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Berlusconi on Bribery


eyelight

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From the Financial Times, but behind a paywall.
You can read more here, at Zero Hedge.

Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has defended the need for bribery in winning contracts for Italy’s multinationals, as politicians campaigning in general elections have been forced to respond to a welter of corruption scandals revolving around the nexus of politics and business.

“Bribes are a phenomenon that exists and it’s useless to deny the existence of these necessary situations when you are negotiating with third world countries and regimes,” Mr Berlusconi, leader of a centre-right coalition and seeking his fourth stint in office, said on Thursday.

Mr Berlusconi defended Giuseppe Orsi, head of the state-controlled Finmeccanica defence group who was arrested on Tuesday and accused of involvement in bribes paid to Indian government officials to secure a helicopter contract. Mr Orsi, appointed chief executive under the last centre-right government in 2011 and replaced on Wednesday, has denied the accusations.

“These are not crimes,” said Mr Berlusconi, describing payments as “commissions”.
How third world is north county Dublin?
 


Sync

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Amazing. Prejudicing a trial, accepting corruption and insulting India all in one sentence. He's less a man than a God.
 

LamportsEdge

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Berlusconi shows all the signs of having reached a place where these reality tv contestants reach- that of addiction to being in the news.

I am sure from his previous stints at the top of Italian politics he will be aware that Italy will be legally obliged via OECD related agreements and via World Trade regulations apart from EU treaties that bribery in securing contracts should not be official policy and that in fact legally Italy is bound to prosecute such instances where discovered.

News grandstanding- more to do with election PR in a blanket pre-election media shut down in Italy.

He's just trying to get around the restrictions on media coverage in Italy by saying something apparently daft and in character that he knows will attract a lot of attention. He revels in his 'character' role and in the distance between him and 'boring' candidates and is exploiting that. Like Trump without the dead fox on his head.
 

True Republican

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Given the level of cultural tolerance towards corruption in Itealy, Berlusconis party will probably gain a couple of points between now and election day after those comments.

Jaysus even Haughey wasn't that openly brazen in his heyday.
 

LamportsEdge

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Well ... Berlusconi's background and career history does tend to make one wonder how many friends he has in the same way that one would wonder about a succession of Italian leaders since the war.

They all seem to know a lot about the olive oil business.
 

Fides

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A long time ago I audited an Irish animal feed company that was selling its products to Pakistan. When I questioned some payments going to a London bank account the FD told me with a straight face they were "advertising support"
 
D

Deleted member 17573

A long time ago I audited an Irish animal feed company that was selling its products to Pakistan. When I questioned some payments going to a London bank account the FD told me with a straight face they were "advertising support"
That's the reality - no point in wasting time and effort trying to do business in certain countries unless you have a very generous "advertising support" budget and the Board are prepared not to ask too many awkward questions of the executives who are delivering the profits.
 

FakeViking

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What next? Patrick Bartholmew detailing how the various payments that sloshed through his accounts got there, and what they were in return for? Some chance of that, I grant you.
 
L

longshortgrass

That's the reality - no point in wasting time and effort trying to do business in certain countries unless you have a very generous "advertising support" budget and the Board are prepared not to ask too many awkward questions of the executives who are delivering the profits.
Many moons ago I asked a director of a company I worked for, how to code a "cash" payment. Do you have a code for bribes, sez he...right so, sundry office expenses. :cool:

Guess the country and the business. petunia
 

stopdoingstuff

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He is right though- if you don't throw the cash around in the developing world, someone else will get the contract.
 

Fides

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That's the reality - no point in wasting time and effort trying to do business in certain countries unless you have a very generous "advertising support" budget and the Board are prepared not to ask too many awkward questions of the executives who are delivering the profits.
I also audited a business that derived most of its income from County Councils. Their Christmas present budget was pretty large too! Fine line between a gratuity and bribery. When I worked in the retail sector we had pretty strict rules about the size and value of gifts buyers could accept. But they were still pretty generous. One buyer got brought to all the Irish games at the US world cup.
 

stopdoingstuff

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Maybe he his slogan could be Bribes Abroad, Jobs at Home. Or more realistically Bribes Abroad, Bribes at Home Too.
 
D

Deleted member 17573

He is right though- if you don't throw the cash around in the developing world, someone else will get the contract.
But there are company boards and individual directors who place their executives out in the field in very awkward positions - demanding formal assurances on no bribery etc and then blaming them for not winning the business.
 

eoghanacht

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Amazing. Prejudicing a trial, accepting corruption and insulting India all in one sentence. He's less a man than a God.

I don't know about insulting India, seen a report on the BBC that mentioned that several Indian ministers who are under investigation for serious crimes ranging from murder, large scale theft and murder :eek:
 

Fides

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But there are company boards and individual directors who place their executives out in the field in very awkward positions - demanding formal assurances on no bribery etc and then blaming them for not winning the business.
One of the reasons I got out of the corporate rat race. They want you to do what it takes to get the business but don't want to know if something untoward is involved. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. The horse meat scandal is a case in point - they must have known something dodgy was going on based on the price of the "beef"
 

wombat

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Fine line between a gratuity and bribery. When I worked in the retail sector we had pretty strict rules about the size and value of gifts buyers could accept. But they were still pretty generous. One buyer got brought to all the Irish games at the US world cup.
We discussed it at work one time and decided that the line came between one All Ireland ticket and a trip to the World Cup. The Yanks had a rule of thumb that if you could consume it at one sitting it was OK. However I remember working with a guy at Esso and they were so strict, he insisted in buying his own beer during a round:lol:
 

Lempo

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Many moons ago I asked a director of a company I worked for, how to code a "cash" payment. Do you have a code for bribes, sez he...right so, sundry office expenses. :cool:

Guess the country and the business. petunia
Story goes that some decades back Finnish Skiing Association was in talks about organizing an international skiing contest, when one of the foreing officials, funnily enough today known as stringent anti-corruption spokesman, let it be known that he would very much like and even expect to have a willing lady companion for the night. Someone had enough know-how to have that orchestrated and so it happened.

In the books the expenses were put down under "Flowers for Team Switzerland".
 

Lempo

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The Yanks had a rule of thumb that if you could consume it at one sitting it was OK. However I remember working with a guy at Esso and they were so strict, he insisted in buying his own beer during a round:lol:
Rule of thumb for a Finnish public servant: cold sandwich and warm beer is ok, warm sandwich and cold beer is not.
 

stopdoingstuff

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But there are company boards and individual directors who place their executives out in the field in very awkward positions - demanding formal assurances on no bribery etc and then blaming them for not winning the business.
Very true. Some realism would be appreciated.
 

Sync

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I don't know about insulting India, seen a report on the BBC that mentioned that several Indian ministers who are under investigation for serious crimes ranging from murder, large scale theft and murder :eek:
Oh sure. But....he wants to be head of the country. And he's just called them 3rd world. And a regime. The factual accuracy of the statement is irrelevant. It's idiotic.
 

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