Teflon Man Quits? We’ll see….

8 Nov

Berlusconi has survived uncounted confidence votes, and I was surprised he survived today’s until I just saw the news: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/09/world/europe/support-for-berlusconi-ebbs-before-crucial-vote.html?ref=global-home  Forget stripper scandals and the concern of the world on Italy’s looming financial crisis – what astonished me were his callous remarks this week in response to fears of Italy’s economy:

Italy is a rich country, restaurants are full.

The extent to which this statement is utterly disconnected from the reality that most Italians face is astonishing.  And yet, most Italians voted for him, AND most Italians despair of the state of their country today.  I constantly badger Alessandro about this.  Obviously, Berlusconi’s control of the media has a major influence on the views and thoughts of the average Italian.  But more than that, the many Italians who voted for him felt:

Someone as rich as Berlusconi will not be corrupt because he doesn’t need the money.

With someone like Berlusconi I don’t think it’s only money that is the appeal – it’s the endless ego stroke of being in power and being of ultimate influence.  Oh yes and there is the equally compelling:

Berlusconi is a successful businessman and therefore he can run a country.

Every day I am interrogated by Italians who are underemployed, underpaid, unemployed  – how could I possible leave Canada for Italy?  In 10 years of power Berlusconi has never been able to match the economic growth, prosperity and cultural achievements of Italy in the 60s.

Italy is a country of crooks and it takes  a crook to manage us.

Well, yes, I have learned that Italians are deservedly well-known for their scoff-law attitude, but at the end of the day with Italy’s economy in shambles I am convinced that Berlusconi’s interests and understanding not account for the average person on the street.

Like a cat with 900 lives, I honestly doubt that Berlusconi will actually willingly step down.  As a public citizen, he would no longer be immune from the 100s of legal cases against him.  We’ll see….at least Alessandro has admitted that although he voted for him in the past, he never would again.


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