Italy's 87 Year Old Outgoing President To Break Political Impasse, To Get Second Term

Tyler Durden's picture

Update: 87 year old Giorgio Napolitano has been reelected as president of Italy during the 6th consecutive vote. He becomes the first Italian president to serve two terms.

Earlier today the fifth consecutive round of presidential voting in Italy failed to produce the sufficient majority for the country to elect a president courtesy of its fractured political system, especially following the announcement last night from the PD's leader Pier Luigi Bersani that he would quit his post after a president is elected.  More than 440 blank ballots were cast in the fifth ballot today, with the leading vote-getter Stefano Rodota -- the candidate of Beppe Grillo’s 5 Star Movement -- at 210. Shortly thereafter an ingenious solution has emerged: reelect the current figurehead president Giorgio Napolitano for a second consecutive 7 year term so if not a prime minister, Italy, which has devolved into total political chaos since the February 25th inconclusive elections, would at least has a president. There is one problem: Napolitano is 87 years old.

Perhaps the prospect of a 95 year old president in 7 years is precisely the impetus the country needs to shift its economy into overdrive?

From Bloomberg:

Napolitano, 87, who met with caretaker Prime Minister Mario Monti and representatives of the Democratic Party, Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Liberty party and the Northern League today, said “he can’t ignore responsibility toward the country,” according to an e-mailed statement.


The sixth round of voting to elect a president is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. in Rome. The fifth ballot earlier today failed to produce a successor to Napolitano. More than 440 blank ballots were cast in the fifth ballot today, with the leading vote-getter Stefano Rodota -- the candidate of Beppe Grillo’s 5 Star Movement -- at 210.


A candidate needs 504 votes to be elected. Napolitano had said earlier this year that he wouldn’t accept a second seven- year term. Italian Democratic Party leader Pier Luigi Bersani failed to build support for ex-premier and former European Commission President Romano Prodi, who fell short of a simple majority in the fourth ballot yesterday. Bersani announced after that vote that he will resign as PD leader after a president is elected.


If Napolitano is re-elected, he will play the key role in trying to end the political impasse caused by inconclusive elections February 24-25 that failed to produce a viable ruling coalition and led to a hung parliament.

Bloomberg also adds that according to media reports, the octogenarian who is older than Warren Buffett, has the sufficient number of votes to be reelected in the 6th round of voting which will likely take place shortly.

Yet while the presidential election is largely a distraction, and now, a farce, it is the problems in Italy's Democratic Party (PD) that are now center stage, following what appears to be a complete implosion in the party that until two months ago was certain to have the necessary public support to elect the next prime minister. From Reuters:

Center-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani announced his resignation on Friday after party rebels sabotaged two separate candidates he had backed for state president, deepening Italy's political chaos.


Bersani told a meeting of parliamentarians he would quit as Democratic Party (PD) leader as soon as the election of the next head of state was completed, following two dramatic days of parliamentary voting in which successive center-left candidates were scuppered in secret ballots.


"He accepted his responsibility after the disgrace of what happened," Paolo Gentiloni, a senior Democratic Party parliamentary deputy said after Bersani's announcement.


Then disarray in the center-left, which has the most seats in parliament, could make a snap election in the summer more likely to end the political deadlock, but there is no clarity about the next moves after weeks of chaos.


It is unclear who will take over leadership of the badly split party but Bersani's departure could clear the way for arch-rival Matteo Renzi, the dynamic 38-year-old mayor of Florence, to take over.


Bersani's announcement came shortly after former Prime Minister Romano Prodi announced he was pulling out of the race for president after more than 100 center-left electors disobeyed Bersani's instructions to vote for him in parliament.


It was the last of a series of humiliating setbacks for Bersani and blunders that have shredded his ability to hold the center-left bloc together.


The collapse of efforts to secure the presidency for Prodi, a respected international figure, underlined the deep fractures running through politics in a country still seeking a government nearly two months after February's inconclusive general election.


"The politicians should be ashamed of what they're doing to the country. Today we're seeing a level of irresponsibility that goes beyond all limits," said Diego Della Valle, head of shoe group Tod's, one of Italy's most successful clothing companies.

The biggest winner as a result of all of the above? Silvio Berlusconi of course, whose public support is soaring concurrently with the return of political chaos front and center to Italy, as well as a return to aphorisms uttered previously by the infamous Bunga magnate such as these:

"I am without doubt the person who's been the most persecuted in the entire history of the world and the history of man."


"In my opinion, and not only mine, I am the best prime minister we can find today."


Previously, on the same theme: "I am the Jesus Christ of politics. I am a patient victim, I put up with everyone, I sacrifice myself for everyone."


"The best political leader in Europe and in the world."


"There is no-one on the world stage who can compete with me."


"Out of love for Italy, I felt I had to save it from the left."


"The right man in the right job."


"I don't need to go into office for the power. I have houses all over the world, stupendous boats... beautiful airplanes, a beautiful wife, a beautiful family... I am making a sacrifice."


"In Italy I am almost seen as German for my workaholism. Also I am from Milan, the city where people work the hardest. Work, work, work - I am almost German."

.. and perhaps also those by Benito Mussolini:

Democracy is talking itself to death. The people do not know what they want; they do not know what is the best for them. There is too much foolishness, too much lost motion. I have stopped the talk and the nonsense. I am a man of action. Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy. You in America will see that some day.

and this:

People are tired of liberty. They have had a surfeit of it. Liberty is no longer a chaste and austere virgin…. Today’s youth are moved by other slogans…Order, Hierarchy, Discipline.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Debtonation's picture

I sense a record S&P on Monday.

The They's picture

Poor Europeans. Us americans have a proud tradition of liberty to ground us in these times of trouble... What do Europeans have to look to? class struggle? Imperialism? Racialist authoritarianism? Only a movement grounded in the principles of liberty can guide them out of the darkness and into the light.

unfortunately all the italians have is the hyper-inflationist Grillo...

flacon's picture

Even uber-Keynesian Columbia pH Dee professor Jeffery Sachs finally "GETS IT"!


css1971's picture


Wanna start a book?

  1. "Slipped in the shower"
  2. "Died of a heart attack"
  3. "Accident while driving"
  4. "Suffered from depression, committed suicide"
  5. "Accidental suffocation while performing deviant sexual practices."
bank guy in Brussels's picture

Yeah, American 'liberty' must be why 1 out of every 140 Americans is already jailed in the US gulag of 2.3 millions prisoners ... 25% of all the prisoners in the entire world ... many of them doing slave labour for wages lower than in China ... many tens of thousands totally innocent

While in Europe, almost no one is in jail here ... only about 1 out of 1000 people in prison in Europe ...

For all that is screwy about Europe, the destructive euro currency and the EU ... there is little fear here of courts, lawyers, cops and police and prisons

Seems like in reality most Americans cower in fear while in Europe we at least demonstrate and riot a bit


True that Europeans only have about 75-100 million privately owned guns, versus 300 million in the USA

But as Bill Maher says about life in the modern American police state ... US owners of 300 million guns did almost  nothing while every other freedom Americans had was lost

Maher said: « And now, the only right we have left is the guns and nothing left to use the guns to protect. »

(Maher's talk on 'Guns and Civil Liberties in America')

Awakened Sheeple's picture

Do you have a link for when he said this? Was this on his show?

I used to enjoy Real Time until he started drinking the Obama koolaid. :/

WillyGroper's picture

Yes, he said it on his show. I got it via podcast & saw him last weekend & he said it again. 

Must be some bitter medicine for him to swallow after donating $1M to Obliar.

Manthong's picture

 Bill Maher is, to a large extent correct on this.

 Excuse me, as Maher has said something that is even in the vicinity of making sense, I need to go consume mass quantities even though it is still early in the day.

Urban Redneck's picture

Somehow I can't see Bill Maher standing up & applauding someone using a firearm to defend their rights against the American police state.

I'll pass on the cheap bait, thanks. 

Rustysilver's picture

Bank Guy,

Bill Maher is full of shit. I use to watch his show on HBO until he gave $1m to Obama.

You can find vids of his show on youtube.

The They's picture

Anyone living in the Eurozone is living in a prison.  At least Americans still have control over their monetary policy (even if we've deligated it to bankers).  Also, of course no one over there fears courts and lawyers... the Troika always overrules them whenever they show any spine.


As far as the police go... I'd be more afraid of the neo-fascists.


Liberty may not be mainstream here, but it's growing every day.

kliguy38's picture

Now that is funny.......WE Amerikans have control over our monetary policy???? BWAAAAAA....what planet have you been on.......Neo-fascists??? Police????? WHO do you think protect the neo-fascists........ Liberty growing here every day.........WHERE WERE YOU the last four days...........pure Military Law ........NO rights in entire City locked down over a 19Y/O..........You really don't get it do YOU? You're already get back to 24 on Fox.......

Tango in the Blight's picture

Guns are useless when one is faced with tyranny and one just does not have the willpower and resolve to use them against the tyrants.

Joe A's picture

The They forgot his sarcasm tag.

Ban KKiller's picture

Won't buy green bananas, right?

Buck Johnson's picture

Are you kidding me, the US has a proud tradition of liberty?  Yea right, I guess you didn't see the lockdown of an entire city by the federal govt., or the fact that slavery continued after the constitution etc. etc. etc. etc.. 

flacon's picture


Bearwagon's picture

"These questions are formulated by people who vastly underestimate what the Euro means for the Europeans, for the Euro area. They vastly underestimate the amount of political capital that has been invested in the Euro."

flacon's picture

LOL! Who said that? Fucky the clown? Or whas that Mario the Dragy? No difference really.

MrTouchdown's picture

Que the Godfather:

"Whataya gunna do? You gunna leave the Euro? You can't leave the Euro. You got a nice shop here. Something might happen to it if you leave the Euro, and we don't want that to happen, do we? You give us your bank account, put your kids in the military and do what we tell you, capisca!?"

The They's picture


Down with the Eurofascists!

Urban Redneck's picture

Well not voting in Mr. Euro himself (Prodi) was at least a step in the right direction.  There are only so many ties you can invite the Devil into your home before you find yourself living in Hell.

Non Passaran's picture

The article says Prodi is respected.

Prodi is not respected. He is scum.  


Prodi's programme consisted in continuing the past governments' work of restoration of the country's economic health, in order to pursue the then seemingly unreachable goal of leading the country within the strict European Monetary System parameters and make the country join the Euro currency.


Bangin7GramRocks's picture

Don't laugh America! Some of you elected that racist cocksucker Strom Thurmond long after he stopped shitting in a toilet.

Urban Redneck's picture

Strom may have been a racist SOB, but he probably wasn't a cocksucker, since that fucker was molesting teenage girls from his wheelchair in the halls and elevators of the US Capitol before during and long after they threw Packwood out or they started allowing the Pecker-freaks in, and unlike fellow Klansman the Hon. Sen. Porky Pig, there appears to be physical evidence he must have gotten over his racism on at least one occasion.  

If you want to lob incendiary terms at a deserving target, feel free, but use terms that might actually be believable.

Urban Redneck's picture

Does anyone know if Ar-Pharazôn voted for the DEAD GUY they just elected to the assembly in his neck of the woods?

Weekend at Bernie's - Swiss Edition


i-dog's picture

Since dead people typically cast a large proportion of votes, it's not unexpected that they would elect a dead person.

No taxation [of the dead] without representation!!

Silver Bug's picture

Wow this is just sad. Obviously this guy has been doing a horrible job. But then again havn't just about all politicians!


Bernanke's Worst Nightmare.

Gringo Viejo's picture

The Robert Byrd of Italy

"I love You Ted! Sob!"

Should be good for some yuks.

Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

Scendere il mio prato!

prodigious_idea's picture

"Napolitano, 87, who met with caretaker . . ."

Pretty much sums is up

RhoneGSM's picture

met with under taker. fixed it


booboo's picture

He has been briefed by his right hand man "Digger" Odell

Bearwagon's picture

Die already, you braindead zombie!

butchee's picture

Banca Monte Dei Paschi Di Siena: "you talkin' to me?"

Kaiser Sousa's picture

Italians - fucking clowns....

send in the comedian...he'll straighten this shit out for those banker slaves....

NoDebt's picture

Careful where you throw that stone.  We're living in an amply windowed house ourselves.

Kaiser Sousa's picture

not be by virtue of your name sake...

and, only real money around my parts...

freedom begins with leaving their debt based currency paradigm and rigged fucking casino...

starve the beasts (read:sociopath fucking cocksuker bankers)...

francis_sawyer's picture

BRING OUT YOUR DEAD!... "But I'm not dead yet..."

gimli's picture

If he retires at 94 he'll get a dandy pension.

MarcusLCrassus's picture

He wants a pension?  What is he some kind of communist?