“Absolute power – The hundred magistrates who rule in Italy” (Solferino) by Sergio Rizzo read by Tullio Fazzolari
In the comics of the great Enzo Lunari published in “Linus” a disturbing character appeared: the Burotauro. Without moving from his cave, he dominated everyone by operating a colossal instrument: the Legislative Organ. But there was no need to invent it because something similar in Italy is already there and is able to make good and bad weather almost without anyone noticing. At least until today. Absolute power by Sergio Rizzo (Solferino, 256 pages, 17 euros) finally reveals all the secrets of the Council of State, the supreme administrative judiciary of Italy.
A real world apart emerges from Rizzo’s investigative book. A little more than one hundred councilors effectively control all the key moments of the public administration. They are the ones who write the laws. It is always them who decide how to apply them. It can be assumed that they are all (but not all) personalities with a high legal profile. But competence is almost always accompanied by wide margins of discretion. And we can safely say that it has been like this since the beginning: in 1946, for example, the president of the Council of State (who was considered to be of proven monarchical faith) even managed to delay the outcome of the referendum and the proclamation of the Republic.
And today councilors appear everywhere. The legislative offices of the most important ministries are headed by a councilor of state. As well as the general secretariats for the presidency of the Council and Parliament. And just so as not to deprive themselves of anything, they have almost total control even of sports justice whose organs have a councilor of state at the top. Maybe not always in tune but in the end and in any case one of them makes the final decision. Just remember a recent example and that is the famous match between Juventus and Napoli to which the Neapolitan team does not show up due to the covid.
It is not surprising then that the councilors of state have a certain ease in deciding on themselves as well. Derogations on secondments to go and fill an important role in the ministries are never a problem. Advances in degree either. According to the staff, the section presidents should in all eighteen, including the three destined to deal with the autonomous region of Sicily. And instead there are thirty-two. All possible, as Rizzo says, thanks to a homemade mechanism: if a section president goes out of office for a position that is well known to be temporary (for example as head of the cabinet of a minister), another one is immediately appointed who but acquires the degree outright. Indeed, as happened in 2017, even three are promoted. Without a doubt it is “Absolute Power” and Sergio Rizzo’s book describes it in a detailed and scrupulous way. He who knows if in the justice reform invoked by President Mattarella we will also take a look at the Council of State

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