Berlusconi’s Thoughts on the Size of Angela Merkel’s Bottom Shouldn’t Overshadow the Future of Italy
Silvio Berlusconi is now dead man walking. But his core political ideals were sound. Can Italy find a leader to put those ideals into practice once the obsession with sex scandals has subsided?
The downgrade of Italy’s public debt last week by Standard & Poor’s was just the latest in a string of deafening alarm bells for Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right government.
More than ever, Italy needs a responsive government, deep reforms, and the establishment of the kind of new vision for the country that is so conspicuously absent today.
But surely, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”? Unfortunately, Italian politics doesn’t quite work like that. The reverse is probably more likely.
The centre-right majority in parliament gets weaker and more fractious every day, despite what the Prime Minister says.
For longtime observers of Italian politics, this is nothing new. But the problem is that now - with the government almost bankrupt and its legitimacy at a historic low - “business as usual” is no longer doable.
Berlusconi’s political credibility is gone - this time in Italy too - sunk by a series of scandals as a result of leaked personal phone conversations (he was caught using a Peruvian SIM card), and lead-nowhere investigations in the circus surrounding his private life.