Berlusconi Resignation & Italy’s Political Ploy to Win the 2012 Elections
By Guido George Lombardi
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will not necessary resign following a vote in parliament on Tuesday. Berlusconi may even form a new coalition, but most likely Italy will vote this coming spring. Tuesday’s vote actually passed a number of laws presented by the Popolo delle Liberta’ (the People Freedom Party) and the Northern League, the present government coalition, by 308, with none contrary but with almost 320 abstaining. The message has been very clear: the 316 vote majority is not there anymore.
The Italian law provides that, in this case, the Prime Minister asks the President, Mr. Giorgio Napolitano, to look at the possibility of a creating a different coalition. President Napolitano official answer was that: “Berlusconi had demonstrated to the head of state his understanding of the implications of today’s vote in the chamber of deputies.” Mr. Napolitano’s answer will be known in a few days, or even weeks, after he meets with the leaders of all major parties.
The most likely result will be an early election, probably for the spring of 2012.
For months the coalition partner, Umberto Bossi, has spoken in favor of early elections. I believe that after many years as the unchallenged leader of the coalition, it is time for Mr. Berlusconi to choose his successor. Early elections are quite the norm in Italy, and similarly to the United Kingdom, the majority often chooses the best time for the popular vote. I would not be surprised if Mr. Berlusconi had decided already months ago to go to the vote in the spring of 2012, after having passed all the economic and financial measures his coalition thought were necessary for the good of the nation.
In spite of what some of the media reports, the Italian banks and Italian financial institutions are a lot better off than their French or German counterparts. Italy’s banks hold only about 3 % of the Greek debt, as opposed to about 25 to 30 % each for the French and German.
It is amazing to me to see the degree of misinformation, or plain ignorance, or maybe it is just bias, from a few of the media covering the events in Italy. But then even in the USA we have witnessed the total bias of a few media outlets.
Berlusconi, who has dominated Italian politics for 17 years, had steadfastly refused to step down until Tuesday’s vote.
The Northern League, and most members of the PDL, were believed to have wanted Berlusconi to make way for a new centre-right government, possibly with former Justice Secretary Mr. Angelino Alfano, to tackle the grave economic crisis without handing power to a transitional administration. The centre-left opposition said they abstained to lay bare the weakness of Berlusconi’s support, while allowing the passage of a bill that is vital for government funding.
Interest rates on Italy’s debt have soared, due to the dirty work of speculator like Mr. Soros. Yields on Italy’s 10-year benchmark bonds rose to 6.74 percent on Tuesday before dropping back.
If Italy is just too big to bail out like Greece, then it may be the right time for the Euro to be reorganized. The UK has never joined the Euro and this may be the time to let those nations who do not care to continue to be dictated by Germany and France to get out of the single currency. Personally I believe it will happen and it will be a really good thing.
Many observers in the US know well that Berlusconi is believed to have wanted to carry on until Christmas so that Italy would then go to early elections in 2012, this may just be a few weeks earlier, but it has all the markings of a political play by one of the able conservative coalition on the old continent.
Guido George Lombardi
President North Atlantic League