Another record for @berlusconi (tick), as the first leader ever to openly campaign via the media (this is one of the family's newspapers) to become Italy's President. "The friend of everyone, the enemy of no-one".
Living aside the totally absurd claims made here, including that Berlusconi "ended the cold war".... here is a summary of why he should never be allowed near the Presidency, a serious role exercising real power (cerimonial it is not):
B. is a felon (tax fraud), who had to serve time "helping" in an old people's home because apparently too old to serve time in jail.

This puts into perspective his claim in the newspaper today that he is one of the greatest contributors to Italy's Treasury.
B. founded his own party with his close collaborator Dell'Utri, later convicted of Mafia association.
B. has been at war with the justice system since the beginning of time, attacking magistrates, denigrating their work & sometimes avoiding further convictions thanks to statute of limitation.

The President heads the independent body that governs the work of Italy's magistrates.
B. controls countless media. The fact that this conflict of interest between private interests and public duties has been there since he served as PM for the first time in the mid-1990s does not make it disappear now.
As PM, B. has passed several pieces of legislation to save himself from prosecution/avoid being hammered by the law, some of them quashed by the Constitutional Court.
This squarely contradicts principle that the law is the same for everyone (obvious point, but it remains true).
During his last stint as PM (2011) B. lost his majority in Parliament & had to resign after leading Italy to the brink, with international financial markets turning against him.

A President needs a little credibility. Despite the EPP's efforts to rehabilitate him, B has none.
B. IS an important political leader who has been the fulcrum of Italian politics for 15 years or so. He's played an important part in hushering in a bi-polar system in the country (left vs. right coalitions) which is still a feature of Italy today.
Those on the right are correct in identifying him as the man who has re-invented the right in the country, by bringing together the Social Movement with Bossi's League in 1994 -an alliance that remains the foundation of the right wing alliance today, if under different names.
Which takes me to my last point: "The friend of everyone, the enemy of no-one" is - if possible - even more preposterous than having ended the cold war.

For many years Italian politics was entirely determined by the B factor. You were either with him or against him, full stop.
Prodi's heterogeneous bandwagons brought together EVERYONE that did not want B. in govt (they had nothing else in common), while B. was leading the more homogenous & consistent right wing alliance.
While a President must be - by definition - someone able to bring the country together, B. is despised by half the population.

Before reinventing himself as the father of the nation (with the complicity of Italy's tabloids) he did not mind this at all.
In one of his many previous reincarnations, he has insulted the left & M5S, as well as everyone's intelligence, consistently and repeatedly (he only helped the minor "Ruby the Heartstealer".. because he thought she was the grandchild of Egypt's President Mubarak...).
There is in fact no-one in the country LESS suited to perform the role of Italy's President.

Salvini & Meloni know this, & electing a non-descript centrist would suits their agendas better. They cannot say this & they will not, but how are they going to instruct their people... vote when the day comes, given that the vote is secret... we shall see. /END/

(H/t @GPMazzoleni for ruining my coffee this morning by sending me the original pic from which the thread originates...)

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More from @DrAlbertazziUK

13 Dec 21
The week-long series of debates, meetings & cultural events organised by Brothers of Italy (“Conservatives’ Christmas”) has come to an end. It has been a success for @GiorgiaMeloni, in terms of media coverage & participation by many high profile reps from all major parties.
(they were all duly hit on the head with a stick by her during her final speech, but that’s life...)
While Meloni’s willingness to be identified as a “conservative” is interesting and worth keeping an eye on, it’s also worth noting that this internal dialectic between “revolutionaries” and “conservatives” has always characterised the Italian Social Movement..
Read 18 tweets
3 Oct 21
14 years ago the then leader of Brothers of Italy's predecessor, the National Alliance, went to Israel, said that fascism was "pure evil" & rejected the legacy of Mussolini's Social Republic.

In time, he moved even further to the centre.
Having split from Berlusconi, Gianfranco Fini tried to reinvent himself as a liberal leader renewing Italy's right, only to end up in the political wilderness. There was no political space back then for someone of his background now embracing the values of the Enlightenment.
Meloni's strategy in recent years could not have been different, as we are seeing today after reps from her party have been shown on TV praising fascism & making openly racist statements.
Read 13 tweets
30 Sep 21
In 40 years of League history (i.e. starting from the Lega Autonomista Lombarda) there has never been a sitting national leader ejected by the party. Not for political reasons, and not for any other reasons (both Bossi and Maroni had resigned).
Yes things change, but the idea that the members of the "League for Salvini Premier" are now going to follow such an inspiring leader as Giorgetti, & that Salvini won't fight back is, frankly, for the birds.
Hard as it certainly is, the only way for the League not to be overtaken by Meloni (and by a large margin) is to try and keep its coalition together: radical boh-vax, Eurosceptic, no-asylum voters, alongside the more export oriented productive types of the deep north.
Read 4 tweets
4 Sep 21
I have said many times that I expect an eventual govt led by @GiorgiaMeloni to act in continuity with the 4 govts led by @berlusconi in the last 25 years. The fundamental reason are the powerful external constraints placed upon Italy by its membership of NATO & the EU...
... (particularly as Italy starts drawing EU funds to bounce back, & considering its ballooning state debt & reliance on international finance markets).

These facts will not be changed by a campaign - as they never have before.
Yes, the radical right League & Brothers of Italy send (not exactly "covert") messages to an extreme right milieu, trying to keep these individuals & groups on board, not to mention the small but vociferous world of NO-VAX, No-Green Pass groups...
Read 11 tweets
14 Apr 21
Like Conte's, Draghi's govt seems to be making it up on a daily basis concerning pandemic.

It is as if structural factors (e.g. state capabilities), relations of power state/regions, and: "events, dear boy, events" (e.g. J&J & AZ) mattered more -much more- than identity of PM 🤔
On the other hand, no-one could have predicted this.
Problem with this constant overpromising of "new eras" that always fail to materialise is that it provides the ideal breeding ground for next "anti-elite" entrepreneur who, this time, "will definetely get things done". Feeding a never ending cycle of political disillusionment.
Read 4 tweets
4 Feb 21
Some Italian papers are talking abt the right wing coalition "breaking up", since the parties within it have different positions abt Draghi. Nothing is further from the truth. This is the usual good cop/ bad cop routine they have adopted many times before-which benefits them all.
The facts. Berlusconi has consistently asked for a "Government staffed by the best" to lead the country. Taking part allows him to influence allocation of the goodies of the Recovery Plan, election of next President, while fostering the image that -incredibly- Italian media...
...are unquestioningly perpetuating: that he is a "moderate", "anti-populist", pro-European & some sort of father figure who has de facto become almost super partes now.

This move helps him occupy this niche in view of the next election. It's only 7/8/9% of the electorate?
Read 14 tweets

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