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"Italia, sveglia!" Basta con la Gerontocrazia!

"Italy, wake up!" Away with the Gerontocracy! (visual montage)

Click to enlarge.Click to enlarge.

With the death of Giulio Andreotti (1919-2013), an almost life long parliamentarian and political conspirator, and the election of Giorgio Napolitano, 88 this summer, for a second term of seven years as President of Italy, it is time for Italy to put an end to more than half a century of rule by old men and their clientelist networks. Geronto - old man - networks serve political aims and personal profits equally.

With political actors such as Silvio Berlusconi - who will be 77 in September - and Stefano Rodotá - the other candidate in the presidential election - turning 80 this month, Italy should wake up and put an end to this 'gerontocracy' that has hampered its development for so long.

They could take a hint from Pope Benedict XVI who after a 'papacy' of only eight years (2005-2013) rejected his life long power position and retired to become citizen Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger (1927-) once again.

As a new generation of politicians emerges, like Beppe Grillo (born in 1948) and Enrico Letta (the new Prime Minister, born in 1966), there is a chance for change, but only if women are also better represented in government positions and the political arena.

Clientelism still makes up the skeleton of Italy's brontosaurus politics. The shadow of Andreotti - a man who has dominated the Italian political scene since 1946 and is commonly known as Beelzebub, (a devilish angel) - needs to be dissipated first.

Berlusconi is only a bleak mirror image of Andreotti when it comes to corruption, embezzlement and behind the scene associations with all parts of the Italian ruling class, legal and illegal.

For further documentation on Italian Gerontocracy see:

About the author

Tjebbe van Tijen was curator of the department for the documentation of “modern social movements” at the University of Amsterdam and in the International Institute of Social History.

He works as a multi-media artist under the name Imaginary Museum, making interactive installations to dramatise history. He now works for the School of Creative Media at the City University of Hong Kong developing a visual narrative education system'.

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