Happy New Year, shame it won’t last.
President Napolitano has gone, has left the building, he is no more, he is an ex-president – having resigned on 13 January, and started the race for the President all over again. It is of course the grubbiest race in politics, as each party is convinced that everything depends on the choice of President, who should be above politics but in effect dabbles his ancient fingers in every pie. Napolitano was the most political president for many years, after all he manouvred the resignation of Berlusconi and appointed Monti. The new one we hope will be slightly less partial.
So now we have the unedifiying spectacle of all the jockeying for position and endless round of charades that will hail the voting. It has been widely decided that the president will only be elected on the 4th vote – when the majority voting rules kick in, so the first three votes will be for mickey mouse candidates, who obviously will allow themselves to be no-hopers – with the big guns being wheeled out later on – and here is the problem.
Renzi has up to 100 dissenters in the PD who are out to stimey the pugnacious one, the principal being Bersani who was such a desperate failure as leader he wants to get some credit for being decent as an exleader – and he wants Prodi as Pres. The problem here is that Prodi isnt that keen, as he allowed himself to be ‘circulated’ last time round and was kicked out of the race before the voting took place. Other dissidents want various lefties.
The right on the other hand has a whole bunch of problems- mostly beginning with Berlusconi. Silvio has been hard at work trying to get his cohorts to meekly back his plans, but the hirsute Raffaele Fitto (see previous posts) aint having none of it – He has about 40 brownnosed ambitious fellow MPs who will follow him into the post Silvio era.
We’ll come back to Silvio, after we deal with the M5S who have no firm candidate but dont want anyone supported by anyone else on principle. Or rather because Grillo says so. Most Mp’s are leaving or thinking of leaving because of Grillo’s stupidity, but those who remain will do as he commands which means nominating Francesco Totti and voting against anyone who is qualified.
The Lega Nord will no doubt nominate Alessandra Mussolini because they are very very stupid.
So what will happen?
Or rather what will not happen – as this is the crux. To elect a new president we are going to need most of the PD and FI (Silvio) and a few dissidents voting together. Renzi has favoured this combination over PD and M5S though we dont really know why. To seal his big reforms he has signed an all round denied agreement with Berlusconi called the Nazarene Pact. The contents of the highly secret but totally unsecret deal is that Berlo will help Renzi in the following big 3 reforms – electoral, financial and new President. What Silvio would get in return is not known, but its a fair guess that 99% of Italians know.
Unfortunately for Silvio, Renzi is possibily a better politican than he was, and he cant quite keep an senile hand on the tiller. Electoral reform has been postponed till after the presidential race, as has financial reform – giving Matteo lots of help in pushing through his candidate. The problem for Silvio is that Renzi wont tell him who his candidate is. Renzi has decided that by proposing one name at the very last minute, he can stuff the dissident wing and force it through, but this doesnt help Silvio who has to convince his lackeys to vote for an unknown quantity. Silvio has already said that Prodi wouldnt necessarily be unelectable – which, coming from his mouth, is one of the most shocking volte faces in Berlo history. But Renzi wont be drawn. And if Silvio cant deliver the votes? Then the Nazarene pact goes down the swanee.
And here is where the politics comes in. Silvio has decided, belatedly, that Forza Italia is full of ungrateful shits who only want to line their own pockets, and in this they take after Silvio in all his tanned glory. The Nazarene Pact we can assume has as its article No.1 that Silvio will let Renzi do what he likes if Renzi gurantees a) Berlusoconi’s freedom to reenter politics and b) to leave his empire intact. The details of this unmentionable clause are leaking steadily from Rome – onlylast week a watering down of one of the clauses in the new financial act had to be withdrawn as it was seen as the ‘Save Silvio’ clause – in that you can only be prosecuted for false accounting if the false accounting covers more than 5% of the companies balance sheet. Fine for a small businessman, but take Berlo’s billionaire portfolio and the 5% becomes hundreds of millions of euros. On Thursday one FI MP reproposed the clause from 2003 which would allow Silvio to become innocent once more and therefore be able to stand in the next election. Old Toad’s other problem is the economy. Mediaset is in negative, Fininvest is losing money, and the supreme court has ruled that Fininvests holding in Mediolanum (Silvio’s bank) must be below its current 10% holding. On top of this there’s MEdiaset’s push into Telecoms, and the fight with Murdoch and Sky/Fastweb. The icing on the cake is that there is a move to abolish the long established law that does not allow media holdings to include TV and newspapers – Silvio already has both as his brother owns a newspaper, and his son ‘owns’ Mediaset – but he would rather like to have complete control over the media. Exactly what Renzi has promised nobody knows, but it looks as though nobody will allow Silvio free reign to shore up his empire, which means the next 6 months will be a bloody political mess, with no winner. Given the appalling state of the Italian economy, it’s not what the country needs at the moment. But then, the politicians dont actually give a toss about the country, its all about the politics. So happy new year to them all…