Bond traders liked the news that Silvio Berlusconi passed a confidence vote this week.Maybe they shouldn’t.
Der Spiegel notes that newspapers around Germany are seeing in his survival the continuation of irresponsible politics that will drive Italy to the brink. Here’s how German newspapers described the news:
The centre-right Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes:
“The majority which helped Berlusconi remain in office is not reliable; it is not enough on which to construct a stabile government. It is almost inconceivable that Berlusconi’s government will have the power to push through the kinds of economic reforms the country so badly needs — Italy, after all, is being watched closely by the markets. Even if Italy under Berlusconi has experienced the kind of leadership continuity one hasn’t always associated with the country, recent years have been lost years. There is little to indicate that that will change…. Worry is growing among Italy’s European Union partners that Rome’s weakness is becoming permanent.“
The left-leaning Die Tageszeitung writes:
“Those fond of complaining about the state of German politics should take a look at Italy and at what has passed for a sign of hope during the last couple of weeks. There, the administration led by a blustery, self-made businessman called Berlusconi was in distress because a former neo-fascist called Fini was trying to make a career move. According to surveys, new elections would have changed nothing…. But it didn’t even get that far. Silvio Berlusconi can continue as the appropriate representative of a country whose demise is almost unstoppable.“
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