Thriller (or the return of the living dead?)

As it turns out, another Italian government is about to end, as Professor-turned-Prime Minister Mario Monti has resigned, following former PM Silvio Berlusconi’s party “categorical judgement of no confidence”.

Arguably, the situation is no piece of cake in Italy and surely Monti’s all-technocrats government have not got all their decisions right. But, it seems to me, you really can’t expect everything to go just fine, after so many years of living well above the level that the country could really afford.

Berlusconi has declared that he’s back in contention for the job and will be (effectively by divine right $-$ you may have guessed by now that I’m no big fan of his) the centre-right party’s candidate. _[Incidentally, it is not clear what the party will be called this time around. It was “Forza Italia” in 1994, then “Popolo delle Libertà” in 2009 $-$ neither seems to me like a serious political party name, but of course they have proved quite popular among at least half of my fellow country men and women.] _ This has thrown the whole country in a state of either excitement or utter despair at the prospect of Berlusconi back in power.

I think it’s amazing that this is still possible. What with all the trials, you’d think that Berlusconi was a widely discredited politician $-$ after all, I suppose that Bill Clinton was busted for less and his political career was effectively over, post-Monica Lewinsky. Berlusconi on the other hand is seemingly unfazed by all this. More importantly, many people in Italy are.

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