Silvio Berlusconi: "We Don't Want Elections. We Want To Govern" - Tens Of Thousands Of Protestors Disagree
Even as the EURUSD is surging because of, uh, we are not quite sure - HFTs hitting all stops most likely, it is only 9 short hours until BTPs, that one and only fulcrum security for the entire European continent reopens. And while for Greece getting a new government, even if one headed by a former Fed member is somehow good news (we wonder how the people will react knowing that their fate as debt slaves repaying European banks has just been sealed for a few more months), in Italy government "stability" (we realize the comic value of this statement) is the key to prevent a blow out to the 10 Year BTP, and the launch of a domnino cascade that will stop only with French OATs, and potentially rip through through that final firewall: Germany (with or without BuBa's billions in gold reserves... which we can only hope are not parked with the New York Fed). So back to Italian government "stability" which according to France 24 is not doing that hot. "Tens of thousands of Italians gathered in Rome on Saturday to protest Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's tackling of the country's sovereign debt crisis. "Silvio out" was the rallying cry for the large crowd that took part in the rally organised by the Democratic Party, the country's main opposition movement. Some demonstrators poured scorn on the prime minister after G-20 leaders humiliatingly put Italy's struggling economy under surveillance, amid a lack of trust in Berlusconi's reform pledges. At the summit in Cannes, the billionaire prime minister played down the gravity of the economic crisis with a trademark quip, claiming that "restaurants are full and the planes fully booked." "I go to restaurants... to do the washing up," read one banner at Saturday's mass demonstration." And the kicker is that over the weekend enough defections from his party have taken place which according to many, but not Silvio, are enough to lose him his majority: "There is growing concern Berlusconi no longer commands enough loyalty among MPs to ensure the quick passage that European and international financial officials say Rome must achieve to avoid falling victim to a dramatic debt crisis like that bringing Greece to its knees... "We don't want elections. We want to govern," Berlusconi added." So much for democracy in yet another country, but he does bring up a fair demand, one shared by the increasingly more skeptical holders of BTPs. Because when Silvio finally falls, all bets are off.
More from France 24:
Berlusconi's popularity ratings have hit a record low of 22 percent, according to the latest poll released on Wednesday.
Energised by the large turnout, Democratic Paryt boss Pier Luigi Bersani reiterated his calls for Berlusconi to step aside, accusing him of being responsible for Italy's economic woes.
"Italy is on the most exposed side of the crisis because of an incompetent and discredited government," he said after singing the Italian anthem with the crowd.
"For the country's reconstruction, we urge Italians to put us to the test government and we will show them that we can be a reform party," he said.
"The sooner we send them to the junkyard the better," read one large placard at the rally, plastered with the pictures of Berlusconi's ministers, as pressure mounted on the 75-year-old leader's government.
The placard also included pictures of his lawyer Niccolo Ghedini and Nicole Minetti, the curvaceous former showgirl who was promoted as regional councillor in Milan after serving as Berlusconi's dental hygienist.
Both are symbols of what the opposition sees as a corrupt administration.
And from the AP:
There is growing concern Berlusconi no longer commands enough loyalty among MPs to ensure the quick passage that European and international financial officials say Rome must achieve to avoid falling victim to a dramatic debt crisis like that bringing Greece to its knees.
During an economic summit in France last week, Berlusconi asked the International Monetary Fund to monitor the country's reform efforts, a humiliating step for the eurozone's third-largest economy.
If his forces lose upcoming votes on the measures, the Italian president, who has repeatedly called on Berlusconi to take decisive steps immediately to rescue the nation, could intervene and rule that it is time for a new government.
Silvio's traditionally placating words:
"I am sorry to disappoint those who are nostalgic of the First republic when governments lasted an average of 11 months," he said in a statement.
My sense of "responsibility vis-a-vis the voters and the country... compels me and the government to continue our struggle for civilisation at a difficult time of crisis."
All we can say is stay focused on GBTP10YR Index GIP <go> beginning about 4 am Eastern, since the EURUSD is now largely irrelevant.