In the good old times, Berlusconi would have known very well how to mount his counter-offensive against Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. He would have taken command of the no euro campaign, forming a wide rightist coalition going from the traditional right of the Brothers of Italy to the pro-autonomy but conservative Northern League.
Today everything is much more complicated, however. The Cavaliere is weaker. If he joined the anti-euro ranks, he would probably be kicked out of the European People’s Party, and would lose any remaining benevolence by the establishment. His business empire would suffer.
Moreover Mr Grillo met the British anti-euro leader Nigel Farage in record time, and promptly told the press that the UKIP would never ally itself with the Northern League, id est precisely the party that Mr Berlusconi is trying to use as a contact with the no-euro front. Furthermore, Mr Grillo is a staunch enemy of Mr Berlusconi, and not even an unpredictable leader like him could change his position on this issue.