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  • Despite the crescendo of scandal worthy of an 18th century Turkish sultan, Mr. Berlusconi remains the most charismatic and popular politician in Italy. ... True democracy, he believes, comes unmediated, and straight from the people. It is revealed by public opinion polls, piazza demonstrations and, if need be, via a new election, the last recourse. Meanwhile Berlusconi's political staff are looking to the U.S. Tea Party for fresh ideas about recruiting, organization and themes.
  • On Sunday, the president of the Chamber of Deputies Fini gave a much-awaited speech at Mirabello, in which he formally divorced Berlusconi’s Popolo della Libertà and invited his supporting members to join him in forming a new grouping. This is being seen as the first step toward creating a new and “normal” conservative political party in opposition to Berlusconi’s. Will Berlusconi government succumb? And will President Giorgio Napolitano finally call for new elections?
  • 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.
  • Facts & Stories
    Judith Harris(August 23, 2009)
    For journalists this is traditionally the silly season, when anything goes, as long as it’s entertainment. Alas, this beach season has brought a host of serious problems...
  • Facts & Stories
    Judith Harris(April 30, 2008)
    Berlusconi chalks up his second victory this month. “We’ll be licking these wounds for as long as we have tongues, and maybe longer,” was the mournful comment of Alessandro Robecchi, in the left-wing newspaper Il Manifesto.