Europe grows even more wary about Silvio Berlusconi winning the Italian election on February 24-25.
In an op-ed out today, FT declares a Berlusconi victory would be a “disaster.”
A new term for Mr Berlusconi would be a disaster for Italy. The three-times prime minister would ignore his electoral promise to cut back the state to fund tax reductions and concentrate on solving his judicial problems – as he did every time he was elected. Meanwhile, investors would be much warier about buying Italian debt, which would threaten fiscal sustainability. On the European stage, Mr Berlusconi would be regarded as an unreliable partner and Italy would be marginalised.
When Italians go to the polls in two weeks’ time, they should send a clear message to Mr Berlusconi that he is not welcome back. To get out of its economic crisis, Rome needs credible leaders, not a return to a discredited past.
Berlusconi’s coalition is still behind, but he’s gaining.
Polls show he’s halved his deficit from earlier in the election.
Everytime there’s a good poll for him, Italian stocks tumble, and yields bounce up.
Here’s a look at Italian 10-year borrowing costs. There’s no doubt there’s been a bit of a Berlusconi Bounce in recent weeks.
As a reminder, I’ll be in Italy covering the election LIVE from on the ground.
Email me at [email protected] if you would like to meet while I’m there (in either Milan or Rome)
(Via Alberto Nardelli)