Nice article on the degeneration of the country and its leaders, unfortunately as in previous sexual scandals it is doubtful that Berlusconi will face jail time or a trial, all these continuous sex scandals being launched against him are the only weapons left in a rotten country to try and restore some democracy without major uphevals, at the end Mr. Berlusconi will never let go his grasp on the country and its politics, it is a matter of survival; he is perfectly conscious that the exact moment he is leaving the government he will go to jail, his fight is for survival and he will not hesitate to drag with him the country, its democracy and the italian people.
From the Economist:
On January 14th the prime minister learnt that he had been placed formally under investigation, suspected of two offences: paying for sex with an underage prostitute and abusing his position by trying to cover it up.
The solution to this crisis that might suggest itself in most other countries was flatly ruled out by the prime minister on January 18th. “Resign?” he asked journalists. “Are you mad?” Once again, he seems bent on facing down claims that would persuade most normal public figures that the time had come for retirement, perhaps to a monastery. This is the seventh sex scandal in which Mr Berlusconi has been personally implicated. But as the others have shown, the mechanisms that drive out politicians elsewhere do not really apply in Italy, or at least not to Mr Berlusconi
Most political leaders in other countries are persuaded to go before any charges reach the courts by their own followers “for the good of the party”. But since the electoral law introduced by Mr Berlusconi’s previous government in 2005 makes Italian parliamentarians dependent for re-election entirely on their party leaders, who decide where to place candidates on the party lists, such rebellions are almost impossible to organise. This is especially true in the prime minister’s People of Freedom (PdL) movement, many of whose parliamentarians owe their political careers to Mr Berlusconi.
There are two big dangers in this uncertain situation. One is that the government, which has been unable to do much for the past two years because its leader has been repeatedly distracted by problems of his own making, remains inert for months to come, heedless of Italy’s economic problems. The second, perhaps greater, risk, which was suggested by Mr Berlusconi this week, is that he may seek a new mandate to crush the independence of the judiciary in an election that might threaten the very foundations of his 150-year-old country. Poor Italy.
full article here