It has been a most public divorce and it’s had the effect of ratcheting up political tensions in Italy.
Parliamentary speaker Gianfranco Fini’s threat to pull his supporters out of the government if Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi doesn’t resign has stirred up a storm.
But there is a question mark over whether Fini would ever vote against the government and not everyone agrees with his tactics. Frattini himself has said:
“This must be done with parliamentary debate, in the parliament and not with urgent appeals from political podium”
Berlusconi has dismissed the calls to go.
His government’s future has been in the balance since July when he effectively expelled Fini from his party. Fini formed a new one and left Berlusconi without a secure parliamentary majority.
But opposition politicians such as Pierferdinando Casini are now joining the fray and telling the government to wake up because the country is “going down the drain”
In the meantime the public fallout may have done Berlusconi a favour and knocked the latest sex scandal involving him from the front pages.