The Salon II

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

His Majesty Berlusconi

Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely. For few people is it more true than for Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi. The meda magnate controls all the major media outlets, governs like an absolute monarch, and is uhphased by all the indictments against him for government mismanagement, and corruption: he has become an all-powerful political machine, and does not believe he has to answer to anyone. Hence this type of incidents:
BBC NEWS | Europe | Berlusconi storms out of TV show

"Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has stormed off a TV show after the interviewer asked awkward questions ahead of the April election.

The media magnate refused to answer when state TV journalist Lucia Annunziata asked about his business affairs and the Iraq conflict.

'You can't tell me what to do,' he said as the conversation descended into bickering and he accused her of bias.

'This is my show, I'll decide the questions,' Ms Annunziata retorted.

She told him he was 'not used to taking journalists' questions'.

The prime minister faces his first TV debate with opposition leader Romano Prodi on Tuesday as the race hots up for the 9-10 April election and his coalition lags behind in opinion polls by several points."
It seems Berlusconi had forgotten that he was actually answerable to someone: the people. Another western leader - known as W - is learning that the hard way right now, with the Dubai ports deal (whether or not I think the people's reaction was totally rational in this case). Like Bush's imperial presidency, his friend Berlusconi has led an even more monarchical prime-ministership, and he may be paying the price now. Now, although I have deep respect for Romano prodi, if he could just be a bit more hip and energetic, I would feel a bit more certain that it was Berlusconi's last act... Iam still wondering.


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