In "old" Europe, the overall sentiment for US policy and just how far the public is willing to let local Governments go in catering to US needs is changing. Italy's Prodi predicament is a prime example. Nobody likes a crisis but crises are quite often the sole predecessors of real changes. Italians are not afraid of crises or confrontations. They like to speak their minds and given most any chance...they'll do so and you'd better beware if you're on their sh*t list. Silvio Berlusconi made the list last year and Romano Prodi made a strong comeback, bringing with him the promise of a stronger Italy. One that would no longer blindly cater to the US' needs for more bodies in Afghanistan and Iraq. That's really the key issue right there. Who wants a Government that is planning to send our kids off to an illegal and unjust war we didn't start or provoke ? All the while, the idea of yet another, a third illegal war looming. Is it any wonder the people are fed up ? Not only in Italy, but also in all other European countries. In Italy this past Saturday, in a place called Vicenza ( Vicenza is approximately 60 km west of Venice and 200 km east of Milan ), some 100,000 people hit the streets in protest of the planned expansion of a US military base. The protest was also directed against the US war in Iraq and the foreign policy of the centre-left Italian government of Prime Minister Romano Prodi. Now that's what I call "speaking one's mind" ! Prodi accelerated the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, mind you, but he also angered a few senators by not ending Italy's participation in an Afghanistan peacekeeping mission. Does anybody smell Democracy here ? I do.
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