarantees against such Risks of Arbitrary Decisions. Including, Recently, CoE's prestigious "Venice Commission" for "Democracy through Law"'s Top Constituitional Law Experts, who have Published an Official "Check-List" for the "Rule of Law", which includes, mainly, a series of Standard Legal Safeguards, deemed Necessary in order to Prevent any eventual "Abuse of Discretionary Power", Endorsed Both by CoE's Committee of Ministers, its Congress of Local/Regional Authorities, and its Parliamentary Assembly, etc. (See, f.ex.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coeruleoflawchecklistandeuroforaproject.html + ...).


--------------


But, the Way that Italy is due to be Governed in the foreseable Near Future, i.e. from Spring 2018, has, Nowadays, apparently Become more Important than ever, also for Other European Countries, and Europe in general, also Because many feel that a Particularly Worrying current situation in the Italian Economy might Affect all €uroZone and Beyond, if an adequate Government in Rome, with Sufficient Popular Support, does Not undertake, the soonest possible, a Decisive series of required Reforms and Initiatives to Face the Public Debt and Boost the Italian Economy's considerable Potential.


It seems that this was also Part of Bilateral Contacts that Silvio Berluconi had recently in Brussels, during the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Heads of State/Government and Party Leaders' Summit, (including German Chancellor Angie Merkel, EU Council's President Donald Tusk, and EU Commission's President Jean-Claude Juncker, as well as EPP's President Joseph Daul, etc), at the Eve of the Latest EU's 28 Member Countries' Summit there on 19-20 October 2017, (Comp. "Eurofora"s NewsReports from the spot, as, among various others, also, f.ex. : ... + ... + ..., etc., and relevant Original Photo, published above).


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HARASSMENT ?!
----------------------------------------------


The former Long-Time Prime Minister and Succesful Businesman, had been Previously condemned for Tax Avoidance, (something that he strongly contests, denouncing his accusers to be Politicaly Motivated), and served a 1 Year Sentence with General Interest Work to Help Elder People, but Recently marked a Growing Come-Back Trend, after Largely Winning the Latest Regional Elections in Sicelia, as well as getting a New Judgement which found that he had UnFairly been Ordered by a Court to Pay 60 Millions € to a former Wife, even if she didn't need it.


Already since an Important Summit of ChristianDemocrat/EPP Heads of State/Government at Bonn, in Germany, Back on 2009, (Comp. "Eurofora"s NewsReports from the spot, f.ex., at: ... + ..), Silvio Berluconi had Denounced a Systematic and Relentless Harassment, Targetting him Personally, with an astonishing degree of Harshness and even Hate, particularly by some Establishment's Medias, Deep State's Bureaucracy, Political Adversaries turned Ennemies, etc. And Shortly Afterwards, he was even Physically Aggressed, by such a Brutal Violence, that he was Pictured with his Face full of Blood ! (See, f.ex.: ...).


Later-on, he was so much Persecuted by some Attorneys and/or Judges, that he was Pushed at the Harsh Situation which was described above, (Comp. Supra). And even Nowadays, it's enough to Watch the way that the Press Deals with him, in order to Easily Find out that, Obviously, Most Traditional, Mainstream Medias of the Establishment, and others, Systematically Attempt to Describe him as a Dangerous, Wrong-Doing Fool, (Choosing also to Publish the Worst possible Photos, showing him as incredibly Stupid and/or Crazy, etc., in the most Degrading possible way), relentlessly pursuing an agenda of "Assassination of Personality", at a Degree Rarely seen elsewhere !


It's Difficult for anyone who hasn't Followed, closely enough, neither examined critically, the overall Context and main Facts surrounding Silvio Berlusconi to guess which might, eventually, be the Real Reasons, and Interests at Stake, which stand Behind such an Exceptional amound of shameless Hate... Both the Right and/or the Left side of the Political Spectrum often having various Controversial Politicians, is it, then, perhaps, for the former Long-Time Italian Prime Minister, the quite particular Fact that, in his Government Coalitions of Center-Right+, were often included also People with a Rare Care for Issues such as f.ex. BioEthics, (as relevant Legislation and Measures attest, During and After his Past Era), which usually Hide a lot of Big and Growing Interests at Stake, behind them ?


At any case, most Contemporary Commentators seem to Agree, Today, that, somehow, Berlusconi has Recently started to Recover his Forces and Appeal, re-Becoming more and more Popular to Italian People, that the Center-Right Aliance that he tries to Lead, would Now have a Real Chance to Win the forthcoming, Spring 2018 Elections in Italy, at a crucial Juncture for possible and necessary efforts by many to Reform and ReBuild Europe anew. F.ex., inter alia, a Recent Poll Already gives the 1st Rank, with around 34% of the Votes, to his Center-Right Coalition, followed by 28% to Bepe Grillo's "5 Stars" Movement, and Only 25% to the currently Governing, mainly Center-Left Coalition.


+ And Berlusconi is also a Pioneer in ECHR's History, where he had, in the Past managed to Open, for the 1st Time, a Legal Space for Private, Independent Radio-TV Businesses, by Breaking down the Former State Monopole in AudioVisual Services and Networks, through an Efficient use of the PanEuropean Convention for Human Rights' Article 10, which guarantees the "Freedom of Expression" (Press/Medias' Freedom included).


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ECHR's+ COMPOSITION :
------------------------------------------


Earlier this Morning, in a full Courtroom for a "Grand Chamber" Public Hearing by 17 Euro-Judges, (the Biggest ECHR Formation, reserved for Important Cases), Exceptionally, the President of the PanEuropean Court, Guido Raimondi, who is of Italian origin, was Replaced by the German vice-President Miss Angelika Nussberger, and another, "ad hoc" Italian Judge was appointed only for this case : Mrs Ida Caracciolo.


The current Government of Italy, (predominantly Center-Left, except of Foreign Minister Alfano), had, characteristically, Chosen almost All, 4 our of 5, of its Lawyers to be Also Women !


And even the Current, Exceptional Composition of Today's ECHR Grand Chamber, is made out of a  Majority of Women among its 17 EuroJudges : 9 are, indeed, Women, (including the Chair : Comp. Supra, and even the Registrar : Also a Lady, i.e. = 10 in all), against just 8 Men.


(On the Contrary, the Applicant's Legal Team was Composed basically by Men, in 7 out of 8 cases, only 1 being a Woman).


+ As far as the Geo-Political aspects are concerned, among 17 Euro-Judges, and 3 "Substitute Judges" (i.e. 20 in Total), the Majority, i.e. 10 are from Neighbouring Countries to Berlusconi's Italy, (such as, f.ex., ECHR's vice-President Sicilianos, from Greece, and Others from Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, FYROM, Albania, Italy -ad hoc-), added to anOther 2 or 3 from Nearby and/or Culturally related Countries, (Romania, Bulgaria, Portugal). Only a Minority of 7 are from Far Away, Not-Related Countries, such as Germany (the Chair : Comp. Supra), Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Poland, Ukraine.


Berlusconi's Lawyers include 2 Professors of University : Bruno Nascimbene, Director of the Institute of International Law at Milan, where he Teaches European Law, with Experience Both at EU's Court of Justice in nearby Luxembourg, and at CoE's Paneuropean ECHR in Strasbourg ; but also the young Andrea Saccucci, Professor of International Law at the Universities of LUMSA in Rome (adjunct) and at Naples associate), as well as of Human Rights at Milan's Catholic University, and Barrister at London's prestigious "Doughty Street Chambers" Legal Firm, in the UK, mainly for various High Profile Human Rights cases.  But his Main Lawyer is the British, "Queen's Counsel" (QC) Edward Fitzerald, a Leading and Experienced Figure at the DS "Chambers" too, together with the young Counsel Steven Powles, a Mediatic Figure, with International links.


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LEGAL POINTS :
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His main Legal Arguments had been Build, from the Start, around 3 Key Points :


(A) Illegal Retroactivity of the Controversial Measure which imposed that Ban, (Comp. Supra), contrary to Article 7 of the EConvHR, ("No Punishment withOut Law".


(B) Free Elections, (Protocol 1, Article 3), combined with No Discrimination (Article 14), and :


(C) Effective Remedy (Article 13).



Berlusconi's Lawyers had Already argued, in these 3 regards, that :


- Despite having been Elected as Senator, and Leader of a Coalition with around 30% of the Vote on February 2013, he was Stripped of his Senatorial Position on November that same year, Because of a controversial Conviction on Tax issues which had Allegedly Occured 15 Years Earlier (sic !), on the Basis of a Governemental Decree passed on December 2012, which imposed Further Penalties for offenses allegedly committed long Before. This also Prohibits him from Standing in the Next Election, estimated for March 2018, Despite a considerable Support from the People. Thus, it's a Retroactive Penalty, Violating EConvHR's Article 7 about No Penalty withOut previous Law.


- Moreover, there was also a "Disproportionate Limitation of Electoral Rights, and Arbitrary Interference with the tenure of a duly Elected Candidate", in Violation of EConvHR's Protocol 1, Article 3, because the above-mentioned Decree imposes a "Ban" from Public Offices during at leasr 6 Years, (i.e. until 2019), Regardless of the Gravity of the alleged offense.  


As for the Decision to Strip from his Senatorial Mandate, it had been taken with a "Process governed by No Accessible Criteria", i.e. "Open to Political Manipulation and Abuse", as it appeared Clearly in this case.


 - Finally, an "Absence of Any ... Judicial Review or Scrutiny of these Complaints in Italy", Violated the EConvHR's Article 13, which guarantees the Right to an Effective Remedy.


----------


++ The Lawyers had, in Addition, Reminded the Supplementary Fact that, Also "a Separate Application to the ECHR", was (and continues to be) "still Pending", for "UnFair Trial", in Violation of EConvHR Article 6, (See also Infra).


-------------------------------------------------------    

     
+ Meanwhile, ECHR itself, had Raised Similar 3 Questions to the Italian Government and to the Applicant, already since 2016, when it Communicated Officially Berlusconi's complaint to Rome :


- (1) By Stripping Berlusconi from his Mandate as Senator, did the Italian Senate apply a "Penalty", "Retroactively", or not ?       

    
- (2) Did it also Violate his Right to Stand for Elections, withOut pursuing a Legitimate Aim, neither respecting Legitimate Expectations, and/or in the Absence of sufficient Safeguards against Arbitrariness ?


 - (3) Did he have an Effective Remedy in Italy ?


Shortly after the Reaction of the Italian Authorities, the Simple ECHR's Chamber, which had been, Initially in charge, Suddenly Asked from ECHR's Great Chamber to take over this case.


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During Today Morning's Public Hearing, in Strasbourg, by ECHR's Great Chamber, which Started soon after 9 a.m. and continued throughout 2 Hours until after 11 a.m., Euro-Judges Heard, at First, the Italian Government's Agents, and Afterwards Berlusconi's Lawyers, Raising Questions to Both, who Replied, one after the other, before the Court concludes that session, in order to Begin its own Deliberations, Later-on :

 


* Among the Questions raised by various EuroJudges, were, naturally, several points about the alleged "Retroactivity" of that Electoral "Ban" :


- F.ex,  Why that Controversial Decree imposing "Bans", was elaborated almost at the Same Time with the Latest Senatorial Elections, Contrary to CoE's Constitutional Law Top Experts, known as "Venice Commission"'s Standards about "Stability (and previsibility) of Electoral Laws" ; Whether there is More Evidence that this "Ban" had really a "Punitive" Aim, (as even its Official Heading suggested) ; Why the Italian Government claims that Only "Uneligibility" would be a "Punitive" Sanction, while "Disqualification" would not, even if the 2nd looks More Harsh ; etc.

 

---

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* But, astonishingly, this Time, the Greatest Number of EuroJudges' Questions, by far, were Focused on various Concrete Aspects of the Decision-Making Process, related with alleged risks for "Abuse of Discretionary Power" :


- F.ex., why anOther Senator, also concerned by Similar Issues as Berlusconi, saw a Differend Outcome in his case, and after What Kind of Procedure ; about "Minimum Guarantees of Impartiality" (according to EConvHR Article 6 on "Fair Trial") in relation with Electoral Rights ; on the "Way that the Discretionary Power" could be used by the Senate in order to Decide on such a "Ban" ; Why the Senate's Rapporteur on those Bans was suddenly "Replaced" by the President of the competent Commission ; Why, "Exceptionaly", for the First Time, on Belusconi's case, the Senate imposed that Ban by an "Open Vote", instead of a "Secret Vote", as it was generaly foreseen by its Rules of Procedure ; Why such a "DisQualification" can be "subject to Judicial Review" Only on Local/Regional level, but Not on a National level, according to Italian Law ; Why Berlusconi did Not Appear in front of  (+was Not Heard by) the Senate's competent Committee (which Decides on that "Ban") ; To Clarify whether the Ban was an "Automatic Consequence" of that Decree, "or a Discretionary" Decision ; If it's the latter, then, had that (Discretionary) "Margin of Appreciation" to respect any "Principle" (as, f.ex., "Independence" of the Decision-Maker, etc) ?; and "what is the precise Subject of such <<Deliberations>>" on the Ban ? (etc).

------------------------------------------

Replying to EuroJudges Critical Questions, the current Italian Government's Agent Maria Giuliana Civinini, first Claimed that, in Berlusconi's case, "the Proceedings were the Same", with another such case : - "There was a Free and Wide Debate", and (anOther MP : Mintzolini) had "Presented his case before the (Competent) Committee". Due to "Doubts about the Impartiality of the Court which had pronounced the latter's Disqualification, this was Refused" by the Senate's votes, Rome's Agent claimed.


Followed a lot of Time, astonishingly Wasted with rather Useless, and/or Out of the Main Point, Long Descriptions of the Preparation and the alleged Reasons for the Existence of that Controversial Decree about Bans, (but Not of the Way in which it was applied, on which EuroJudges had Raised Critical Questions : Comp. Supra)...

 

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It's only about that "Replacement of the Rapporteur" (Comp. Supra), that Mrs Civinini spoke, Admitting that "his Conclusions were Against the Majority" of the Center-Left's Government, and "that's why he was Replaced", But she Claimed that this was foreseen by the Law...


As for the Exceptional use of an "Open Ballot" in the case of Berlusconi, instead of a "Secret Ballot" as it used to be at the Senate's Rules, she Admitted that those Rules "were for a Secret Ballot", indeed, But Claimed that, "things Evolved", over Time, in general, and, "because of the Principles of Transparency, Accountabiity, etc, we Moved towards Open Ballots", etc, as she said, in a quite Vague way...


=> So that, Finally, the current Center-Left Italian Government's Agent, astonishingly, did Not even Reply to Anyone among those Numerous Questions raised by EuroJudges about the Way that the Senate's Administration had used (or ...Abused) of its "Discretionary" Competences to Decide on the Substance of the issue of that controversial Ban (Comp. Supra) !...


---------------------------


- On the Contrary, Professor Andrea Saccucci, replying as a Lawyer of the Appliquant (Silvio Berlusconi), Denounced the Fact that, indeed, that Controversial Decree on "Bans", had been Strongly Criticized Many Times, by various People, particularly for "Risks of Political Prevarication", as it allegedly happened in this case.

 

 
echr_berlu_lawyer_dr._saccucci_replies_eurofora_shot_400 


- Moereover, "the Risk of Arbitrary and Discriminatory Decision, Driven solely by Political Motives, is Not merely Theoretical", as a Comparison with the Similar case of Senator Muntzolini reveals : Indeed, Contrary to Berlusconi, he was allowed to sit for more than 1,5 Year, and, finally, it was Decided Not to Strip him from his Mandate !", Saccucci denounced.


 - In fact, Berlusconi's political Party had Never Agreed for a 6 Years "Ban", Neither for Stripping Elected Politicians from their Mandate, and even Less for doing so Retroactively, (as, however, his Political Opponents did to him), Prof. Saccucci critically observed.


 + Prof. Bruno Nascimbene went on to Focus on "the Way in which had Arrived to its Political and Partial Decision" the Italian Authority which "Banned" Berlusconi : He showed to ECHR a Book on "Manoeuvres in the Wings" of that procedure, which had been Published by a Key Witness shortly after its conclusion, (See relevant PHOTO). It points at the Link between a Procedure which was only in appearence correct, and "Party Politics' Dynamics" and "Arbitrariness" which can drive such Decisions, where "a Parliamentary Majority can Rule on Forfeiture" provoked by that, Nascimbene denounced.

 

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=> So that, in fact, the Final Decision was "Anticipated", and many Bureau Members of the Competent Committee due to decide, had Already Anounced to the Medias how they would vote. All this gave a strong Impression that there was "No Point" for Berlusconi to eventualy Participate in that Committees' hearing, and that's why he was led to drop it, Prof. Nascimbene concluded, in reply to relevant Questions earlier made by EuroJudges, (Comp. Supra).


 + Meanwhile, also the Rapporteur, (who had Asked either to Raise a Question to the Constitutional Court, or to Drop the Sanction which threatened Berlusconi), was Voted Down by the Majority Party, and even Forced to be "Replaced", without any opportunity to object to that.


 - British Lawyer Edward Fitzgerald QC, Replying to another EuroJudge's Question, on the "Punitive purpose" of the Electoral "Ban" imposed to the Italian Political Leader, (a Condition for Retroactivity to be illegal : Comp. Supra), became obvious even by simply reading the Official "Heading" of that Governemental "Decree", which had Introduced that Measure by pointing at a need to "Suppress Corruption and illegality", and "the Effect was clearly Punitive", so there was "No Difference in substance" between a DisQualification imposed by a Court, and that DisQualification ("for a Minimum of 6 Years") imposed by that Senate's Committee, as he said



- Top Lawyer Fitzgerald Concluded by Replying to EuroJudges' Questions about the Legal Competence given to that Committee which could "Ban" MPs and/or Senators (Comp. Supra):  - "If there is a Power, then, clearly, it's Discretionary" he stressed, (pointing, inter alia, also to the Facts that "they Have to Deliberate", and, while for anOther Senator they did Not Strip from Office, on the Contrary, for Berlusconi, they Did : Comp. Supra).

 

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>>> - "The Problem is that, while there is No Doubt that there is a Discretionary Power" (in the Decision to Impose such a Controversial and Heavy "Ban"), nevertheless, there is No Test laid down, No requirement of Proportionality ("it's All or Nothing"), ... No Procedural Guarantees, and ...No Review", he strongly Criticized.

 

 
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 =>  "It's on that Basis that we say that what Happened to Mr. Berlusconi was Arbitrary, and Disproportionate, and he was Wrongly Deprived of Any Possibility of Reviewing" that "Before the Italian Courts" - "Not even the Retroactivity of that (Controversial) Law".


    + Moreover, all this is also Linked to an Old and very Controversial Conviction (for alleged Tax Evasion) in the Past (+ 20 Years Before !), and to that Latest, subsequent  Conviction (the "Ban" on 2013), which is Currently Disputed as "UnFair" and Deprived of Previous Legal Basis, in Violations of EConvHR's Articles 6 and 7, at a Parallel Case which is still "Pending" before the ECHR in Strasbourg until now (Comp. Supra), he Reminded "in fine", (obviously pointing at an overall mixture of apparently quite "Shaky" measures).


--------------------

TIMING :
----------------------------


* Concernig the most Frequent Question, widely Raised by many Medias and various Observers :  i.e. Whether ECHR will Judge this Exceptional Affair Before, or After the forthcoming Italian Elections of Spring 2018, the Pessimistic Claims made by some Traditional Medias of the Establishment, according to which it would be almost "Impossible" for ECHR to Decide on Time, Before these Elections, Crucial both for Italy and all Europe, was, indirecty but clearly, Rejected also by Statements that an experienced ECHR's Press Spokesman made Today in Reply to "Eurofora"s relevant Questions :


 - Even if, in General, the Average Time-frame for ECHR's Grand Chamber Judgements is about 1 Year, nevertheless, Nothing is Impossible, if the EuroJudges might find, eventually, Better to act Faster in some Exceptionally Important cases : Simply because Nothing Obliges the (PanEuropean) Court to Decide inside one or another Time-frame. Euro-Judges are Free and Sovereign in their own Choices, he stressed to "Eurofora", in conclusion.


+Moreover, it's Obvious that, at least in this case, the main Legal Questions, raised by Silvio Berlusconi's Lawyers, have been Already Raised also by the ECHR itself, as Early as since the Beginning of July 2016, in a Written Demand to the Italian Government, (to which they were addressed Together with the Official "Communication" of this affair) :
I.e. : 1) Retroactivity of that controversial Measure of Banishment, 2) Arbitrariness, or not, of an Infringement to the Right to Stand for Elections, and 3) Existence, or not, of an "Effective Remedy" inside the Country, in case of Violations of Human Rights.

------------------------------------------

Berlusconi has reportedly claimed that the Italian People have not really managed to freely Choose thesmselves a Prime Minister since 2008, (when he was in office), and that this has aggravated a MisTrust between Citizens and Politicians.


The Experienced former Long-Time Prime Minister of the Center-Right, (who belongs to the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Poitical Family, as well as German Chancellor Angie Merkel, and EU Commission's President Jean-Claude Juncker, etc), has also reportedly Criticized his main Competitors, by saying that the Center-Left (of the "Socialist" Group) would have "Failed", while the atypical "5 Stars" movement of Bepe Grillo (of Nigel Farage's "EFDD" Group in EU Parliament), would be "a Danger" for Europe.


While, Paradoxically, Silvio Berlusconi himself, would "Incarnate, ... Both the System, and the "Anti-System", ... managing to Hold it all Together", as mainstream French Agency AFP ironically points out, citting Italian "Espresso" magazine.


No need to, eventually, go as far as to mention the new US President Donald Trump, or, the Czech New Prime Minister-Designate, former businessman Babis, who have just Won the Latest Elections, since there are, already, various such concrete Examples, mutatis-mutandis, as, f.ex., with former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, etc...


----------------------


=> To Sum up, in a Nutshell :


- If ECHR Rejects Berlusconi's appeal, and/or Delays its Judgement for Only After the forthcoming Elections in Italy, (i.e., Keeps the Ban, until then, included), then, Regardless of what might be the Political Will of the Italian People, he will be Hindered to be Elected as Prime Minister, and somebody Else will take that place, (probably or possibly from an Opposite Political Party).


Such possible consequences, added also to the Fact that his Complaint to ECHR already Dates since 2013, would obviously raise Critical Questions on the real reasons for such an eventually even Longer Delay to Judge, (2013-2018+).

- On the Contrary, if ECHR Accepts this application, and Publishes Timely  its Decision Before the Elections of Spring 2018, then, the Italian People would have a Chance to Freely Choose their Next Prime Minister, as they wish, (and, according to recent Polls, it may be Silvio Berluconi, probably, or it might not).

I.e., Obviously, a Big Responsibility for EuroJudges. Because, whatever they might do, they will likely contribute to Write History, in one way, or another...


In the 1st Case (comp. supra), ECHR might, naturally, be, eventually, Accused by some for an alleged Attempt to Interfere inside Italy's National Political Life. While, in the 2nd Case, most probably, it woN't, since the PanEuropean Court would leave the People Free to Choose their Prime Minister, as they wish, (Comp. Supra).


What Choice will make ECHR ? Its Deliberations being Confidential, we shall Find out only on Spring 2018.

 

 

(../..)
 
 

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***
 
 
 
(NDLR : Headline PHOTO by Rony Mertens for "Eurofora" : Silvio Berlusconi at EPP Summit in Brussels, 19 October 2017)
 
 
 
 
***
 
 

("DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora"'s Donors/Subscribers earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be published asap.)

 


***




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Benedict's "Source" to revitalize Europe : - "The World needs Hope", Pope says, calling to relaunch E.U. via Human Rights !

Paris - Lourdes - Strasbourg : 12 - 17 September 2008.

The vital need to re-launch Europe can be succesfully met by defending fundamental Human Rights of the People, said Pope Benedict XVI in his 1st speech in France, at his meeting with President Nicolas Sarkozy, who currently chairs the EU.

Sarkozy replied by welcoming Christian and other religions' contribution to indispensable Public Debates on crucial issues which affect Human Dignity, Europe, even Humankind, as BioGenetics.

- "When Europeans will see and personally experience that the inalienable Rights of the Human Person .., those of their free Education, their Family life, their Work, ..their Religious Rights, ..are respected and promoted, then, these Europeans will fully understand the greatness of the European construction and will be actively involved in it", Benedict XVI stressed.

pope_benedict_salutes_with_sarkozy_elysee_400 pope_benedict_speaks_at_elysee_palace__sarkoy_hears_400

- "It's important that during France's EU Presidency, there is, indeed, a desire for the Church to contribute to protect Human Person's integrity, and I think that there is also a growing Conscience, beyond any polemics, to defend Human Rights, and, thus, contribute to ensure respect for Human Dignity", added to "EuroFora" the Pope's Spokesman, Vatican's Press Director Federico Lombardi.

- "Nobody really told us here that Lisbon Treaty was good for this or that reason to the People. They only told us that we "had" to ratify it, and tried to scare us, but failed", said 2 Irish pilgrims to "EuroFora", after 2 Majority Abstentions in 1999 and 2004 EU Elections and 3 "NO" to Referenda in France and the Netherlands in 2005, followed by the Irish "No" in 2008, during a Decade of EU Crisis since the controversial Turkey EU- bid (1999-2008).

More than .."224 cases of Murders, Torture, "Disappearancies" or Destructions" by "agents of Turkish Security forces", where all those responsible for so heavy Crimes still remain scandalously unpunished, despite regular condemnations of Ankara by Strasbourg''s European Court of Human Rights from 1996 to 2008, were examined the same week by CoE's Ministers, who decided to launch a fresh call "urging" the Turkish Authorities to end this dangerous "virtual Impunity" of criminals, without comparison to European countries.

- "Why not Ukraine, instead of Turkey ?", asked EuroFora a Journalist from "Kiev : the city where it's enough to cross the streets in order to realize that it's a European town", as Sarkozy recently said, before solemnly declaring this week, together with Ukranian President Jushenko and EU Commission's chair Baroso, EU's "recognition that Ukraine is a fully European Country, linked to Europe by culture and History".

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Europe's "Christian roots" and Values, with "openess and mutual respect" to other cultures and beliefs, were highlighted by Sarkozy in harmony with Benedict XVI.

The Human person should be protected "from his inception until his natural death", added the Pope, faithful to BioEthic principles defended by his predecessor and collaborator, John Paul II, of topical importance in France, Europe and the World today, as Sarkozy announced :

- "Fast and important progres in Genetic Science and procreation raise delicate BioEthical Questions to our Democracies", which "involve our view of Humans and Life, and can lead to Social Mutations. That's why they cannot remain only a business of experts", hestressed.

- "It's Politician's responsibility to set a proper framework for such Public Debates", as "France will do on BioEthics in 2009". "Religious and Philosophic traditions must take part, with their ideas and centuries' long experience : A positive Laicity is an open invitation to Dialogue", he said.

- "France engaged in Europe at another Debate on how to make Financial Capitalism more moral", and the "Social doctrine of the Church fits well what is at stake in modern Globalized Economy"

- "But, a "Real Dialogue is not for an elite of a Globalized world : It penetrates deep into the People : That's why Churches should actively participate : .. It's bringing New Oxygen to Public Debates", stressed Sarkozy.

- "Democracy must not be cut off Reason", which is "compatible with Faith", thanks to "the meeting between Christianism and Greek philosophy ", he added, referring to Pope's views. "It means to advance with logic arguments, search what's best and respect common principles of thinking :... It's an everyday need for Public Administration and the Political Debate", he added.
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Pope Benedict's 1st visit to France looked like the start of a brillant, manifold demonstration that this was well-founded and could become true in the lives of the People : After its Theoretical foundations unfolded at a "speech to the world of Culture", inaugurating Bernadins' cultural centre, and its dogmatic instrument shaped at an address to the Clergy in the Historic Notre Dame' Cathedral, he started to resolutely reach out to the People :

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The move went upwards like Bach's music : Begining with a call to more than fifteen thousand enthousiastic Youngsters gathered at Notre Dame's parvis with overnight celebrations, it gained strength in an impressive open-air Mass at Paris'central Invalides'area facing Alexander III's bridge, attended by more than 150.000 people, French Prime Minister Fillon, many Ministers, Foreign Ambassadors, etc, and culminated in a series of pan-European Mega-meetings at Lourdes 150th anniversary, together with all French Bishops, EU Commission's vice-Chairman Barrot, and some 200.000 enthousiastic People from all over Europe and beyond : After a Sea of Lights astonishingly braved Saturday Night's rain, an open-air mass at riverside fields among Pyrenees' Mountains Sunday Morning, was followed on Monday by a Sea of "Compassion" to those facing Health or Life threats, surrounded by an endless gathering of People, whose gigantic dimensions obviously surprised the organisers..

Meanwhile, Benedict had the occasion to speak to the French Priests at Notre Dame of Paris, and with the Bishops at Lourdes, where they prepare a crucial November plenary meeting, due to take important decisions on imminent EU debates and choices about Europe's identity, BioEthics, etc.
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- "A new way of thinking about Laicity has become necessary", agreed the Pope with President Sarkozy at Elysee. While keeping the "distinction between Politics and Religion, to guarantee Citizens' Liberty", "religion is important for shaping Consciousness and contributing, together with others, to create a basic Ethical Consensus in society".

- "Searching Essential realities", (as "God" for christians), needs "Speech : "Logos" in greek, i.e. Reason", "able to shape a Community","with creative work transforming Human History". But "Dialogue" is instrumental for "Reason", because it's the way to "search" for Truth", in "Liberty", according to Greek Platonic Philosophy, with Socrates' dialectics. "Reason" implies "Spirit and Liberty", hence the polyphonic "Music" of "Dialogue", in a responsible, "well balanced" way, to avoid "destruction".

Starting with a "Dialogue between christians and intellectual or artistic movements" highlighted at Bernardins' Cultural Center. with former Presidents Chirac and Giscard d'Estain, UNESCO's chair Anastassopoulos, etc., as well as representatives of Muslim Communities, (including a separate Turkish), after contacts with Jews at Vatican's Embassy, the Pope turned towards the People :

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To French Priests : "Church built on the rock" !
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- Speaking to thousands of French Priests at Notre Dame's Cathedral, Benedict highlighted a solid "Church built on the Rock" of conscious and active persons, transmitting "a lively, energetic and sharp" "God's Speech, actively working on Human History".

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"Praying together" with "representatives of Christian Churches and ecclesiastic communities", (as Orthodoxes, Armenians, Protestants, etc), he called "to reinforce the Unity of the church", against "any form of Division", around Holy Spirit', "the Word","Christ's Justice", and "Love" to fellow- humans : Essentials which "resume all holy scripts", as he said.

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To Young People : "New Horizons"
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To some 15.000 enthousiastic Young People at Notre Dame's parvis, along Seine's river, Benedict spoke about "the Energy of the Holy Spirit" and "the Mystery of the Cross" : - "The Holy Spirit opens New Horizons to Human Intelligence .. and makes it conscious of the real greatness of Christ's sacrifice, dying and resurecting for World's life".

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Some "may slander you as crazy, laugh at you, or even persecute you. But, "the Holy Cross is a symbol of God's love", and "givesmoral strength" : "Witness of People's pains, it's at the same time, a precious, unique expression of their Hopes", he told them at Paris' dawn.

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Invalides' plateau : "People chosen to become God's friends"
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At the 1st open-air Mass in Paris' center area of Invalides, facing the Grand Palais, along the river Seine, during an impressive gathering of more than 150.000, French Prime Minister Fillon, Ministers Alliot-Marie, Bachelot, Dati, Jouyet, Assembly's President Accoyer, Senate's Chair Poncelet, former 1st Lady Bernadette Chirac, former Prime Minister Raffarin, many foreign Ambassadors, and other political personalities were present. (While earlier, from the Socialist opposition, Paris' Mayor Delanoye, artist Robert Hussein a.o. assisted at the Elysee meeting).

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But the "Entry Song" focused on the "People chosen to become God's Friends". The September 11 mass was Dedicated to "Saint Chrysostomus, that great priest of Constantinople", with his "wonderful eloquence and great courage to face challenges", who "made out of despaired and godless people, a people of brothers", opening a possibility to "become all one complete entity", as Pope Benedict reminded.

- "Reason never enters in real contradiction with Faith", stressed Pope Benedict, who prepared his speeches for France during a short Summer rest at Brixen/Bressanone's Seminar, whose Library honors both "Faith and Science".. - "We must use not only our Reason, but also our Faith" : "Get away from Idolatry", "cupidity", "avidity for money, power or even knowledge deviating from essential aims", and other "falses appearances". and "build your Home on the Rock", "with the force that Holy Spirit gives to those who let it act in them", he said to the People of Paris.

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Benedict at Lourdes : - "Become Light (even) in the Dark !"
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- "Our World needs Hope", stressed Pope Benedict, addressing an impressive TorchLight procession at Lourdes' sanctuaries, where a Sea of Lights held by Hundreds of Thousands of People gathered at Pyrenee's Mountains from all over Europe astonishingly kept their flames despite a heavy Rain at a windy Dark Night...

- "150 years earlier (1858 - 2008), ..here, in the cave, ... a simple young girl, Bernadette .. saw a Light". "The everyday life of her Family was, however, made of Misery, Sadness, Sickness, Misunderstandings, Rejection and Poverty... It was hard to live in Jail". Today, "we think to all Human Beings who suffer : The innocent Victims who face Violence, War, Terrorism, Hunger, Injustices, Catastrophes, Hate and Oppression, Violations of Human Dignity and of their fundamental Rights, of their Liberty to act and think. We also think to those who face Familial problems, sufferings from Unemployment, Sickness, Infirmity, Isolation, or their situation as Immigrants, without forgetting those who suffer and die for the name of Christ", he said.

- "But the Shadows of the Earth, did not hinder Sky's Light to shine : <<The Light shines in the Dark>>" ..."A Way full of Light opens in Human History even in its Darkest moments" : ..."As Night falls, Christ tels us : <<- Keep your Lamps alight !>>."Hold a Light while walking in the Night .. sums up our condition as Christians on their way : "We need light, and we are called to become Light !", Benedict stressed to People setting in motion Lights, Flags and Songs with enthousiasm.

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"<<- She looked at me as a Person, who speaks to another Person>>, the poor girl had noted."Light emerges from such a Dialogue", stressed the Pope : "A small Flame called Hope, Compassion and Tenderness dwells inside those who return after being moved by Lourdes' experience". "Christ .. entrusts us with the Mission to let the Light of Charity shine : To make of our Prayers an Act of Love to our brothers and to Fraternal Charity", he concluded.

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(../..)

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