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Berlusconi Holds On

  • December 15th, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

berlusconi-two-2001-ecthumbnail1.jpgThe Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi (picture), has survived a split in his government to win a parliamentary vote of confidence, on Tuesday (14.12.10).

The vote was 314 to 311 in the Chamber of Deputies, and 162-135 in the Senate.

The split came with a right-wing defection headed by the Chamber president, Gianfranco Fini, formerly leader of the neo-fascist party MSI, who along with his group was demanding more overtly conservative policies.

The Prime Minister, 74, had answers for disaffected friends, worried about his die-hard playboy habits, and about a nebulous policy response to Italy’s economic problems — especially public debt rolling up to unmanageable heights over the decades.

He told them that with the government on the ropes, chances of holding the line against the debt crisis would collapse.

Other opponents were unforgiving: the opposition parties; a grass roots movement wanting community politics, and honest government; the radical left; unions, and students.

An estimated 50000 were in the streets of Rome, waiting on a possible defeat in parliament, and the start of an election campaign two years ahead of schedule.

Put off, again:- proposals for revoking the Prime Minister’s immunity from legal process, and revival of charges of malpractice against him.

Not put off:-  nagging fears that the Italian state could join the smaller economies of Greece, Ireland and Spain, on the casualty list of the recession – in need of aid from healthier regions of the European Union, across the Alps.

See EUAustralia Online: “Roman Holiday”, 27.5.10; “Another strike for silly old Silvio”, 5.4.09; “Deep Values”, 27.11.08.

Agence France Presse, Paris, “Berlusconi survives crucial confidence vote”, 14.12.10., (14.12.10).

Alessandro Rizzo, Associated Press, NY, “Italy’s Berlusconi wins confidence votes”, 14.12.10., (14.12.10).