As you may know I'm quite worried about the rise of fascism in Europe. Not so much about the marginal extremist parties, that too, but specially about the sliding into totalitarianism without almost noticing, carried by "perfectly normal" conservative or even socialist parties.
In the case of Italy, where there is no free press de facto (all the relevant media belongs to Berlusconi, a system almost identical to the regime of Milosevic in Serbia: allows voting but misinformation reigns), where the ruler has got away from justice way too many times by pushing legal reforms that would make him immune to prosecution, where he is strongly suspected to be in collussion with the Mafia and member of the former totalitarian and violent masonry the Logia P2, the situation has gone awry long ago.
Sadly the EU has not been able or willing to impose a quarantine on his regime, the same it did with that of Haider in Austria some years ago. But the situation is way too similar. And one can't ignore that the neofascists of Fini are a pillar of Berlusconi's ruling bloc.
Today we learn with deep sadness and worry that Italy has gone one, or rather two steps further into full fledged fascism: it is the first EU country to make illegal immigration a punishable crime, not just for immigrants but also for "collaborators", like people who might rent homes to these refugees, who can be punished with up to five years in prision. Simultaneously "citizen patrols" have been legalized.
I have been very much concerned in particular about Italy's democratic demise in the las two decades and I suspect that this year and these laws will be soon considered by historians as an inflection point in the slide of old Italy to a new form of fascism.
What is even more worrisome is that the same kind of trends you see everywhere in EU: France, Britain, Spain... all these states and many others are more and more becoming less democractic and more totalitarian. Civil rights are less and less and we are almost forced to look outside Europe, maybe to countries like Brazil or Bolivia in order to find references for democracy in the 21st century.
A very sad decade for Europe indeed.