Following Milan Election Loss, Failed Berlusconi "Referendum" Sets Stage For Early Italy Elections

Tyler Durden's picture

Following electoral upheavals in Portugal, Germany and Finland, it is time to add Italy to the list, after Silvio Berlusconi's center-right coalition appears to have lost the critical election in Italy's financial capital, Milan, which also happens to be the center of the Bunga Bunga man's business and media empire. And while the mayoral election is merely symbolic for now, its outcome has substantial consequences for Italian governance (and thus stability): "With most votes already counted, leftist Giuliano
Pisapia was set to capture Milan city hall with some 55 percent of the
vote against around 46 percent for outgoing center-right mayor Letizia
Moratti. The local elections were seen as a referendum on the billionaire prime minister. "This is the first defeat for Berlusconi's center-right coalition since they came back to power, and it sends a clear signal of voters' disillusionment," said Maurizio Pessato of pollsters SWG. "These results make early elections more likely, possibly next year, and I don't see any chance of meaningful economic reforms being implemented by a lame duck government." As is by now known, while Spain has recently reentered the bond vigilante's scope after its bonds have continued to traded near record highs, Italy has so far been spared. That will change soon: "Italy is the only euro zone economy in which, taking account of inflation, citizens are poorer on average than they were 10 years ago. Berlusconi's government last month cut its growth forecast for this year to 1.1 percent from 1.3 percent and cut next year's outlook to 1.3 percent from 2.0 percent. S&P's lowered its credit outlook on Italy this month due to its weak growth and failure to adopt reforms, although worries of an immediate impact on the markets eased after the Treasury sold long-term bonds near the top of its target range Monday." Will this be the catalyst that is seen as "change" to the status quo by enough bond holders that Italy becomes that last peripheral European domino to fall?

Reuters has more on the latest political regime change:

With the southern port of Naples also set to fall to the opposition Italy of Values party, the result raised the prospect of national elections before the scheduled date of 2013.

"This is a very heavy defeat and the big loser is the premier," said Leonardo Boriani, editor of the Northern League party newspaper La Padania, which has sniped repeatedly at Berlusconi's PDL party in recent weeks.

With the government preparing to bring forward plans to slash the budget deficit by 40 billion euros ($57 billion) after ratings agency Standard and Poor's cut its outlook for Italy's A+ rating to "negative" from "stable," the stakes are high.

Italy has one of the most sluggish economies in Europe, more than a quarter of its young people are unemployed and government policy is constrained by the need to contain a debt mountain equivalent to some 120 percent of gross domestic product.

In a move seen widely as a signal that he believed defeat in Milan was likely, Berlusconi chose to travel to Romania on Monday but senior ministers have ruled out any change of course before national elections due in 2013.

"It's all the communists' fault"

After being punished for initially calling the vote a referendum on his popularity and policies, Berlusconi blanketed the airwaves with trademark tirades against his longtime enemies: the left and "communist" magistrates.

His last minute television blitz, to which opposition parties were not given the chance to reply, prompted complaints that he was abusing his domination of the media, and magistrates in Rome opened a formal investigation.

Economy Undersecretary Daniela Melchiorre, a former judge, resigned in protest after Berlusconi delivered a rant against Italian magistrates to a surprised U.S. President Barack Obama at the Group of Eight summit in Deauville, France, last week.

Unfortunately for Silvio, unlike Saudi emirs, the country does not have a surplus of crude which it can use to buy the love of its people. As for what happens to the PM once he loses his political immunity, in the aftermath of the DSK sexual backlash scandal, we can only imagine how said "communist magistrates" will respond to the dirt that will come to the fore as every woman he may have had a dalliance with decides to finally present their case in a more objective judicial setting.

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Flore's picture

Time for a party..

Bam_Man's picture

Time for a little "bunga bunga".

IdioTsincracY's picture

What?! no more bunga-bunga?!?!

Don't feel bad for Berlusconi .... his citizens will suffer, while he will be relaxing in one of his villas:

Fuck him too!!

Michael's picture

The people in power should soon be voluntarily riding into the sunset with the loot they pillaged from the people, and give up their power as they see there's no more money that can be extracted from the sheeple.

If there's no more profit in pillaging the people, why bother?

bogey4's picture

Italy has always been the "tipping-point" in the European debt conundrum.  Whereas Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Spain are salvageable by the other EU nations (i.e. Germany) if Germany wished and had the political will, Italy is too big to save.  Too much debt to bail out. 

Italy's debt market and CDS market hasn't gone berserk yet, but its bond market bears close watching.  If rates there really break out higher, then the Euro is truly a lost cause.

IdioTsincracY's picture

Can we have an update on Yemen? ... holy sh!t ... it's a mess there right now

youngman's picture

What we are witnessing is the sheeple voting for the politicians that will keep their goodies coming for cuts here..someone else has to pay for my freebies..the Leftists have made the "rich" the boogieman.....and the dummies are buying it...its easy to make free money...but the problem is there are not that many rich.....its your more soft landings...this economy is going to crash all the producers to "pay" for the users...just does not pun entended

Alcoholic Native American's picture

the new boogieman seems to be the poor......and the dummies are buying it.

the new boogieman seems to be the rich......and the dummies are buying it.


I just can't decide which one makes more sense.  Bottom line is.  We need a boogieman.

IdioTsincracY's picture

If only that was true!

Unfortunately, Italy has followed the path of exponentially increasing income inequality ... with the rich becoming more and mooooore rich .... and everybody else not even able to keep up with inflation ...

It's the same story of the Oligarchy scamming everybody else and destroying the middle class in the processs ....

Corrupt politicians and bankers dominate every field of society in Italy ... and we see the results ...

I know people like to throw around labels of socialism in these cases, unfortunately it is only the same story of corruption at the top....

If you want to talk socialism you should look at Norway, Finland .... you know .... those Countries ....


luigi's picture

In this very case I beg to differ. Nobody in Italy, as far as I can see, believes that you can go out the actual situation not making sacrifices. Moratti was voted out because she promised that she would cancel fines for bad parking: strangely enough many citizen found this somewhat insulting.

In Neaples De Magistris won against the center-right candidate who is the strawman of a notorious Camorra-colluded politician who is the right arm of Berlusconi in his government.

This self appointed "conservatives" are being voted against because the only thing they wanto to "conserve" is their asses on the chairs.

DNB-sore's picture

The Italy matter is going bad. 50% of my Italian suppliers in design furniture is in problems, some have broken down, others are due delivery for 2 months and I'm worried about the others.

It looks like export is going down without anybody noticing.

I'm on the edge of selling out the Italian products because I can not count on it these days. It's only leading to disapointed customers and that is bringing down my business

Must be the economy under the Capo di tuti Capi (or how you say it) and it is showing a breakdown

luigi's picture

Exactly: even Mrs. Marcegaglia, the president of the "Confindustria" turned her back to this government.

The only thin this government made was to lock every expense to try to hold the balance account somewhat. For the rest the ruling parties only worked to save the Boss from proseution issuing laws and decrees who can only be defined as shameful.

I'd wait some more months if I were you and I would salute the fall of this Government eliminating the disgrace of this dangerous clown like a breath of fresh air: whatever will come next.

s0lspot's picture

Aaaahh the infamous "Red Threat" !


I wonder where he got his training from... Hitler, Reagan, Mussolini?

So sad to read so many people here still repeating this obsolete & primitive meme...

Danno Anderson's picture

Protectionism and tariffs are rising in the EU today.  From the RedOne photography message board.



Today I´ve got an additional claim from austrians customs duty office.( bought my RED One in MAY 2008)
Ther was an mandatory tariff classification from last year that the RED One has got this tariff number: 8525 8099 00. That mens 12% importduty instead 4,9%.

This is valid for the whole EU

In Austria (I had a Telephone call with the custom office) they are now looking for all Red One buyers and claim the additional duty. There is one month for an appointment. 
Maybe RED Europe can help us here.



Segestan's picture

"It's all the communists' fault".......... wanta be's ,organized labor , and minorities who preach equality from the pulpit while they steal like thieves in the night. Modern Stability is built on a house of cards with idealist-dreamers , motivated liars,  thinking they can be the dealer.

GeneMarchbanks's picture

That man Silvio... his only crime is loving too much ... bitches that is. What a farce. All of it.

sharpe's picture

sounds like an Italian election with one party on 55% and the other 46%


gianmarco's picture

Sorry Tyler, but perhaps you should stick to financial data and abstain from commenting on a country that you dont seem to know at all.

yes, in italy we have communist judges. is not Berlusconi saying they are communists, its them claiming proudly that they are.

perhaps you should investigate a bit more on italy and on the out of control italian judiciary, which sistematically intercept hundreds of thousands of telephones, expecially the ones of politicians, looking for any excuse at all to bring them to court for the most extravagant reasons. remember, this is the same judiciary that has indicted the italian seismologic institute for having failed to predict L'aquila earthquake.

Rodent Freikorps's picture

He was indicted for manslaughter.

Typical commie reaction. Find a scapegoat, have a show trial.

Good times.


IdioTsincracY's picture

Here comes the comunist bullshit!!

So, let's see ... socialist this .... comunist that, unions here, lazy asses there ....

All right ... as if the Oligarchy ruling/scamming Italy was made up of factory workers ... whatever!!

Now, let's see:

In 1978 Berlusconi joined a secret Masonic lodge called Propaganda Due whose charter had been withdrawn in 1976.  Members included top military leaders, businessmen, bankers, certain politicians, Victor Emmanuel the son of Italy's last king, and the directors of Italy's three intelligence services, and it was basically a shadow government devoted to forming a new right-wing authoritarian state under the control of this elite.  The goal was to destroy the Communist party and the trade-unions and rewrite the Italian constitution.  Propaganda Due, or P2, was discovered in 1981 while the authorities were investigating a member, Michele Sindona, an international banker and money-launderer, and it was eventually implicated in a number of murders and a whole bunch of political corruption which we can't even get into here.

Central to Propaganda Due's plans was the consolidation of the country's media...which is where Berlusconi fit in.


What was that?!?! Say it again...:

top military leaders, businessmen, bankers, certain politicians, Victor Emmanuel the son of Italy's last king, and the directors of Italy's three intelligence services

Yep, your typical comunist leaders ... right there ....

Anything else?!?!

...forming a new right-wing authoritarian state under the control of this elite.  The goal was to destroy the Communist party and the trade-unions and rewrite the Italian constitution

Yep yep ... Karl Marx ... right there!!


Rodent Freikorps's picture

The goal?

How'd they do?

I never could figure out why socialists hate communists. Is it clique thing?

Study up on Romano Prodi.

luigi's picture

You don't seem to be very fond of Italian situation either or else, you are living in the wonderful dreamworld you are being fed by such professionals like Fede and Minzolini.

Berlusconi is (rightly) in the crosshair of judges since end of the 70ies, when he used to host a notorious mafioso in his home (Vito Mangano) as a sort of life insurance against kidnapping. In fact he received menaces of kidnapping of him and or family members, he contracted mafia for protection hosting this boss (contacted through the mediation of Dell'Utri, his right arm since ever, now convicted in second grade for "external support to mafia", third grade pending) instead of going to police or carabinieri: this is the ethic of the "best politician prime minister of the last 150 years" (his own words).

He entered politics to save himself from bankrupcy and from the court, but since then the vice-versa has been imposed through the media, i.e. the political "persecution" started after him entering politics. This simply is a lie. He saved himself from the many processes through laws approved on purpoise. In some cases because the judges who supposedly "persecute" him negate evidence to save him from penal consequences. As an exapmple and short put: two of his lawyers and two judges were convicted for bribing in the case of Mondadori selling, where De Benedetti and Berlusconi disputed about the ownership (we are talking about the then biggest and most influencial media in the printed press business in Italy) and the bribed judges acted in order to favour Berlusconi, payed by the lawyers of Berlusconi with Fininvest money: well  the judges said it wasn't sufficiently proved that the lawyers acted on behalf of Berlusconi... these Torquemadas...

I'm really fed up of having to justify myself abroad for being Italian because I have the disgrace to share my Country with people who react like pavlov's dogs on the word "communist"!

You and your like are a bigger disgrace to my unfortunate Country than Berlusconi itself is!

Silvarouvres's picture

Berlusconi's hold on the media in Italy is a much bigger issue than communist judges I'd say, and easier to discuss based on facts. The fact that his stranglehold on the media has not stopped the Italians to vote him in again and again, may be even a bigger issue and is difficult to understand. This couldn't happen in any other country in Europe

Silvarouvres's picture


Italia may be ahead of the curve

luigi's picture

It's exactly the stranglehold on the media taht allowed him to be voted in again and again: maybe you haven't seen the level of our TV. Over 90% of teh people here gets his information from the news of the first and second channel of public tv + "canale 5". The level of information is so low it is quite embarassing.

What wonders me is ecactly the contrary: that the stranglehold on the madia hasn't prevented Italians to vote against him after he declared these election as kind of plebiscite on his person. Maybe not all hope is lost...

SunBlaster's picture

I wouldn't worry about Italy, they got more GOLD than China!

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Lighty's picture

Time to start attending German lessons, in case things really fall off a cliff in the near future.

For the time being, our standard of living has been slowly but continously eroding, thanks to unreported inflation, short term jobs, unemployment and consequent strong pressure on wages, cuts on social welfare and education. For now it is still bearable, at least in the north (certain places of the south  have been in a third world state since the beginning of time) but I'm afraid about my future.

Finchè la barca va lasciamola andare, ma intanto impariamo a nuotare nel mare.