Tuesday April 28, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Letta, Renzi and Italy’s wily old tomcat

By Nikos Konstandaras

The latest political developments in Rome have all the elements of drama that would not be out of place in the Eternal City’s most turbulent times. The young, ambitious mayor of Florence, Matteo Renzi, moved with masterful strategy: First he won the leadership of his party and, as we saw on Thursday, is reaching for the post of prime minister, betraying his fellow party member Enrico Letta, who governed for less than 10 months. Renzi, 39, took center stage waving a banner proclaiming “Everything must change.” In Italy, however, no one forgets the immortal cynicism of a character in Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s masterpiece, “The Leopard,” who comments, “If we want things to remain as they are, we must change everything.”

Italy is at a crossroad, as Renzi noted on Thursday. Developments will show whether he has started a revolution that will push the eurozone’s third-largest economy out of its stupor or the drama will end with a change of players in government roles. Will everything change or will it stay the same?

Providing special depth to the action is the shadow of the most corrupt expression of the political system – Silvio Berlusconi. Renzi pulled his party’s support from the government that it leads after coming to an agreement with Berlusconi to reform the electoral law and change the constitution. “We have to offer a way out of the marshes” and implement a “radical program,” Renzi told his Democratic Party’s National Committee on Thursday. Letta, 47, chose to wait in his office for the outcome of the meeting – a vote by 136 to 16 for his government to be changed. On Friday Letta will offer his resignation to President Giorgio Napolitano and it appears that Renzi will become prime minister. The Guardian’s website reported that Berlusconi will head his Forza Italia party’s team in talks for a new government. If that is the case, Letta is out and Berlusconi is back.

For months, Renzi was critical of Letta’s government, saying that it it was not moving toward necessary reforms. The irony, which will not have evaded Renzi, is that for months Letta was trapped by the need to handle Berlusconi, who was threatening to bring down the coalition if it did not support him in his effort to stay in politics after being convicted of tax fraud. In November, Letta won a confidence vote with the support of deputies who split from Berlusconi’s party and it appeared that Italy was finally free of the man who had played a leading role in its politics for the past 20 years and was widely seen as representing its inertia.

In choosing to bring down Letta, Renzi will have to prove that he is cooperating with Berlusconi only in order to implement serious reform. He runs the risk of finding out that it was easier to betray his meek comrade than to get the better of the wily old tomcat of Italy.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday February 13, 2014 (21:32)  
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Better late than never
If Greece falls, no one wants their prints on the murder weapon
Reaching crunch time
Eurogroup´s Dijsselbloem says Greece will not make it without aid
The head of the Eurogroup said on Tuesday that a recent shakeup of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ negotiating team would not by itself resolve the impasse between Greece and its credit...
Greek, Turkish Cypriot leaders to kick start peace talks
Greek Cypriots unveiled measures on Tuesday to boost trust across the ethnically divided island, and announced that rival leaders would hold their first meeting in months on May 2. Peace tal...
Inside News
Discreet Tsakalotos tapped to salvage troubled Greek loan talks
Running out of time and money, Greeces hard-left government has reshuffled its EU-IMF negotiating team and given a key role to a Dutch-born moderate economist less likely to irritate the cou...
Greece to offer taxpayers a deal to get money back home
Greece is to allow money held abroad by its taxpayers to be declared without penalty and taxed at a discount rate, a move to help overcome a cash crunch threatening the country with bankrupt...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Rethymno defeats in-form AEK on Crete
AGO Rethymnou put an end to a positive string of results for in-form AEK, while PAOK survived a strong challenge by Kolossos Rhodes in Thessaloniki in yet another exciting weekend of basketb...
SOCCER
Panathinaikos beats Xanthi to rise to second
Panathinaikos jumped back up to the second spot of the Super League after its home win over Xanthi on Saturday, as PAOK slumped to third due to its draw at home with PAS Giannina on Sunday. ...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Eurogroup´s Dijsselbloem says Greece will not make it without aid
2. Greek, Turkish Cypriot leaders to kick start peace talks
3. Discreet Tsakalotos tapped to salvage troubled Greek loan talks
4. Greece to offer taxpayers a deal to get money back home
5. EU lawmakers demand migrant burden be shared
6. Dijsselbloem says Greece will not make it without aid
more news
Today
This Week
1. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
2. Creditors to demand extra measures of 3 bln euros
3. Plan on the cards for flat VAT rate of 18 pct
4. Greek PM says people may have to rule on creditor deal [Update]
5. Greek PM says initial deal in bailout talks 'very close'
6. No trolley buses from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Today
This Week
1. Greek government's popularity takes a hit as talks drag on
2. Denialism
3. Europe's collision course with Greece
4. It's up to the Greek government to ensure deal with lenders, says ECB's Coeure
5. Leaving the past in the past
6. Greece’s day of reckoning inches closer as debt payments loom
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.