After a two-months stall, in only two days Enrico Letta presented Italy with its best government ever. Enrico Letta has no easy task in front of him, but the brilliant way he quickly passed the first test gives good reasons to hope.
Italian politics has become a shadow-boxing contest between the clownish populist Grillo, the maestro of Internet politics, and the clownish television mogul Berlusconi, who still looms large in Italy despite his many legal cases and his appalling personal life.
We have no one like the Pope to take pride in and it's hard to match Berlusconi. This all came to mind while watching the Italian Parliament try to elect a president and undertake other legislative tasks. Comparisons to the U.S. Congress invited themselves to the viewing.
The 46-year old Mr. Letta would be the nation's second youngest prime minister if confirmed by parliament. In theory, it marks a generational change but not one of substance.
Italy is thus at a crossroads. Between operetta and drama, let's hope Italian leaders opt for the first and finally give Italy a happy ending.
Previously published in Metro http://www.readmetro.com. Until recently, Beppe Grillo was simply a successful comedian. But these days, the powerful i...
With the announcement that the attempts by the Democrats to form a government have been derailed by what the Economist characterizes as two clowns, former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Beppe Grillo, the situation in Italy gets more dangerous.
Previously published in Metro www.readmetro.com. Nobody takes the European Parliament seriously, right? Well, they didn't use to. But since Martin Sc...
This is an encouraging sign as it shows Italy's ability to face its crisis not just by falling back on technocracies or populism, but by injecting new meaning in institutions citizens had progressively lost their trust in.
Italians face the spectacle of continued political gridlock with the old elites, many tainted by corruption scandals, still holding the balance of power. What this shows more than anything else is a profound crisis in the relationship between the governed and their rulers.
The possible loss of eagerly anticipated labour reforms, financial restrictions and market contagion provide shorter term sources of turmoil. However, existing reforms are likely to continue, market retrenchment is healthy and to be exploited for longer term opportunities.
Italy's convoluted electoral outcome marks a period of protracted economic instability and political fragmentation. The electoral impasse may result in a short-lived grand coalition government focused on a narrow legislative agenda with new elections before year's end.
The gist of all these arguments is that we can't not have a government, yet we can't figure out how to build one. This is the catch-22 that currently dominates our politics.
In truth, the only thing that is really surprising in this electoral campaign is the level of removal that, once again, we as a people are capable of.