Alessandra Addari / Politics

Offensive? Franco Battiato

Franco Battiato, Regional Councilor for Culture and famous singer-songwriter said in his speech at the European Parliament in Brussels on the 26th March: “There are sluts around in Parliament who would do anything, they should open a casino“.

Immediately, the Rosario Crocetta, President of the Sicilian Region, decided to fire Franco Battiato and defined these claims serious and unacceptable.  “It’s been a hard but inevitable decision – he said – I had to take it for the good of Sicily”, adding that he is very fond of Battiato, that he is a great musician, a magical person but that this invasion in the field of politics is difficult to reconcile with his way of being. He stated: “An artist has artistic freedoms, but when speaking for the institution, language must be considered and expressions have to be more careful. With pain I decided to end this experience but prospects for cooperation remain open because he is a great artist and a great man and he was doing a good job”.

Battiato said that his statements were misunderstood, because they were related to neither the European Parliament nor the Italian present parliament. He was addressing the political malfeasance of both men  and women in the last Parliament. He stated: “I was simply referring to prostitution that members of the Italian Parliament were involved in until a few months ago, which now has resulted in the political dishonesty”.FrancoBattiato2

Even before the incident took place both the opposition and certain sections of the majority had already criticized the Italian singer, lamenting his absence at the Sicilian Regional Assembly (ARS) and the lack of activism in the Councillorship of Tourism, often because of his musical commitments. Yet only two weeks ago, Sicily Governor Crocetta defended the councilor and praised his work within a mismanaged government.

Many Italians, like the President of the Chamber of Deputies Laura Boldrini, are offended by the Battiato’s words and feel a strong sense of ethics at this moment in time. She defined his words as offensive and vulgar, saying: “As President of the Chamber of Deputies and women I reject this insult in the strongest terms to the Parliament’s dignity. Not even his prestige can authorize him to use expressions so indiscriminately offensive”. She further explained that the criticism can of course be harsh, but it should never exceed the boundary that separates it from outrage.

But where was all this outrage when the former prime minister was under investigation for various offenses, organized private parties surrounded by young women with disputable attitudes? Why is there outrage now, when someone finally has spoken about the indecency of the Italian Parliament? So it is permissible to have a questionable conduct but it is reprehensible when someone says it? Typically Italian.

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