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  • It has happened. Despite his kicking and screaming that he is the victim of a coup d'etat promulgated by "red judges", Silvio Berlusconi, 77, was today voted out of the Italian Senate, in a tense roll-call vote late Wednesday afternoon. "It is a day of mourning for democracy," he declared. But it is also the opening gambit in a future election campaign, and already his party, Forza Italia, has formally quit the governing coalition headed by Premier Enrico Letta of the Partito Democratico (PD).
  • Workaday Milan was thrown into a small tizzy Wednesday morning when a hundred or so mostly middle-aged men and women blocked the sidewalk in front of the city courthouse and began to sing the Italian national anthem, "Fratelli d'Italia." All MPs and senators of former Premier Silvio Berlusconi's Freedom party (PdL), they were protesting what they consider the magistrates' persecution of their maximum leader. This new clash typifies the problems the country is addressing in its gravest political crisis in over a half century.
  • As Leonardo Sciascia once said, it is easy to manage wealth, but hard to manage misery. These are tough times for Italy as elsewhere, and the sight of shops shutting down and factory closures is the elephant in the room of the national general elections just three weeks away. All this is serious enough, but is further aggravated by the daily revelations of the financial shenanigans at the world's oldest bank, the Monte di Paschi (MPS) of Siena, where huge losses were craftily concealed while managers are under investigation for allegedly enriching themselves (the scandals refer to the previous, not the present management, in office just one year).
  • At the primaries of the Democratic Party (PD), Pier Luigi Bersani has triumphed, walking away with 63.45% of the votes over his younger rival Matteo Renzi who won only 36.48%. What are the future possible scenarios for the Italian politic?
  • Facts & Stories
    Judith Harris(November 26, 2012)
    Over 3.1 million turned out to vote, with many waiting hours in line. Some of the 9,232 improvised polling stations, all staffed by volunteers, remained open into the late evening to allow as many as possible to vote. It was, in the end, a vote for democracy itself, and not only PD party leaders and activists rejoiced at this.
  • Facts & Stories
    Judith Harris(March 30, 2010)
    “We have given the left a lesson,” Berlusconi trumpeted from Rome Monday evening. Meanwhile, Umberto Bossi's populist right-wing, anti-immigrant Northern League will now control most of the wealthy industrial North. The political shellacking of the left can be put down to fragmentation and disaffection, but the real spoiler on the left were the stay-at-homes, or around 1.5 million who abstained.