Over at the FT, Guy Dinmore has a thoughtful, interesting article on Silvio Berlusconi and his relationship with and influence on Italy.Perhaps the key takeaway is that it was ultimately the markets that forced Berlusconi out, rather than an electoral challenger. And perhaps because of that, there’s no reason to think that Berlusconi could never come back.
…after his third election victory in 2008, Mr Berlusconi’s powers to knit together a viable coalition out of eurosceptic devolutionists, Catholics, post- and neo-fascists and elements of the old order started to unravel. His own battles with the courts – where he faces three trials – and failure to protect those close to him from avenging prosecutors have led to a steady erosion of his aura as the all-powerful immortal.
“The cemeteries are full of indispensable men,” remarked Pier Ferdinando Casini, head of the Catholic UDC party that broke ranks with Mr Berlusconi in 2008. But, warned Il Fatto, a campaigning newspaper and implacable enemy of the premier: “Don’t give him for dead.”
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