To my absolute amazement, Berlusconi was again elected by a comfortable majority yesterday. I would not have believed that the country would have voted a clown like him for a
second third time. But then, more things about Italy tend to surprise me. The fact that very few people these days actually bother to vote, because they want to “punish” corrupt politicians. The fact that private tennis schemes for kids are common benefits for politicians of some stature, and that the Italian presidency spends twice as much as its French counterpart (and I don’t believe they are known for their thrift). The fact that many people really don’t care that Berlusconi is a multi-billionnaire implicated in around ten courtcases and owning about as many media outlets. And the fact that news bulletins on tv are these days either frivolous or unreliable.
I think non-Italian Europeans don’t make a real effort to understand Italy (and perhaps, fair enough, how much do I know about Hungarian or Greek politics, although an Italian wouldn’t be happy to hear this line of reasoning). Or maybe Italy is just such a special case that anyone who’s not grown up in it would not in a million years really understand. Without wanting to offend any of my Italian friends, I think democracies (and yes, I would still count Italy among them) reap what they sow. 62 governments in 63 years, let’s see if Silvio can manage for longer. And at what price.