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October 15, 2012 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Say It Ain’t So, Silvio!


For those who enjoy their politics shrouded in sex scandal and mafiosos, the news that three-time Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will not stand in the next election will come as sad news.

In an announcement last week Berlusconi told his own Canale 5 television network that he is “ready to stand aside” to allow all right- wing parties to form a coalition that can “face the left together.”

The 75-year-old has dominated Italian politics for the past two decades. Though his political career has been tainted by criticism of his ownership in a majority of Italian media outlets, his reign only came to an
end when his failure to deal with the Euro crisis and mounting national debt led to his resignation in November last year.

The news was an unexpected surprise to many, as Berlusconi has until recently had an “I’ll Be Back” mentality to Italian politics.

However it has been the billionaire’s underage sex charge, alleged mafia connections, and accusations that he holds “Bunga Bunga” sex parties in his mansion in Rome that has made international headlines.

He says he is “no saint” but has firmly denied ever paying for sex.

The origin of the phrase ‘Bunga Bunga’ is still unknown.

But sex aside, his announcement has been a source of concern to many political analysts. It underlines the tensions in Berlusconi’s own center-right political party the People of Freedom (PDL), and the uncertain future of his unpopular successor, current Prime Minister Mario Monti.

Adding to concern is the unwillingness of other center-right parties to form a coalition with the PDL because of Berlusconi’s record unpredictability.

There is also uncertainty about whether left- wing parties will be able to come together and form their own solid opposition block, or if either side can even choose what voting system to use in next year’s election.

This confused political situation in the Euro’s third-largest economy has been a source of nervous hand sweats for the financial markets, as the emergence of a weak government could renege the successful financial reforms Monti has actually achieved.

Word on the Italian street is that no-one wants Bunga Bunga back. However his uncanny ability to remain at the center of Italian politics has the world watching to see if Silvio will have a change of heart before April next year.


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