Observations on the world today.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Italian Food For Thought 

Success for Bush in Italy - The Washington Times: Editorials/OP-ED - June 14, 2004
President Bush had a successful trip to Italy earlier this month, but no one in America would know it based on the news coverage.
This is a strange criticism coming from a news source. Oh, wait. It's not a news source. It's the Washington Times.
Headlines all focused on the same two themes: Pope John Paul II scolded the president about prison abuse in Iraq, and Italian mobs thronged the streets to protest Mr. Bush. Neither story accurately portrays what were positive meetings at the Vatican and with Italian government officials.
Hmm, something else is missing from this story.

Oh, yeah. They also failed to report that the EU was having votes this week, and Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was counting on Bush's visit to give his party a boost. But the attempt failed.
In Italy, Berlusconi's Forza Italia got 22.3 percent, behind the opposition's 30.8 percent, with 5 percent of the vote counted.

Berlusconi also suffered losses in local elections. Exit polls indicated Forza Italia lost control of the regional government of the island of Sardinia. Renato Soru, founder Tiscali SpA, Europe's third-largest Internet provider, was running for the center-left coalition and clinched between 48 percent and 52 percent of the vote, Nexus said. The Forza Italia candidate won between 38.5 percent and 42.5 percent.
Part of this was due to economic concerns, but not all.
Exit polls from France, Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary pointed to setbacks for ruling parties there, turning the European Union's first elections since it expanded to 25 nations last month into a continent-wide repudiation of a 9.1 percent jobless rate and the role of some countries in Iraq.
It just doesn't pay to be a friend of Bush.


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