Italy’s embattled Prime Minister is bracing himself for a legal verdict that could further weaken his position.
The country’s top court will this week rule on whether a law granting Silvio Berlusconi immunity from prosecution violates the constitution. His own party is in fighting mood, however. Fabrizio Cicchitto from Berlusconi’s The People of Freedom party, said: “We are thinking about the possibility of holding a demonstration, aimed at letting the majority of the Italian public be heard, to confirm their support for Prime Minsiter Berlusconi.” Amid increasing political pressure on the Prime Minister, critics of the government have denounced the ruling party’s idea to organise a pro-Berlusconi demonstration. Paolo Gentiloni from the centre-left Democratic Party, said: “In a free country, everyone can go out onto the street, but to call for a demonstration against a court verdict, even against a declaration of the constitutional court, does not really seem to me to be very normal.” It is reported that Berlusconi is unlikely to step down if the court rules against him, but he would be further weakened amid the on-going scandal over prostitutes invited to his residence. His media empire has also been the target of recent press-freedom demonstrations.