The European Rightly
October 20th, 2020

Belgium takes penile prints of asylum seekers

Male asylum seekers entering Belgium will have to cede prints of their erectile penis. ‘We admit fingerprints are too intrusive, that’s why we’re taking penile prints’, government officials say.

Men relieved by Facebook’s new ‘Show me your tits’ button

Of the new ‘Reactions’ Facebook has released, the ‘Show me your tits’ button is by far the most popular. ‘This button expresses what 10,000 likes can’t manage,’ men say. ‘It makes life a whole lot easier.’

Italy elects: Mafia, Camorra or ‘Ndrangheta?

February 21st, 2013

The results of the upcoming Italian elections are far from certain. While the Camorra appear to enjoy a lead in the polls, recent history has proven that the original Mafia can always force a spectacular comeback.

Silvio Berlusconi, leader of Milan based La Stidda, smiles sheepishly. Whichever the outcome of the elections is, organised crime will win.

The race is wide open, and any party could still win. At least, that is if we believe the analysis of Guiseppe Bartoli, senior political analyst of the University of Bologna. ‘The Italian people were very tired of the traditional Cosa Nostra government when the ‘Ndrangheta took over last year. But they haven’t been popular either.’

In the polls, the Camorra currently leads, but not with a wide enough margin to govern solo. ‘Chances are they’ll have to take the ‘Ndrangheta on board,’ says Mr Bartoli. ‘But never count out the Mafia.’

After all, Italian elections are an exercise in creativity. Famously, the Cosa Nostra campaigned on an animal rights platform, which allowed Sicilian sheep to vote in the last elections of 2008. Similarly, the Camorra experimented with letting dead people vote in the municipal elections of 2012.

The three major blocs know how to cater to their voters. ‘Traditionally, the Cosa Nostra provided social services and natural favours in exchange for a vote, but that tradition fell out of favour when it began to court the industry and media conglomerates,’ explains Mr Bartoli, ‘The Camorra is filling that need now.’

Violence is also a method to ensure victory. ‘That’s the expertise of the ‘Ndrangheta, really. They’re good at making last-ditch efforts to either scare away opponents from the polling booths, or make sure they cast the right vote at gunpoint.’

Isn’t this way of doing politics savage and unfair? ‘Maybe. But in a time when all political parties are essentially pushing the same messages and Italian voters are tired of broken promises, a lively campaign can still win the hearts and minds’, says Bartoli.

Guiseppe Bartoli:
‘Sicilian sheep can vote since 2008. The dead can vote since 2012’

Voting takes place on the weekend of February 23 and 24. So far, the Camorra has spent € 120 million in bribes, while the Mafia has spent € 80 million in bribes, € 15 million in extortion and € 40 million in embezzlement. The ‘Ndrangheta refused to release financial figures due to the omertà it maintains.