I snapped this picture of the infamous “No Barrique, No Berlusconi” bottle during a visit with Maria Teresa Mascarello at Bartolo Mascarello’s winery in Barolo two weeks ago.* It was out on the table in the homey room at the front of the winery where Maria Teresa receives visitors, a quiet yet poignant political statement in advance of the Italian elections. Well, those elections happened over the weekend and, I’m sorry to say, Berlusconi has been returned to power. As this article in today’s New York Times points out, he was able to do so in part because of the support of the Lega Nord, or Northern League.
I don’t really want to get into the Lega Nord’s rather xenophobic politics*, but I will share this photo of two of the party’s recent campaign posters–several of which I saw plastered around Verona wile visiting the city for VinItaly:
(Photo credit: via Willy or Won’t He?)
The one on the left is fairly obvious (“Enough with taxes, enough with Rome”). It’s the poster on the right that has me the most disturbed, with the image of an American Indian and the phrase “Loro non hanno potuto mettere regole all’immigrazione, ora vivono nelle riserve!” Loosely translated it reads “They didn’t have immigration laws and now they live on reservations!”.
The contrast between this poster and Mascarello’s bottle couldn’t be more clear (and, perhaps, this might give American readers a hint of the context in which Mascarello created this label in the first place). Note to Maria Teresa: it might be time to release another round of “No Barrique No Berlusconi” bottles…
*See my earlier post about the collapse of Prodi’s government (which brought about this early election in the first place), and a mention of Mascarello’s famous label.
*By way of background, Wikipedia has a succinct article on the Lega Nord here.