Trawling the English press for news of home I'm rewarded by two choice glimpses into contemporary Italian sexual mores. The first is news of the arrest of two men for having kissed (termed by the carabinieri an 'oral relationship') outside the Coliseum. This has prompted gay groups to organise a kiss-in and arch-homophobe Rocco Buttiglione, the man the EU sent home, to say that the kiss was part of a crusade to undermine traditional values. (It takes so little...).
The second involves the wonderfully named Cosimo Mele, an MP and member of Buttiglione's own party, who got anxious when the tart he was entertaining in a hotel room, presumably because his wife had guests, came over all funny after a substantial amount of cocaine. He called the police, distracting them, no doubt, from their kiss-watching duties at Rome's most historic buildings, and found his name in the following day's newspapers. He's resigned from the party, though not apparently from parliament, but nonetheless managed to pat himself on the back for having phoned for help. The idea that he might just have done a bunk was clearly there as an option.
It's fairly obvious what these two stories tell us about Italy. It's sad, though, that of all the news generated by the sixth economic power, NATO member, etc. etc. these should have been the only items considered worth printing by the Guardian. There's nothing, for example, about Cesare Previti resigning from the senate. Previti, Berlusconi's henchman and erstwhile business lawyer, not to speak of ex-Minister of Justice, and one of the most unredeemably sordid members of the buffoon's inner circle, was recently condemned definitively for corrupting a judge on his boss's behalf. He has finally given up his seat weeks before being booted out and can now devote his forensic energies to commuting his six year sentence to house arrest overlooking the fountains of Piazza Farnese.
This clearly wasn't seen as deserving of the ink.