The Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, yesterday visited the US President George W. Bush, offering him "moral and material help" in the fight against terrorism.Unfortunately, last week the Italian government voted a law that is going to turn out as nothing but an indirect help for terrorism, making it very easy to wash dirty money in Italy. A similar law goes in the opposite direction in respect to what the rest of the world is trying to do: cut off the stream of money that gives terror its power. So why did they do it? Silvio Berlusconi is involved, along with other members of the party in power, Forza Italia, in many trials for corruption and other crimes related to the managing of his huge financial kingdom. This particular law makes it almost impossible for judges to use rogatory letters to obtain information from other countries, while sometimes communications from banks abroad are the only way to prove that some dirty money really exists. Needless to be say, evidences against members of Forza Italia already on trial will be lost forever. The saddest thing is that together with Silvio Berlusconi and his friends many others will also be able to escape justice with the same legal weapon: terrorists, members of the Mafia, drug dealers.
Many voices were raised against this selfish and dangerous act, from liberal areas (The Economist) to the angry left wing Italian opposition, but nothing changed. Another big mistake for prime minister Berlusconi, after the speech about the superiority of the occidental culture in respect to Islam that just a few days ago risked to ruin weeks of diplomatic efforts to create a global alliance against terror.