Unlike their craven brethren in the "lamestream' US and UK media, the Italian newspapers have been blowing the whistle on the Berlusconi government's arms sales to the psychotic Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi who is now using those very same weapons to murder his own people.
Journalist Fiorenza Sarzanini writing in today's (26th February 2011) edition of the national Corriere Della Sera revealed how high tech weapons systems, military vehicles, and helicopters have been supplied by Italian companies in recent years. The list of exports between 2008 and 2010 includes spare parts for warships & weapons, materials for bombs, rockets, and missiles.
The information comes from a government report prepared by security officials in the Italian Ministry of Internal Affairs which took stock of the current crisis that is attempting to overthrow the Gaddafi regime. One chapter is even devoted to the impact that the wider revolt my have on the Italian economy.
Libya ranks in fifth place of the supplier nations to Italy with about 4.5% of imports and a total estimated exchange between the two countries of about 12 billion Euros last year. Libya is Italy's number one supplier of crude oil and third largest supplier of natural gas.
The list of over 100 Italian companies doing big business with Libya includes Telecom, Alitalia, Edison and Grimaldi, Visa, and Saipem.
Other interesting points revealed in the report include news in May 2009 the company Mbda Italy signed an agreement for 2.5 million Euros for the supply of equipment for torpedoes, bombs, rockets, and missiles. In October last year, Agusta scored two contracts for high-tech equipment worth over 70 million Euros and in November Ota Melara launched negotiations for a weapons systems of more than 12.7 mm caliber as well as materials, parts, technical know-how and other equipment. Alenia Aermacchi obtained a contract for a program of training & updating of the propulsion & weapons systems of Sf-260 aircraft.
In January Intermarine launched negotiations for a 500 million Euro contract to supply equipment & software for Libyan warships and a month later another worth 100 million Euros - at the same time Oto Melara took a similar amount for other war materials
Only last month Alenia Aermacchi signed a deal for spare parts for aircraft as other arms companies were negotiating further contracts worth another 150 million Euros.
American & British "lamestream' media has been very reluctant to reveal their own government's duplicity in funneling arms to a madman who is now using them against this own people. Perhaps Italian journalists just have a conscience, unlike their American & British colleagues?