Friday August 1, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
31o C
24o 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)  
In trying to conquer, Putin unites Europe
Summer turbulence
Capital upgrade
Populism eating up education
Greece to help ´hundreds´ of Chinese leave Libya
With the violence in Libya escalating to its worst level since the 2011 ouster of dictator Moammar Gadhafi, governments from around the world are scrambling to evacuate their citizens from t...
Plan to restore Asopos River enters final stage
Plans are in the final stage for the ecological restoration of Asopos River in Central Greece following a deal to install an integrated water resources management system. The 37.6-million-eu...
Inside News
Traders unhappy with turnover
Three weeks into the summer sales, traders say that purchases are not satisfactory. Shopping levels appear to be lower than during the same period last year, or on the same level at best, ev...
No rivals for Intralot as it bags racing bet permit
Intralot confirmed previous reports on Thursday by appearing as the sole bidder in a tender for the license to operate Greek horse-race betting held by state privatization fund TAIPED. Frenc...
Inside Business
SOCCER
One win and one loss in Europa League
Greece had a hit and a miss in the first-leg games for the third qualifying round of the Europa League on Thursday, as Atromitos scored a 2-1 win at Sarajevo while Asteras Tripolis lost 1-0 ...
SOCCER
Goalless draw at Liege puts Greens in driving seat
Panathinaikos got the upper hand in the battle for entry to the Champions League playoffs after snatching a goalless draw at Standard Liege on Wednesday. If anything, the Greek cup holders m...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. One win and one loss in Europa League
2. Greece to help ´hundreds´ of Chinese leave Libya
3. Traders unhappy with turnover
4. No rivals for Intralot as it bags racing bet permit
5. Energy cost cuts even without EU approval
6. KEPE: Greek economy returned to growth in Q2
more news
Today
This Week
1. Motorists refusing to pay tolls on Corinth-Kalamata highway to be monitored
2. Euro flows reveal shift in sentiment as losses mount
3. Greece may ignore EU and lower energy costs for business, says minister
4. EU puzzles over emergency funds for euro area bank crisis agency
5. Only 5 percent of stores see brisker business during this year's summer sales
6. Fake psychic caught in Thessaloniki after gaining 35,000 from victim
Today
This Week
1. Quadriplegic woman on life support 'dies due to unpaid power bills'
2. Wine cup used by Pericles found in grave north of Athens
3. Defense Minister Avramopoulos to represent Greece at European Commission
4. World’s largest solar boat on Greek mission
5. Greece names fifth privatization agency chief in four years
6. Greek coast guard picks up 77 migrants off Myconos
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.