Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi resigned in 2011 in the midst of a eurozone crisis after the Italian parliament voted for austerity measures. He blames then ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet for his ouster.
Berlusconi was replaced by a technocrat Mario Monti, the first of four consecutive Italian technocrats.
He wants back in power, and he also wants Italy out of the Eurozone. Recent political moves indicate Berlusconi desires to destroy the euro even more than he wants back in power.
The following is from Eurointelligence, via email, emphasis mine.
Berlusconi Really Wants to destroy the Euro
Silvio Berlusconi is trying to forge a new centre-right alliance ahead of the elections that will either take place this autumn or in the spring of next year. Corriere della Sera reports this morning that this task is going to be more difficult following Berlusconi’s suggestion that he wants to nominate Luca Zaia as the centre-right’s joint candidate for the job of prime minister. Zaia is a member of the Lega Nord, governor of the province Venice, a cabinet member in Berlusconi’s government, and an outspoken eurosceptic.
The statement was immediately disowned by Matteo Salvini, the leader of the Lega, who says that he was the candidate of his party, and the man best placed to take on Matteo Renzi. We assume that Berlusconi’s foray serves the purpose to split, and weaken, the Lega and Salvini. Whether we can expect to see a pre-electoral alliance between Forza Italia and the Lega will also depend in part on the details of the electoral law that have to be agreed before the next elections. The most important question is whether the new electoral law will apply the 40% threshold for the majority bonus not only to political parties – pointless since none has any chance to achieve it – but also to coalitions. Since the Italian political landscape is splitting three ways, we see it as virtually impossible that even a coalition can meet that threshold. This means that the next election will be fought under a de facto proportional system – and there will be no incentive for the small parties to subbordinate their interests to the larger ones as long as they are meeting the minimal thresholds for representation, which the Lega does.
What is interesting about Berlusconi’s recommendation of Zaia is that the latter is a virulent opponent of Italy’s euro membership – and this could become the position around which the centre-right unites. Berlusconi himself believes that he was ousted by Jean-Claude Trichet, the European Commission, and a europhile Italian establishment, so we should not underestimate his appetite for revenge. Forza Italia is no longer the party it once was, and Berlusconi himself no longer seems to push himself as a candidate for the top job. But the point is that both the Five Star Movement and the Berlusconi/Lega/Fratelli sphere are anti-euro. The only pro-Europeans are the PD moderates, who are now self-destructing under Renzi’s divisive leadership. We will be keeping a close eye on these developments.
Italexit Pieces Keep Falling Into Place
Pieces of “Italexit” keep falling into place.
We have talked about this before, but the Five Star Movement, the Northern League (Lega Nord), and Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party are all eurosceptic. The only major pro-euro party is former prime minister Matteo Renzi’s PD party.
Renzi has no chance to win 40% of the vote and almost no chance now of forming a coalition.
Renzi promotes Renzi-ism as Alternative to Trump-ism, Le Pen-ism, Grillo-ism but the splintering of PD is the only result.
The other parties disagree on many things but they are united in two important ways:
- They want to keep Renzi out of power
- They want to hold a referendum on the Euro
As noted on February 20, “Italeave” Odds Increase: Rebellion in Italy, Matteo Renzi’s PD Party to Split.
The odds increased further with this latest move by Berlusconi.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock