Monday, February 13, 2006

Italy is at a Turning Point

So far so good in Turin. Olympic Games are working well and the security threat has not materialized.

The Games are also a breath of fresh air in Italy, where the political campaign is nauseating everyone, starting from the very electors.

I wonder how many people can still cope with the image of Berlusconi after he managed to appear on screen more than any other star in the world. I am pretty confident that he could be a new entry for the Guinness Book.

But, his case is lost, as it has been said many times before. Berlusconi does not have political support on the part of his allies. As condors, they are only waiting the moment in which Berlusconi's corpse will be abandoned in the arena.

More importantly, Berlusconi has lost his impact on italian people. Few keep believing in miracles, even though Berlusconi compared himself to the Christ. He just wants to remain at the centre of everyone's attention.

But what really makes a difference, his philosophy, is not appealing anymore. The gap between his image and what he has actually achieved is so big that nothing can cure that hiatus. Not even the extreme use of media or the maquillage of certain politics.

Italy is doing poorly nationally and internationally. That's about it, we don't have to lok very far. The country does not even manage to attract tourists, which is incredible, given the local ressources. The brand, made in Italy is under huge pressure to China and others. Cars have had a very bad time, but more importantly the italian capitalist model based on the family-owner and the aid of the state is collapsing under the european pressure.

An overhaul of the whole system is needed. Nobody believes that Berlusconi is the right person to do this. He's probably the last one. Whether the opposition will be able to deliver on so complicated matters, it is another issue.

Berlusconi cannot.


Anonymous said...

Do you have any sociological (opinion polls) back up to defend such a claim, i.e. that Berlusconi and his myth are no longer appealing to the Italian people. The Italian left will not win the elections by simply dennying Berlusconi's chances to triumph again...this is wishful thinking...they should have protested against the new electoral law...they should have done observe...I am not sure the left will be able to win...they might win in the Senate but not in the lower house...

Lorenzo Zucca said...

Thanks Luca,

In fact, I am not all that concerned about who is going to win. My point is that Berlusconi's philosophy is not appealing anymore to the large public. You probably can understand this if you look at the way Fini or Casini, berlusconi's allies, behave. They are constantly undermining Berlusconi and constantly denying what he says. They present themselves as a trio, but in fact what they hope is to get rid of Berlusconi themselves!

On the other side, we find Prodi (Don Quixote) and a number of Sancho Panzas. I do not believe they will radically change Italy if they win. I am not sure they believe that too. What they have now is a long, serious, program (270 pages).

Oppose that to the 5 points contract Berlusconi offered to italian people 5 years ago. His philosophy was all about easy delivery of great goods. None of those goods were delivered (in politics it is almost impossible) and Berlusconi cannot deny that. He won on a grand ticket. Now, he sinks precisely because of that.

The problem with Berlusconi is that his strenghts are very often at the same time his weaknesses. In business, to have a clear, manichean view, may help. Politics, to the contrary, is the art of nuances. Berlusconi is not nuanced. He is not subtle enough to be a great politician. Now, his black and white type of politics does not appeal that much.

Come on, he is still talking about anti-communism??? 17 years after the fall of the wall and in a moment where nobody cares about that anymore.