Sunday, 14 November 2010

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Italian

(Grevel, dozer)

[Edoardo Montenegro, Turin] - The crisis of the Italian Government deepened last Sunday, when Gianfranco Fini - Parliament speaker and former ally of Silvio Berlusconi - spoke in Perugia at the first convention of his party, Future and Freedom, asking Silvio Berlusconi to resign (1).

A week later, as Silvio Berlusconi is silently coming back from the G20 meeting in Seoul (2), a motion of confidence called by the Democratic Party and the Italy of Values waits for him at the Chamber of Deputies, while his allies called a rival motion at the Italian Senate, where he looks stronger (3).

The reaction of the financial markets was sharp: the yield on 10-year government bonds rose in a week from 3.93% to 4.287% (4). The President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano was firm in explaining that a government crisis must not come before the Financial Stability Law for 2011 is passed (5).

A formal crisis would probably lead to a Center-Right government held by someone else than Berlusconi (6). Liberation is probably coming, but it is not time to call for a celebration (7): despite his weakness, indeed, Silvio Berlusconi is still the one ready for early elections (8). All the more reasons, his rivals now stand together against him, but they are likely to split again soon (9).

Adriano Sofri wittily explained that it looks as if Italians had to choose between the Constitution and prostitution (10), the dream of Eugenio Scalfari still being too far: Italians choosing between a republican Center-Right government and a reformist Center-Left government (11).

In the meantime, a new goverment will have to face tough economic problems: the lack of productivity (12), the insufficient competition on the service sector (13) and the difficulty for young people to make ends meet (14).


(1) Generazione Italia, "Discorso di Fini alla convention di Perugia - video",

(2) Francesco Bei, "E Berlusconi fugge da Seul",, November 12th 2010.

(3) "Governo, è guerra delle mozioni",, November 13th 2010.

(4) Read the following articles on the subject:
  • Federico Fubini, "Mercati in fibrillazione per i titoli italiani: da mesi non succedeva",, November 8th 2010
  • Christopher Emsden, "Berlusconi looks secure, for now, amid attacks", The Wall Street Journal Europe, November 9th 2010
  • "Lo spread tra Btp e Bund al massimo dall'introduzione dell'Euro",, November 12th 2010
(5) Umberto Rosso, "Napolitano: prioritario approvare la finanziaria",, November 9th 2010.

(6) Marcello Sorgi, "La crisi è aperta",, November 8th 2010.

(7) Massimo Giannini, "E' arrivato il 25 aprile",, November 8th 2010.

(8) Guy Dinmore, "Berlusconi thrown a lifeline",, November 8th 2010.

(9) Massimo Franco, "L'asse del Nord",, November 9th 2010.

(10) Adriano Sofri, "L'abuso di potere/10",, November 7th 2010.

(11) Eugenio Scalfari, "L'ultima partita a scacchi del Cavaliere",, November 7th 2010.

(12) Mario Draghi, "Un mix di ostacoli alla competitività",, November 6th 2010.

(13) Bill Emmott, "Made in Italy alla prova della realtà",, November 7th 2010.

(14) Tito Boeri, "Conti, l'inno alla miopia",, November 10th 2010.

Related article in English

Related articles in Italian
  • Massimo Giannini, "In fondo al pozzo",, November 5th 2010
  • Miguel Gotor, "L'italia un satellite immobile senza idee",, November 7th 2010
  • Carlo De Benedetti, "C'era una volta la buona politica",, November 10th 2010
  • Jacques Attali, "Il decalogo per salvare l'Italia",, November 11th 2010
  • Giuseppe D'Avanzo, "L'abuso di potere/12",, November 11th 2010

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