Feb 26, 2013

Elections don’t solve Italy’s chaos (or get rid of Silvio)

Italy has once again expressed a deep desire to fail to come to grips with its deep political and structural problems, says Crikey's man in Europe. Silvio Berlusconi is still standing.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


silvio berlusconi

In 2011, Italy, teetering on the edge of political and economic disaster, forced the departure of beleaguered, scandal-ridden prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, ushering in the rule of dour technocrat Mario Monti (the European Union had a bit of a hand in it, too). The prospect of some basic sanity gave Monti widespread public support, especially as there was no punitive regime imposed, as was occurring in Greece. Monti did exactly as he said he would, stepping aside when the 2013 elections came around. He formed his own electoral group, “With Monti for Italy”, and ran on the basis of continuing a prudent, gradual move towards stability.

In the counting for the weekend’s election, Monti is currently running fourth at 9%, well behind stand-up comedian Beppe Grillo and Berlusconi, the man whose mess he was employed to clean up.

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4 thoughts on “Elections don’t solve Italy’s chaos (or get rid of Silvio)

  1. joanjett

    I was reading Grillo’s blog yesterday and was deeply impressed (although I actually already knew who he was having seen a show of his when I lived there). Italians are very technology-adverse and he is enlightening them about the internet and is a huge critic of Telecom Italia. But he mostly highlights the huge amount of cronyism in the public service, which sees officials paid enormous sums for the rest of their lives in their “pensione”. If he has the guts to tackle entrenched tax avoidance (rife as in Greece) and reel in wages and entitlements then he will be doing the country a huge favour. I really recommend reading “Midnight in Sicily” by Peter Robb (aussie journalist) for a comprehensive look at the country and its historical links between the mafia and the government to get an idea of how corruption is entrenched over there. I wish Beppe and his Vaffanculo moment all the very best luck in the world. But if Eric Ellis is correct in his recent article on M5S then the Machiavellian nature of power will win, unfortunately. You do get the government you deserve and there is a level of ignorance and absence of curiosity about anything outside of one’s own ‘piccolo mondo’ that makes any change virtually impossible.

  2. klewso

    Rome, bread and circuses.
    Who does “Burlesque-coney’s” make-up? Michelangelo?
    That smile, the face lifts, the taut skin – the Viagra’s kicked in?

  3. Michael

    If we can elect a deadbeat like Julia Gillard why is it unusual for Italians to vote in a statesman like Berlusconi? It seems to me and a good majority of Italians that he is the only suitable candidate for the job of dragging Italy out of its despair.


    Fascinating battle between the new social media and the powerful old media monopoly of Berlusconi; says it all.

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