The Return of Silvio Berlusconi

A blog about business and economics.
Dec. 10 2012 8:30 AM

The Return of Silvio Berlusconi

Italian former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in Milanello, Italy, on Dec. 8 , 2012

Photo by Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images.

Silvio Berlusconi threw the eurozone into a tizzy over the weekend by having his right-wing People of Freedom party withdraw their support from Mario Monti's government and announce that with elections now scheduled to take place on an accelerated pace, he'll be once again leading his party's list.

That said, if Italian pollsters know what they're doing, Berlusconi is going to lose with his party securing a high-teens vote share while the center-left Democratic Party gets in the mid-30s. But that's going to be a recipe for a very fragmented political scene. The upstart populist Five Star Movement is polling almost as strongly as Berlusconi's group. Then there are four small center-right parties each polling in the single digits—the Union of the Center, Italy of Values, the Future of Freedom, and Toward the Third Republic, which was founded to support Monti—plus a far-right party a far-left party and a separatist party.


Long story short, in addition to the election, there should be some interesting post-election coalition talks to determine what actually happens. And watching over the shoulder of Italy's elected officials will be the European Central Bank and Mario Draghi. Recall that Berlusconi was booted from power in what amounted to an ECB-orchestrated coup undertaken at the behest of his fellow eurozone heads of government.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.



Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

The Best Thing About the People’s Climate March in NYC

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

John Oliver Debunks the Miss America Pageant’s Claim That It Gives Out $45 Million in Scholarships

Trending News Channel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Over There
Sept. 22 2014 1:29 PM “That’s Called Jim Crow” Philip Gourevitch on America’s hypocritical interventions in Africa.
Sept. 22 2014 1:37 PM Subprime Loans Are Back! And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.
Lexicon Valley
Sept. 22 2014 1:22 PM Is Arabic Really Just One Language? 
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 12:29 PM Escaping the Extreme Christian Fundamentalism of "Quiverfull"
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
Sept. 22 2014 2:12 PM Crusader, Sans Cape The superhero trappings of Gotham are just a clever disguise.
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 12:14 PM Family Court Rules That You Can Serve Someone With Legal Papers Over Facebook
  Health & Science
Sept. 22 2014 12:15 PM The Changing Face of Climate Change Will the leaders of the People’s Climate March now lead the movement?
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.