Tomorrow will be Silvio Berlusconi’s 51st vote of confidence since he returned to his office as Italian Prime Minister in 2008.However, it’s anything but routine. Berlusconi is facing unprecedented pressure, with rumours of a plot to oust him doing the rounds.
Guy Dinmare of the FT argues that regardless of his success in the vote (it remains likely he will win), the very circumstances of the vote will likely prove to be the final nail in the coffin for Berlusconi.
However, John Hooper at The Guardian notes that there may just about be enough of Berlusconi’s junior ministers who refuse to attend that he may lose. Corriere points out that many Italian members of parliaments don’t go home at the weekend, giving them the perfect excuse to miss tomorrow’s vote.
If he loses the vote he must resign immediately, though the Italian president could ask him to form a new coalition. Regardless, many now expect the election to be held on early in 2012 (one year earlier than required by Italian law) — and Berlusconi’s latest polls do not look good.
“Without me none of you have a future,” Berlusconi is reported to have told his party today. Whether Berlusconi has one himself is looking increasingly doubtful.
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