Italy: End of Berlusconi’s Saga ?

Written by | Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Silvio Berlusconi, the man who had dominated and shaped Italian politics for more than two decades, starts losing his lust. It seems that power is slipping through his fingers. After months of political stalemate over the legitimacy of his senate seat following his convictions for tax fraud and sex scandals, the flamboyant ex-prime minister vowed to bring down the government coalition by pulling out his party’s ministers.
He rejected the charges saying they are politically motivated and prompted a senate vote of confidence amidst unprecedented heated political debate in the country. But in rare and unexpected turn of events, some of his close associates and senators from his own party (People of Freedom party (PDL/center right) have challenged Berlusconi and supported the government of Enrico Letta, dealing a hard blow to the entrepreneur, politician and media tycoon.
Before the confidence vote, the Prime Minister Letta told senators that “Italy is running a risk that is potentially fatal, without remedy”, warning against “the damage to the country’s economy and image that a government collapse and eventual fresh elections would inflict”.
Berlusconi, who served as prime minister three times, looked frayed and emerged from this saga much more weakened than before. His downfall goes back to November 2011 when he was forced to step down from office amid growing social uproar and turmoil over failing economy.
Last year, the 77 year-old man was convicted for tax fraud and barred from senate office. In 2013, Il Cavaliere, as the Italian media like to call him, was found guilty of paying 17-year-old girl for sex, and of abuse of power. He was sentenced to a seven year sentence but he appealed. Last August, his appeal was turned down by Italy’s highest court.
It appears that his legal problems have begun to catch up with him and his humiliating failure to challenge the government coalition shows his fall into disgrace and pitiful end after leading an extravagant life of glamour dominated by power, sex and politics. It is certainly a dangerous mix.
Some analysts are not convinced that this is end for Berlusconi saying he has endured numerous political setbacks in the past, only to re-emerge seemingly unscathed. But this time, he may not get out unscratched or survive the humiliation. It looks like that his days are numbered?

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