Italy grotesque

Franco Marini

Silvio Berlusconi

Bersani old

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s papers report that an 80 year-old former Christian Democrat is to be chosen as Italy’s new president.

It is like the declining days of the Soviet empire, starring gerontocrats whose names no one could even bother to remember any longer.

Berlusconi, it is said, wants Franco Marini because, in part, he thinks he will shield him from prosecution.

Bersani, we can only presume, wants Franco Marini because he is even less capable of looking beyond the old Italian politics than Berlusconi is.

What this really shows is that Grillo was correct with his Dead Man Talking rejection of any alliance with Bersani. On the other hand, Grillo’s own suggestion for president is another 80 year-old, Stefano Rodota, and like Marini, another lawyer. (Note that every president of the Philippines from Manuel Quezon to Cory Aquino — 10 in a row — was a lawyer. The Philippines is the east Asian country that has gone backwards fastest in the past 50 years. Can the Italians beat that record? I wouldn’t bet against them.)

The upshot of all this must be that Italy returns to the polls in July. Bersani will go. The left will come up with a new leader, most likely Matteo Renzi, and then we will see if he has any policies.

The Unspeakable Truth, however, is that only Thatcherite shock that breaks up an ocean of vested interests can work for Italy at this point. But who dare say this, let alone do what is necessary? My guess is no one, which pushes me to the conclusion that the likelihood of Italy leaving the Euro is now 50:50. Italy can leave, devalue, and squeeze a few more years out of its existing economic model. Growing up is a choice, not a compulsion.

More

Corriere della Sera (in Italian) reports that Marini did not get a quorum of votes in the first round, but there will be another vote today. Word is that Bersani’s party is splintering as the votes go forward.

FT (sub needed) on Marini.

AFP backgrounder on Marini. Heartwarming tales of childhood poverty, though apparently he ‘kills with a silencer’.

Wikepedia’s entry on Marini.

Grillo rails against Marini in one of his piazza screaming events.

STOP PRESS: Later on the 18th

It looks like Bersani’s PD is imploding as Marini fails again in the second vote. Corriere della Sera reports the latest here in Italian. PD will ask that further votes on the presidency are postponed and meet internally on Friday. At this point, Bersani isn’t just dead, he’s entered full rigor mortis. Will he have the cojones to refuse to resign this week? I reckon that in the ugliest traditions of Italian politics that will be the case. Never, ever, ever put your country before yourself… (Isn’t that a quote from Silvio?)

Guy Dinmore in Rome has filed an excellent, long article about the state of Italy for the FT (sub needed).

REPRINT PRESS FROM MAY 2006:

A brilliant Italian solution. Unable to agree on a new president, the politicians re-elect the previous one — spritely 87 year-old Giorgio Napolitano. The first rule of Italian politics is observed: if in any doubt whatsoever, do nothing. Having failed to broker a deal to form a government in his first presidency, Napolitano now has seven more years to create one. Moreover, if he gets a third term in 2020, he’ll be 101 when he retires. Really super.

Tags: , , , ,

One Response to “Italy grotesque”

  1. fabrizio fitzgerald Says:

    The Democratic Party missed a huge opportunity not voting for Rodotà. It would have opened the way for a government with M5S, but evidently there’s no will to change. We have voted to get a new government and were expecting a new President. We end up with the same government and the same President. Why even bother voting then? Only the Italian Left would be able to destroy itself during the election of the President of the Republic. It’s simply ridiculous. And Renzi, although he loves to portray himself as the face of change within the party, did not support Rodotà, nor proposed an viable alternative. He quietly waited for the complete erosion of the party and the strategy paid off, as Bersani and other executives resigned. He cares much more about gaining power within the party than being the spokesman for change. I also wrote something on the Presidential elections, if you are interested you can find it here: http://fabriziofitzgerald.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/house-of-cards-like-italian-presidential-elections-house-of-cards-non-e-niente-a-confronto-di-queste-elezioni-del-quirinale/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: