Crime and Court news / Foreign relations / Politics

Is Berlusconi the new nice guy of the Italian right?

The Italian Supreme Court upheld the acquittal of Silvio Berlusconi from the charges of juvenile prostitution and abuse of power; the Cassazione judgement is final.

Mr Berlusconi obviously rejoiced and announced yet another comeback on the political scene. Ironically, for the first time such comeback could be a relief for many not only in Italy, but also in Brussels, Berlin, and elsewhere. Beside his acquittal, politically Mr Berlusconi is the last redoubt of the Italian right against the total submission to the hardline leader Matteo Salvini, who wants Italy outside the Eurozone and the Schengen Area.

However, it is hard to imagine Mr Berlusconi as the Mister Nice Guy of the Italian right. It is not just his personal history, there are more contingent reasons.

The appeal judgement acquitting Berlusconi which was confirmed by the Supreme Court states that he didn’t know that the call girls invited to his “gala dinners” were underage. But if the panel of judges came to this conclusion, it could be because Mr Berlusconi bribed the witnesses: he is under trial exactly for that. If he is found guilty of bribery, the last verdict won’t be overturned anyway: the case is closed, and pursuant to Italian law it can be reopened pro reo only.

Moreover, politically Mr Berlusconi is an old man. His party, which used to be monarchical, is now fragmented in different faction; one of these, led by the prominent senator Denis Verdini, even favors Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

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