In the end, we are free. Maybe. On May the 17th the President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano instructed Romano Prodi to form the new government, and since then he is Prime Minister of Italy. But not without a fight.
Since the days of the election, which ended the 10th of April, a huge amount of news happened in Italy.
The election has a big story on its own. The first two exit polls gave Romano Prodi winner with 54% and Berlusconi loosing with 46% of preferences. But as the results of the counting began to arrive to the media it was clear that Romano Prodi wasn't going to win easily as expected. At 23:00 Berlusconi even took over the opponent's coalition and was beaten only at 3:00am (the results were expect a lot before, but we are still talking about Italy after all) with a difference of about 24.000 votes (over about 40.000.000 voting people).
The big fight was at the Senate were Romani Prodi reached a majority of two senators (thanks to the Senators representing the italians living abroad).
No need to say that Berlusconi decleared himself the moral winner of the elections considering the 5 years of unfair opposition by the “communists”.
The following days were filled by Berlusconi's accusations of illegal voting asking an official recounting of some hundreds of thousands of votes.
He also never phoned, as it is usual to happen in these circumstances, Romano Prodi to congratulate.
The votes were verified in a couple of weeks and the results in the end didn't change the situation. Berlusconi is still, today, complaining of illegal results.
After the results were officialised the new Parliament was nominated and the Presidents (of The Senate and of the Lower Chamber) were elected. Franco Marini was elected President of the former and Fausto Bertinotti of the latter. La Casa delle Libertà proposed Giulio Andreotti for the Senate, an 87 years old politician who was our Prime Minister 7 times and was accused of relations with Mafia.
This last month was also the date of the expiration of Carlo Azeglio Ciampi's 7 years long Presidentship of our Republic. It was decided that the new President would nominate the Prime Minister. Giorgio Napolitano is now the 11th President of Italy.
4 days after his election, Napolitano instructed Romano Prodi to form the new government, the same day after 10 years.
It will be difficult for the actual Government to do big changes to our system with a difference of just a few Senators and Berlusconi is already promising he will be back in charge before Christmas (what a present!).
We have our opportunity to do a step over, to take care of this “anomaly” who is Berlusconi. We have time at least to change our Antitrust rules and our laws which regulate the interests conflicts so that even if the new Government wouldn't last more than 6 months, il Nano wouldn't be able to candidate again.
We are now allowed to dream.
I often ask Berlusconi's supporters about the opinion foreign countries and journalists have about us. If, as Mr.B says, in Italy everything is controlled by the communists, from television (that's incredibly silly as he controls 90% of the television) to newspapers, tribunals etc., that shouldn't be true about foreign sources.
I post two links to articles by foreign online newspapers here:
- Newsweek (USA):
The Rise and Fall of Berlusconi
- The Economist (UK):
A “martyr” with some method in his madness
Here, in our beautiful Republic, we have at least three big newspapers: La Repubblica, Il Corriere della Sera and Il Sole 24 Ore. The first one doesn't hide it's central-left wing position and anti-berlusconi policy, but Il Corriere was a big supporter of Mr.B. during the last elections. It was pretty shocking to read two weeks ago the editorial by the newspaper's Director Paolo Mieli where he officially suggests the election of Romano Prodi and of the central-left wing coalition.
Il Sole 24 Ore is Confindustria's newspaper. "Founded in 1910 Confindustria is the lead organization representing the manufacturing, construction, energy, transportation, ITC, tourism and services industries in Italy." It's director is also suggesting the left wings coalition election, which is a representative opinion considering it comes from a "business" newspaper which is supposed, by common-sense, to support Berlusconi.
Three big events happened since my first post that I'd like to report and comment:
- Berlusconi's visit to USA's Congress: 1 month ago (the 1st of March) Berlusconi was invited for a speech where he talked about USA as the example of freedom and democracy. He told a small story about his father bringing him to the military graveyard explaining him about the sacrifice of Americans during WW2 to set us free. He later recieved the Intrepid Freedom award for his efforts to promote and defend the values of freedom and democracy. Useless to say that in Italy this was considered nearly like a "joke", one of those Mr.B. likes to tell during his TV shows. One of his Tv channels broadcasted the whole speech LIVE and this was criticised in Italy considering we are under elections (do you remember about the Par Condicio law?). My personal opinion is that it's not a bad thing to broadcast our Prime Minister's visit to USA's Congress, but it's a pretty weird coincidence this happened 1 month before the elections… and on his own TV channel. But we are just wrong-minded communists.
- Official Face-to-Face between Romano Prodi and Silvio Berlusconi: we had the first of two face-to-face discussions using USA's rules (each of them had 2:30minutes for their answers plus 1 more minute to add something). It was hard to see a winner out of this fight, but the polls reported 1 more point for the left-wing coalition. Berlusconi's reaction was a big attack to this face-to-face format, stating it's illiberal. Pretty funny considering it was him who pushed Prodi to accept this fight and considering that the rules were accepted by both the politicians.
- Berlusconi goes to Annunziata: Berlusconi was invited to Mrs. Annunziata's (former state TV's fairness authority guarantor) "30 minuti" (30 minutes) TV programme. But only after 15 minutes Mr.B. left the show after repeatedly requesting Mrs. Annunziata to ask him to explain his government plan for the next 5 years. As a reaction Mrs. Annunziata kept on asking him to answer to HER questions, as that is the aim of a journalist. The result was Berlusconi's escape from the programme.
It's a common opinion that Annunziata looked for the clash, but for sure she was the first journalist, after many years, who disallowed the Premier from performing his own TV show.
I strongly advice reading the two quoted articles.
As usual Wikipedia does a great work.
These are special days for our (italian) democracy. On The 9th of February we officially entered the 2 months elections period before the 9th of April, the day of the truth. Why do I call it that way? The actual Government lasted longer than any in our history and as a matter of fact it was the only one able to reach the end of the mandate. And, as everybody knows, our Prime Minister was the well known Silvio Berlusconi (aka "il Nano" – The Midget). The point is: has our society's immune system built a vaccine for this well known criminal? I'm not going to talk about what he has done (or should I say what he has NOT done?) in these last 5 years (in this post) for now, but I'll try to concentrate on his campaign, and his efforts to get elected again.
We have a special law for this 2 months period (from the day when the Parliament and the Senate are closed to the day of the elections) called Par Condicio. This law grants that both the coalitions (we have a sort of bipolar system) and their candidates get the same amount of time on televisions and radios following a principle of fairness. In the last month Silvio Berlusconi tried to delete this law as he pointed out that such an illiberal law is not democratic but, as his allied parties did not agree with him, he realized that the only way to fill the gap between his coalition and the opponents [at that time the opponent coalition was about 6 points ahead in all the polls] was to “invade” Italy's medias. So, for about two weeks, before the “par condicio” law would be applied, we had to see his face in all kinds of TV shows (he was guest even in shows in which the format did not include guests).