Increasingly isolated, Silvio Berlusconi looks to be contemplating an unpleasant future: no longer the prime minister of Italy. A string of sex scandals, a divorce, and increasing problems in parliament could spell the end of his long political career.
A motion of no-confidence in his culture minister, over some Roman ruins in Pompeii, may call time on the man dubbed ‘The Cavalier.’
Sandro Bondi is under fire for mismanagement of some of Italy’s most famous Roman remains. His potential resignation could have wider implications.
“You may, certainly, demand my resignation,” Bondi told parliament, “but I don’t think that would be either politically or morally correct. Not only because I don’t deserve it, but because I think it would be yet another sign of the harshness of politics today.”
But the opposition were having none of it. Dario Francheschini, a spokesman for the opposition Democratic Party said his time was up:
“I think that the minister must accept that the majority of this chamber has called on him to accept his responsibilities and resign, and therefore he should do just that.”
Bondi has admitted that the poor condition of the ruins in Pompeii are not due to lack of funds, but to bad management. It would be the height of irony if the collapse of a two-thousand-year-old wall now brings down a 21st century prime minister.