Thursday, February 14, 2013

Paying Bribes Abroad A Matter of Necessity:Former Italian PM


“We can no longer compete abroad. We’ve been shooting ourselves in the foot. No one will do business any more with ENI, or ENEL, or Finmeccanica. Bribery exists. It’s pointless to ignore reality. Paying a bribe abroad is a matter of necessity”. That was how People of Freedom (PDL) leader Silvio Berlusconi, speaking on RaiTre’s Agorà programme, commented on India’s decision to suspend the purchase of helicopters following the Finmeccanica scandal. The former PM added: “In Italy and in other democracies, such things do not exist but there’s no point in judging what goes on in India. That is just absurd moralising”.
MASOCHISM – “I have given you a snapshot of what goes on when Italy’s crown jewels have to deal with foreign countries, they have to adjust to other democracies”, Mr Berlusconi went on, referring to Finmeccanica. “These magistrates have shown how to shoot yourself in the foot. We are ruling ourselves out. No one will negotiate with us any more. This is sheer masochism. So we don’t want to pay commissions? Then let’s stay at home”.
NECESSITY – Referring to the Indian embargo on the order, Mr Berlusconi said: “India is a country that lies outside the western sphere. This is absurd moralising. That’s not how you do business”. He added: “Bribery is something that exists and you can’t ignore situations of necessity if you are going to negotiate with third-world countries or certain regimes”.
14/02/13 Corriere della Sera