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Pagina principale 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 ?

Scritto da 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).


--------------------------------------------
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).


------------------------------------
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.

 

echr_berlu_lawyer_prof._nascimbene_replies_eurofora_shot_400


=> 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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    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

imag0475_400
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
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EU "Solidarity" ?
------------------------------   

Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

croatian_president_mesic_ 

Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

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