Following a court decision that found him — finally —
guilty of a crime, sentenced to jail time, and banned from political office, Silvio Berlusconi has a stunning response: his allies may pull out of Italy’s coalition government unless he receives a pardon or some other kind of clemency.
That’s a pretty brutal threat. Berlusconi is effectively holding his own country hostage — the coalition would collapse without the support of his PdL party, and markets are terrified of more political instability in the country.
Would Berlusconi really go through with it?
He certainly wants people to think he’s serious. According to Reuters, Daniela Santanche, a key ally called the “the pythoness” due to her support for the billionaire former Prime Minister, announced today that Berlusconi has prerecorded a video that he plans to release when the government collapses.
“It’s ready, Berlusconi will decide when to broadcast it and I think it is absolutely imminent,” Santanche said. “Personally, I don’t think we can remain sitting next to people who want to be the butchers of Berlusconi.”