Silvio Berlusconi’s scandal-ridden premiership ended in ignominy as he was forced to hide from a jeering crowd in Rome after handing in his resignation at a late-night meeting with President Giorgio Napolitano. His departure followed a historic vote in parliament that paved the way for a new government tasked with shoring up the ailing economy.
Berlusconi was forced to leave the presidential residence through a side entrance, to chants of “buffoon, buffoon” from thousands of demonstrators outside….The protesters, including a choir singing the Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah, rejoiced at his departure.
The 75-year-old billionaire brought down the curtain on a government that has become plagued by scandals and seemed increasingly helpless in the face of the economic storm that has taken his country and the euro to the brink of catastrophe. The dramatic end of his 17-year domination of Italian politics came as the lower house of parliament approved a package of savage cuts and stimulus measures demanded by the European Union to trim Italy’s massive €1.9 trillion debt.
After losing his majority in the house, a weakened Berlusconi had pledged to resign as soon as he had pushed the reform package through parliament. The reforms were passed by 380 votes to 26. Opposition parties did not participate…
Italy’s longest serving postwar prime minister raised a toast with ministers at a final cabinet meeting after the vote, only for his car to be chased by protesters shouting “Go, go, thief!” as he left for a second meeting with party officials at his Rome residence…
The questions facing Italy, today, are the natural result of leaving the Clown Prince of Populism in place all these years. Those who vote for nationalism, imperial lies, the histrionics of a Berlu or his counterparts throughout the Western world run the inevitable risk of getting exactly what they vote for.
An incompetent, a paper tiger who buried his nation in debt and disgrace.