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European Journal

Italy: Berlusconi in dire straits

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is under unprecedented pressure. He is to face a vote of no confidence in parliament on December 14. What’s more, his former ally Gianfranco Fini is leading the challenge.

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Silvio Berlusconi und Gianfranco Fini Rom 2010

Silvio Berlusconi and Gianfranco Fini

Silvio Berlusconi is under increasing pressure to sort out various political issues. Mara Carfagna, a former showgirl appointed minister for equal opportunities by Berlusconi in 2008, has already threatened to resign. Meanwhile Gianfranco Fini, once Berlusconi’s coalition partner, has withdrawn four of his people from Berlusconi’s cabinet. The opposition are not quite sure what to think: many are skeptical of Fini’s alleged transformation from former neo-fascist to mainstream conservative. But they appear to be dependent on him in their efforts to depose Berlusconi.