Saturday, June 17, 2006
Italian prince acting common again
One of the more reliable markers of a right-winger is the attitude toward prostitution and prostitutes. Wingers typically feel strongly that society must wage a War on Prostitutes and that the profession must remain illegal. This view is always promoted as the "moral" view, but one suspects the Invisible Hand is actually creating a market in which most of the profits go not to the workers but to the middlemen—otherwise known as "pimps."
That is likely the case with Crown Pimp Victor Emmanuel of Italy. Reuters reports that—
Prince Victor Emmanuel, 69-year-old son of Italy's last king, was arrested on Friday as part of an investigation into corruption and prostitution, a judicial source said.
Victor Emmanuel was among around 13 people arrested as part of a police operation focussing on the activities of a casino in northern Italy.
Among those detained was a top aide to the foreign minister in former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government which lost power in a national election in April.
Reports said investigators suspected Victor Emmanuel of having contacts with the Mafia and of helping procure prostitutes for clients of a casino in Campione d'Italia, an Italian enclave on Lake Lugano near the Swiss border.
Male heirs of the Italian royal family were forbidden to enter Italy since shortly after World War II. In 2002 the government of Silvio Berlusconi changed the laws to let them back in. But how did they expect a prince to earn a living?
This little tale helps us see the close alliance between the Church, monarchism and fascism—all brothers in arms—
Victor Emmanuel ... was involved in ... "criminal association abetting prostitution".
A devout Roman Catholic, one of the first things Victor Emmanuel did when he returned to Italy was to attend a private mass with the late Pope John Paul at the Vatican.
ANSA [an Italian news agency] said Salvatore Sottile, top aide and spokesman for former Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini of the right-wing National Alliance party, had been put under house arrest as part of the same operation.
Pimping wasn't the prince's only source of income. According to Canadian Press,
ANSA said Victor Emmanuel was allegedly part of a ring trafficking gambling video games in Italy.
This isn't the first time the prince has had a run-in with laws that were never meant to apply to him—
The arrest is the latest legal woe for Victor Emmanuel, who returned to Italy with his family in 2002 after a half-century of exile imposed on the monarchy because of its support for fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.
Decades ago, Victor Emmanuel spent several weeks in jail after the fatal shooting of a German teenager....
In the 1978 shooting, Victor Emmanuel was accused of firing a shotgun blast from his yacht that fatally wounded a 19-year-old German on a nearby yacht near the island Cavallo, off Corsica.
He claimed he fired in the air and always denied responsibility for the death. Legal proceedings eventually cleared him of the slaying.
Victor Emmanuel also has a big mouth—
The ban [on the male Savoys] was lifted after decades of efforts, that included lobbying the European and Italian parliaments and bringing their cause to the European Court of Human Rights.
But in 1997, those efforts suffered a serious setback when Victor Emmanuel said racial laws promulgated in Italy in 1939 - which expelled Jews from government and university jobs and the military and restricted their work, schooling and right to own property - "weren't so terrible."
Shortly before his return he issued a statement saying the laws represented "the memory of an indelible stain on the family's history."
The Savoy family has been back in Italy for just a little over three years, and it's refreshing to see how quickly they've become involved in national affairs.