Lebanon: An Italian Lesson for Lebanon

What are the similarities between Lebanon and Italy, other than the fact that they both overlook the Mediterranean?

Blogger Antoun Issa, in his latest post at Lebanese Chess argues that his understanding of Italy’s political corruption can certainly be compared – both directly and indirectly to Lebanon’s political corruption as well. He writes:

Like Italy, the Lebanese have for 60 odd years of independence been submerged in a corrupt political establishment that has shown no signs of disappearing despite bloody civil wars and endless economic failures.

Issa starts his argument by pointing to Italy’s Beppe Grillo (an Italian activist, comedian and actor) who has played a role in the unveiling of the Parmalat’s financial fraud (Parmalat is an Italian dairy and food corporation). He says:

The public's anger has catapulted anti-corrupt comedian Beppe Grillo into fame. Perhaps Grillo's most famous achievement was unveiling financial fraud in dairy giant, Parmalat, in 2003.

The blogger then discusses his own experiences by comparing his circumstances as a Lebanese citizen to Beppp Grillo’s statements:

The Italian comedian states that everyone in Italy knows about the corruption scandal, but thanks to a politically-driven media, no one speaks up. Sound familiar, dear Lebanese? Probably explains why The Daily Star never publish my material.

A brief and quick analogy from the blogger's point of view adds more details to his argument by drawing parallels between the Lebanese and Italian societies:

The scenario isn't much different in Lebanon. The sudden obsession with material possession, brand names, and a bubbling Beirut nightlife have contributed to the political fatigue, and soured the call for desperate change. Many Lebanese, like many Italians, prefer to ignore the political corruption stifling their daily lives by indulging in alluring material riches.

Antoun Issa ends his article stating that Italy has found its shepherd in Beppe Grillo, who has moved the masses:

…It is Italy's wake up call.
Now we just need to find Lebanon's wake up call.

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