David Blackburn

What now?

What now?
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The BBC is reporting that the embattled Silvio Berlusconi has survived confidence votes in both of Italy’s Houses. The vote in the second House is understood to have been particularly close; apparently, there were just a couple of votes in it.  

Theoretically, Berlusconi could soldier on. But his governing coalition is extremely fragile, and Berlusconi’s credibility is surely irretrievable. That said, the memory of Romano Prodi’s debacle of a government casts a long shadow and the opposition left remains totally disorganised by all accounts. Plus, Berlusconi was expected to lose both votes, particularly the second, so he now has a little momentum. Will it be a case of better the devil the Italian centre and right knows?