The last two days have been very significant days for italian politics, that’s why I think it’s worth spending a bit of time on this. The confidence vote on the 2014 budget that was passed last tuesday despite the formal split within Berlusconi’s own party and finally yesterday the fact that Mr. Berlusconi has been expelled from Senate which is the main news that everyone has been talking about in the last hours and precisely since 5.43 pm yesterday afternoon when the vote to expel him happened in the Senate.
The event has attracted an unprecedented amount of journalists more than 250 not just from italy but also from all over the world.
The main thing to note is that Berlusconi, who has dominated politics for 20 years, could now face arrest over other criminal cases as he has lost his immunity from prosecution.
While the vote was takig place Mr Berlusconi responded with an outdoor rally in central Rome. He told supporters gathered outside his Rome residence that “no political leader has suffered a persecution such as I have lived through”.
Ahead of the vote, he vowed to remain in politics to lead his Forza Italia in a “fight for the good of Italy”.
The former PM had threatened to topple the coalition government earlier this year but backed down during a confidence vote when it was clear he would not get the support needed.
Let’s recap what happened that led to this vote: Berlusconi was convicted of tax fraud in October 2012 over deals his firm Mediaset made to purchase TV rights to US films. The verdict was upheld in August.
Under a law passed with Berlusconi’s support last year, politicians convicted of serious criminal offences are ineligible for parliament, but his expulsion had to be confirmed by a full vote in the Senate.
As I said expulsion from parliament, where he has sat since 1994, may lead to Berlusconi’s arrest over other criminal cases, as he would lose his immunity from prosecution.
He will have to serve a one-year sentence for his tax conviction, probably under house arrest.
But this is not the only trial Mr. Berlusconi is still involved in.There are at least two other. He has been convicted of paying for sex with an underage prostitute the so called “Ruby case” and of a breach of confidentiality over a police wiretap. He is appealing against both convictions.
Let’s note that Berlusconi’ s influence not just within the parliament but also over his own party has weakend lately. Despite the split between ” Forza Italia” Berlusconi’s supporters and Mr. Alfano breakaway party “new centre right’ , the government, still won a confidence vote on the 2014 budget late on Tuesday with the support of around those 30 dissidents who split off from Forza Italia.
Letta declared on Wednesday that his government was now “stronger and more cohesive” after winning the budget vote and said it would press on with its reform programme.
What can happen now?
>His role could be similar to the one played by Grillo, who is an outsider not sitting in parliament but still a poltical leader
> Let’s see what Alfano or whatever is left of the old party is going to do, how far he can push his agenda through will he really sustain the majority
> Political majority vis ery weak from now on so it will be harder to pass reforms