Silvio Berlusconi has had more lives than a cat, but it looks like finally he might be leaving (despite his own denials).Senior party members are threatening to oppose him in a key upcoming vote, and his own finance minister has basically told him to quit as soon as possible.
But if he resigns, what happens afterwards?
“If you add up the defections, [Berlusconi] does not appear to have a majority any more,” Roberto d’Alimonte, a professor of politics at LUISS university in Rome, told The Guardian’s Tom Kington.
“But I don’t see a majority emerging to back a technical government which could be appointed by [Italian President] Napolitano. You would need Berlusconi’s support to get a viable majority for that and he won’t give it,” he said.
Instead, it seems likely that an interim government would be set up, perhaps led by Mario Monti, an economist and former EU commissioner.
The scene would be set then for a 2012 election (which may be likely even if Berlusconi doesn’t resign).
The problem then, however, becomes the divisions in Berlusconi’s enemies. Main opposition group Partito Democratico (PD) suffers from a lack of focus (they’ve actually supported Berlusconi pretty often) while the Italian Values party remains taunted by Italy’s huge mid-90s “bribesville” corruption scandals.
Likely election hopefuls include PD leader Pier Luigi Bersani, aforementioned finance minister Giulio Tremonti, Monti and leftist leader Nichi Vendola.
Another interesting idea we’ve seen floating around is the possibility of campaigns from Luca di Montezemolo and Matteo Renzi.Montezemolo is currently the Chairman of Ferrari and noted as a snazzy dresser from an aristocratic family. Just last week he called for Berlusconi to resign.
Given his connections, wealth and “sprezzatura”, Montezemolo might make an appealing candidate for Italy.
His lack of political experience could even be a positive for him, given his lack of involvement in the numerous political scandals that have plagued the last 20 years of Italian politics and his association with one of Italy’s most successful brands.
Matteo Renzi, Mayor of Florence, was once dubbed “Italy’s Obama” by Time magazine, a tag that could be negative or positive depending on your viewpoint.
Given his young age, some wonder if Renzi could be the PD’s chance for change. His rise has already been meteoric, and there is speculation that he may challenge PD leader Bersani if an election is called. At just 36 years-old, he is not only too young to have been involved in the “bribesville” scandals but also a good 30 years younger than many Italian politicians.
“If Italians decide they really want to change 20 years of immobility, silence and political scandals, we have a future,” Renzi told the New York Times’ Frank Bruni in September.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.