Silvio Berlusconi threatened to torpedo the Letta Government unless the execution of the judgement passed against him for tax fraud is stopped somehow.
This is unlikely to happen, but the Letta Government will probably stand anyway.
First of all, Berlusconi could be simply unable to dismiss it, since some MPs of his own party and of the Five Stars Movement look ready to defect in order to support it, at least for the time necessary to reform the electoral law. Moreover, President Giorgio Napolitano just appointed four senators for life, who according to constitutional custom will always vote in favor of the Government.
The President himself threatened to resign in case of a crisis, something which would be a choc for the Italian public and would automatically made Mr Napolitano another senator for life.
That’s not all. Berlusconi could be unwilling to risk a crisis. When his party became a supporter of the Letta Government, the share of his corporations skyrocketed in the Milan Stock Exchange. On the contrary, when he threatened a crisis they plummeted.
Finally, a crisis leading to quick elections would pave the way to the candidature of Matteo Renzi, the young expert communicator of the Democratic Party that Berlusconi has every motive to fear.
For its part, the Government is successfully fighting back, passing important and popular Decree like the one abolishing the real estate tax.