Sunday, 1 August 2010

Berlusconism 2.0

[Edoardo Montenegro - Turin] It is time for a showdown between Silvio Berlusconi and Gianfranco Fini.

Following his public attack on April, Gianfranco Fini moved away from the political scandals strangling the People of Freedom, regularly recalling the constitutional principles of morality and democratic freedom (1). The 'P3' scandal was the point of no return: politicians and businessmen close to Berlusconi are indeed accused of trying to influence judges to grant the premier immunity from prosecution (2).

As outlined by Adriano Prosperi, the cancer affecting the country is eventually appearing, breaking the shield built by televisions and newspapers: "the transformation of public position in private benefit, the use of political power as a mean to escape justice, to commit criminal actions of blackmail, to decide political success as well as political misfortune" (3).

Beset by internal accusations, Silvio Berlusconi thus decided to expel Gianfranco Fini from the party (4). The price to pay is high: 33 deputies have joined the group "Future and Freedom", founded by Fini (5). Besides, according to a research by Renato Mannheimer, one Italian out of five would be ready to vote for a new moderate party (6).

Forza Italia was born as Silvio Berlusconi's private property: as explained by Nadia Urbinati, turning into the People of Freedom the party never evolved into a liberal political entity. Ceasar does not tolerate any internal dissent (7).

The end of Silvio Berlusconi, which is yet to be proven given his huge mediatic and economic power (8), might not determine the end of Berlusconism: as the ship begins to sink, mice are ready to turn their coat in search for a new master.

As a matter of fact, the ground that allowed the weed to grow has not changed: familism, clientelism and transformism are still the three main pillars of Italian culture.


(1) "P3, affondo di Fini al Pdl: 'Chi è indagato lasci l'incarico'",, July 26th 2010.

(2) Dinmore, Guy, "Crises forces Berlusconi to cancel summer holiday",, July 16th 2010.

(3) "La loro azione si è basata su di un principio che sempre più si rivela il vero cancro del sistema che avvolge la società italiana e ne sta dissolvendo le fondamenta: la trasformazione dell'ufficio pubblico in beneficio privato, l'uso del potere politico come strumento per sfuggire alla legge, per compiere criminali operazioni di ricatto, per determinare fortune e sfortune politiche". Prosperi, Adriano, "La ragnatela occulta",, July 28th 2010.

(4) Bracconi, Marco, "Berlusconi rompe: finiani fuori dal partito",, July 29th 2010.

(5) Telese, Luca, "Finiani in libertà",, July 31st 2010.

(6) Mannheimer, Renato, "Per il 'terzo polo' un potenziale del 22%",, July 26th 2010.

(7) Urbinati, Nadia,  "Cesarismo democratico",, July 26th 2010.

(8) Stille, Alexander, "E' finito Berlusconi?", July 26th 2010,

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