Sunday, November 13, 2011

Why Berlusconi stepped down?

After the adoption of amendments of the financial stability law in Italy by the House of Representatives, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi met with President Giorgio Napolitano and submitted his resignation. Republican Senate previously approved changes to the financial stability law in Italy, was also accepted by the House of Representatives. President Napolitano accepted the resignation and expected to press the button for early elections.

Silvio Berlusconi was born on 29 September 1936. He is a conservative Italian politician and businessman who was the longest-serving post war Prime Minister of Italy, and third longest-serving since the creation of Italy, after Benito Mussolini and Giovanni Giolitti. He held this position on three separate occasions: from 1994 to 1995, from 2001 to 2006 and 2008 to 2011. He is also known by the nickname Il Cavaliere (literally, The Knight), due to the knighthood of the Order of Merit for Labour he received in 1977. He is also one of the richest men in the world.

In addition to this, after his immunity from prosecution was lifted by the Constitutional Court in October 2009, he declared:

"I am without doubt the person who's been the most persecuted in the entire history of the world and the history of man." 

"In my opinion, and not only mine, I am the best prime minister we can find today."

Moreover, Berlusconi’s relationship with media can be defined as “media control and conflict of interest”. Berlusconi's extensive control over the media has been widely criticized by Italian people. However, he has been wracked by sexual scandals such as wiretaps and accusations of corruption through the exploitation of prostitution in 2007, Prostitution scandal and divorce in 2009, Ruby Rubacuori in 2010. I do not want to talk too much about this subject, but all of these have created the infrastructure of the resignation of Berlusconi.

Despite he declared himself as the best politician in Europe, supporters of Berlusconi declined and lost the majority in parliament.
“It comes after the lower house of Italy's parliament has passed a package of austerity measures demanded by the EU and designed to restore markets' confidence in the country's economy. The austerity package includes a rise in VAT and the pension age, rising fuel prices and the sale of state assets. Members of the lower house voted 380-26 with two abstentions, after the Senate approved the measures easily on Friday. President Napolitano later signed the bill” (BBC, 2011).
The austerity package will create some social problems in long-term in Italy.. Maybe Italians will not miss Berlusconi, but Russian leader Vladimir Putin will miss him. Will South Stream pipeline to be completed on time without Berlusconi? According to some, Berlusconi may be a bad leader. They can be sent Berlusconi away from active politics. But they cannot finish the hegemony of Berlusconi in Italy. I hope Italy recover from the financial crisis without Berlusconi.

İsa Burak GONCA