Matteo Renzi has been Italian Prime Minister since 2014, but has faced a number of challenges in retaining his support ahead of the next general election. James L. Newell writes that much will be revealed by the results of local elections in June, where Renzi’s party faces significant challenges, and beyond that by the usual problems of managing the […]
In recent decades, the right of Italy’s party system has been dominated by Silvio Berlusconi, who currently heads a revived version of his Forza Italia party. As Daniele Albertazzi writes, however, Forza Italia has been pushed into fourth place in several opinion polls in 2015 by the growth of the Northern League (Lega Nord), which has traditionally advocated a […]
The real problem in Italian democracy is not the electoral law, but Silvio Berlusconi’s continued grip over the country’s media
Italy’s new prime minister Matteo Renzi has made electoral reform one of his key priorities, with a new electoral law currently under consideration in the Italian Senate, having been passed in the lower house of the Italian parliament last week. Valentino Larcinese writes that while Renzi may succeed in his attempts at electoral reform, the fact that he has […]
Silvio Berlusconi’s revival of Forza Italia is unlikely to bring him back to power, but his career in Italian politics is far from finished
For the past few decades, Italian politics has been marked by the presence of Silvio Berlusconi. As Daniele Albertazzi writes, Berlusconi’s revival of his old political party, Forza Italia, is his latest attempt to retain political influence within the country’s party system. He argues that while Berlusconi is unlikely to enjoy the same success that he first had with the […]
Berlusconi’s surrender over Enrico Letta’s confidence vote could spell the end of an era in Italian politics
Last week Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta survived a confidence vote in the Italian Senate following a dramatic U-turn by Silvio Berlusconi. James L. Newell writes that the crisis, which began when Berlusconi instructed ministers from his PdL party to resign from the government, has left the former Italian Prime Minister severely weakened. For the first time, Berlusconi has been […]
Following the resignation of Silvio Berlusconi’s ministers, Italy is once again heading for new elections
On Saturday, ministers from Silvio Berlusconi’s PDL party opted to resign from the Italian government. Duncan McDonnell writes that although the stated reason for the resignations is opposition to a proposed rise in VAT, the real motivation is that a Senate committee is expected to strip Silvio Berlusconi of his seat in the Italian parliament. Unless an unlikely deal can […]
“Berlusconi scandal” talk has inflated the Italian cost of borrowing over and above the impact of economic fundamentals
Have former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s scandals and court cases had a significant effect on the cost of Italian borrowing? Costas Milas and Gabriella Legrenzi assess the impact of “Berlusconi scandals” on 10 year Italian bond yields by using data from Google search queries as a proxy for interest in Berlusconi’s troubles. They find that over the last four […]
Last week, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi had a one year jail sentence confirmed by the Court of Cassation in Rome. As Duncan McDonnell notes, the ruling is likely to have a major impact not just on Berlusconi’s political career, but also on his party and the current Italian government. While this may well mark the end of his […]
Brussels blog round-up for 27 July – 2 August: Berlusconi’s appeal fails, France keeps up austerity pressure, and greater transparency for the ECB?
Chris Gilson takes a look at the week in Brussels blogging. The EU centre and the crisis The New Federalist looks at efforts to address youth unemployment following the June European Council summit. They say that the €8 billion that has since been allocated to tackle this problem is ‘peanuts’ towards helping Europe’s 8 million youth unemployed. They argue that more […]
Brussels blog round-up for 6 – 12 July: Forward for the ECB, Romania’s retro railways, and is Europe the ‘sick man of the world’?
Chris Gilson takes a look at the week in Brussels blogging. The EU centre and the crisis Lost in EUrope looks at the absurd situation where a Portuguese minister who had resigned to protest that country’s austerity policies has now returned as Deputy Prime Minister, and will now lead negotiations with the EU/IMF/European Central Bank Troika. Meanwhile Samuel van der Meulen, […]
Last week saw convictions for former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for abuse of office and underage prostitution. Mattia Guidi writes that while Berlusconi is still an important part of Italy’s relatively new coalition government, the conviction is likely to have little effect, as his party, the Popolo della Libertà has suffered a decline in support, and fresh elections would […]
Brussels blog round-up for 15 – 21 June: Obama in Germany, Merkel’s manifesto, and a fiery letter from Cyprus
Chris Gilson takes a look at the week in Brussels blogging. The EU centre and the crisis The New Federalist has a discussion with Bruno Selun, the secretary of the European Parliament intergroup on LGBT rights. Made up of 153 MEPs from 22 member states, the group seeks to reinforce and safeguard the human rights of LGBT people, and provides information […]
The re-election of Giorgio Napolitano as Italian President merely represents the ‘calm before the storm’ in Italy’s political system.
On Saturday, the Italian Parliament re-elected Giorgio Napolitano as the country’s President, following several rounds of voting which failed to produce a successor. James Walston assesses the impact Napolitano’s election will have on efforts to break Italy’s political stalemate and create a new Italian government. He argues that any new government brokered by Napolitano will not only have to deal […]
Italy’s political and institutional crisis means that Beppe Grillo and Silvio Berlusconi will benefit the most if the country once again goes to the polls.
Italy’s elections at the end of February were a major victory for Beppe Grillo and his anti-establishment ‘Five Star Movement’ at the expense of the country’s traditional parties. With a hung parliament, and no deal to form a new government in sight, Aidan Regan argues that Italy faces a significant crisis, brought on not by EU-imposed austerity, but by Italians’ […]
The rise of Beppe Grillo and the political resilience of Silvio Berlusconi were two of the main stories to emerge from last week’s Italian election. As Duncan McDonnell and Giuliano Bobba argue, however, the Grillo and Berlusconi headlines should not disguise the stark position of the Italian centre-left. The Partito Democratico has now lost over three million voters in five […]
Far from being a disaster, the results of the Italian election could be a turning point for Italy and the Eurozone.
The results of the Italian elections, in which the centre-left coalition won a majority in the Chamber of Deputies, but not in the Senate, have led to fears that the country could become ungovernable. Jonathan Hopkin takes issue with this perspective, arguing that the results could have a number of positive consequences for both Italy and the Eurozone. The failure […]
Beppe Grillo’s success in the Italian elections shows that austerity is now becoming politically unsustainable.
Following the weekend’s elections, Italy now appears to be facing a hung parliament, with a centre-left majority in the Chamber of Deputies and a fragmented Senate. The real winner writes Valentino Larcinese, has been Beppe Grillo’s 5 Star Movement, which gained 25 per cent of the vote. He argues that the movement’s success illustrates that austerity is now becoming politically […]
Brussels blog round-up for 16 – 22 February: MEPs vs the budget, the euro appreciates, and Italy heads to the polls.
Chris Gilson and Stuart A Brown take a look at the week in Brussels blogging. The EU centre and the crisis New Eastern Europe looks at the retrenchment of the latest EU budget on commitments to its Eastern Partnerships. They suggest that Central Europe is now likely to receive greater investment than Eastern Europe. Meanwhile, Open Europe says that there is […]
Whoever wins this week’s Italian elections, it is unlikely that they will put an end to the ‘telecracy’ begun by Silvio Berlusconi.
Parliamentary elections are due to be held in Italy on 24-25 February. As part of EUROPP’s series previewing the election, Valentino Larcinese writes on former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Despite Berlusconi’s party lagging behind the centre-left coalition in the polls, his control over the country’s media continues to have a substantial impact on the campaign. There is also little […]
This week sees elections in Italy. The centre-left coalition have seen their comfortable polling lead reduced but are predicted to be successful on election day. Giuliano Bobba and Duncan McDonnell argue that despite Silvio Berlusconi and Mario Monti’s rhetoric about promoting young people and women, the centre-left PD and SEL perform better on both counts, and that this bodes well for the future of […]