“Dear Herman, Dear Jose-Manuel”, it begins, ending with “A Big Hug, Silvio.”
The Italian premier’s ‘letter of intent’ is certainly friendly enough. But back home what do the people think of his commitments and the EU demands behind them?
France and Germany had to pile the pressure on, Rome resident Giuseppe Vallone concedes. But he criticises the reported snigger between the French and German leaders when asked about Berlusconi at a news conference last weekend.
Italians are digesting the details of the ambitious set of reforms and some are causing real concern.
“Making it easier to fire employees does not help people at all,” added another resident of the capital, who did not want to be named. “They should target the better-off who are more able to pay at this time of crisis.”
Italy’s biggest trade union says it will fight the reforms, deepening doubts over their viability amid an already poisonous domestic political climate. As the union urges workers to close ranks, one left-leaning newspaper has described Berlusconi’s plan as a ‘book of dreams.’