Prodi’s majorities in Parliament are still slim, and factional infighting is likely to remain Florentine, but Berlusconi’s political fortunes continued to float away in municipal elections just passed.
The municipal elections held in Italy from May 28 to 29 did not offer Berlusconi the revenge he was seeking. Massimo Giannini, the daily’s deputy editor, looks at the results and at a missed opportunity for the former prime minister. “The revenge, the dirty trick, the stiff uppercut, whatever the precise lexical nuance, Berlusconi’s political sally has failed. The municipal elections as an instrument of grass-roots ‘Jacquerie’ that was supposed to definitively deprive the centre-left government of its legitimacy – this strategy did not work. … And the 15 million Italians who went to the polls did not change the result of April 9 to 10 [legislative elections]. Much to the contrary. … The centre-left no longer has an alibi; it now has no choice but to govern. It can count on a new base: the roughly three million young people who massively voted for it.”