Monday, December 24, 2012

Mario Monti resigned. Now, will he run for premiership?


I have been away for a week, and I didn't even have a wi-fi connection, so I have been almost completely isolated from what happened in the world. In the evening sometimes I turned on the TV on an Italian news channel, but if I didn't want to ruin my holiday I had to switch it off immediately.
I can summarise the current Italian situation in three words: A REAL MESS.
It's becoming more and more difficult to keep track of everything.
In my last post I wrote that Berlusconi withdraw his support for Monti's government, and that it implied that Monti had to resign. Well, Monti did resign. He went to the Quirinale, the residence of the President of the Republic, and presented his resignation on the 21st of December. The following day, the President summoned the representatives of all parties, and then dissolved the Parliament. However, Monti will formally remain in charge until the election, which will be held (now we know for sure) on the 24th and 25th of February. So, exactly two months from now.

Mario Monti during yesterday's press conference

Nevertheless, many things are still unclear. First of all, we do not know if Monti will run or not. Yesterday, 23rd of December, he held a press conference during which he said that his programme does not belong to any specific political area, and therefore he did not want to take a side which, translated, I would interpret as "I will not run". However, he seems willing to accept the premiership if he is called for the job after the election is held. In other words, he could candidate not his person and not even his name, but his programme for government. This "agenda" is now online. It focuses mainly on Europe, taxes and growth, but it also touches important points such as conflict of interest (currently almost nonexistent in Italy) and a tougher law to prevent people involved in trials from running as candidates. These topics are, you can probably guess, absolutely taboo for Berlusconi, media magnate and protagonist of endless judicial controversies.
Berlusconi: we always end up talking about him. This man is the most incoherent person ever. I actually think that he is losing his mind for real this time. He should be treated, not mocked. It was because of him that Monti lost his parliamentary majority, but shortly after Berlusconi started to say that he wanted Monti to run as PM for a "big coalition of moderates". When Monti did not comment on that, he started to blackmail him by saying that if Monti does not run, he will. Then, he said that if Monti runs as a political candidate, in the future Berlusconi's party "People of Freedom" will never sustain Monti if he runs to become President of the Republic.
The man is clearly delirious, but, God knows why, everyone lets him talk freely. As Monti very cleverly put it: "I find it hard to follow Berlusconi's linearity of thought".
Everything is so confused and worrying right now, that the only way to have a merry Christmas is to try to forget about the outside world for one night. So, I will now turn my self to merrier thoughts, pretend that I live in a normal democracy, and enjoy the company of my family. I wish everyone a very happy Christmas!