We’re not sure what Berlusconi is grinning about, but Monti is obviously not really comfortable about sharing the stage with him. In fact he looks like he wants to get away as quickly as possible. (Photo via mondopoliticablog.com)
acting-man.com / By Pater Tenebrarum / November 19, 2012
Berlusconi’s Party Ponders Whether to Depose Monti
The discontent of the Italian political establishment is growing as Mario Monti’s popularity sags as a result of the austerity measures he has implemented. One party that is getting close to capsize the Monti ship is Silvio Berlusconi’s center-right People of Liberty Party.
The occasion is the attempt by Monti to divorce regional from national elections, a move that is regarded as potentially detrimental for the established parties.
“Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti faces a deadline today to reverse his plan to separate regional and national voting or risk a rebellion by his supporters that could force early elections.
Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Liberty Party, which supports the premier’s non-elected government, has demanded Monti reverse his position favoring regional ballots in February with the national elections to follow in April. The party called for Monti to act by today.
The government failed to make a recommendation at a meeting of Monti’s Cabinet today in Rome. Monti will meet with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, who has the power to set the elections, this afternoon to discuss the voting, Berlusconi told reporters today.
Monti’s coalition of rivals is coming apart as Berlusconi and his backers, the most powerful political force in Italy over the last two decades, sink in opinion polls. People of Liberty, or PDL, has been beset by corruption scandals among regional members and weakened by its support of Monti’s tax increases and budget cuts. The party had about 15 percent backing in an SWG Institute poll today for state-broadcaster RAI, down from 25 percent in April.
“This is really an issue of life or death for the PDL,” said Giovanni Orsina a professor at Luiss Guido Carli University in Rome. “They could cut the oxygen to the government, and then run an election campaign against” Monti’s policies, he said.“