In the same week that Silvio Berlusconi was forced into a humiliating climbdown after failing to topple Italy’s government, the former prime minister’s political future has been dealt a further blow.
A cross-party committee in the Senate has recommended the centre-right leader’s expulsion from the house, following his conviction for tax fraud. The proposal will have to be ratified by a vote of the full Senate, but, for Berlusconi, the writing could be on the wall.
“Basically, we had the leader becoming a follower,” said Italian economist Tito Boeri. “And that is going to have an important impact on political decisions and Italian political life in the future and in economic policy as well. Because, really, many of the threats of blackmail that Berlusconi was activating in the past can no longer be credible.”
Berlusconi, who has dominated Italian politics for the past two decades, claims the Senate panel is biased against him.