Since 2005 ONE has been monitoring promises made by the G8 countries to Africa. Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi is unique because he is the only leader to have consistently cut effective aid to Africa since he personally signed the G8 communiqué in 2005.
So last year we launched a campaign called Hurl Berl, which asked ONE members to literally throw Prime Minister Berlusconi out of the G8.
The game was intended to be light-hearted and satirical. But there is a serious message: when leaders make serious commitments they should follow up on them. ONE therefore welcomes Prime Minister Berlusconi’s decision to step aside and, we hope, be replaced by someone who will keep his or her promises to the world’s poorest.
Italy’s financial situation is serious, but as policy-makers are considering budget reforms, we are calling on members of the Italian Parliament not to balance the budget on the backs of the poor. As they look to replace Prime Minister Berlusconi, we are asking that they keep in mind that Italy should never again be associated with broken promises to the world’s poorest – their commitments should be associated with European leadership on aid.
In the meantime we ask you to Hurl Berl one last time and ask your friends to join you!