After Silvio Berlusconi’s final conviction for tax fraud, many expected the Letta Government to collapse, at least without an offer to the Cavaliere of presidential pardon, amnesty or reform of the judiciary.
Indeed, yesterday Mr Berlusconi’s party staged a rally in Rome to support its leader. This could have been the ultimate torpedo against the Letta Government, but that was not the case. Berlusconi himself ordered his Ministers in the Letta Government not to attend the rally, and he personally told his supporters that ‘the Government must go on’ to take ‘economic decisions’: he said nothing against any law against the judiciary.
Mr Berlusconi is known as a very proud man and a fighter, a deep lover of electoral campaigning. So why has he become so moderate ? Is it just the age ? The real point is that he is no more the master of the game.
Even if he orders a motion of no confidence against the Letta Government, President Giorgio Napolitano will do his best to avoid dissolving the Parliament. The Democratic Party and the Five Stars Movement could be forced to support a Government together (something which was already tried and even worked in Sicily). That would be a quasi-revolutionary Government dominated by the Movement and the far left wing of the Democratic Party: that means a Government which would ask for Berlusconi’s head on a stick.
But even if the Parliament was dissolved, Berlusconi’s could not be a candidate due to his conviction. Probably he would be able to campaign anyway, but his adversaries this time would not be dull officers from the former Italian Communist Party, but top-tier communicators like Beppe Grillo (5SM) and Matteo Renzi (DP).