Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Italy: severe defeat for Berlusconi in Milan

The right of Silvio Berlusconi lost his fief of Milan and should not reach Naples delight to the left in the second round of municipal elections, according to initial projections on the basis of a partial recount of the results. In Milan, the left candidate, Giuliano Pisapia, won 55.14% of the vote against the outgoing mayor, Letizia Moratti.

Economic capital, Milan is the hometown of Mr Berlusconi and his electoral stronghold for eighteen years, and the headquarters of his media empire, Fininvest. Over the last fifteen years, the left had never managed to reach the ballot, always losing in the first round. In Naples, the left was negative in the first round tie against the right, led by the entrepreneur Gianni Lettieri.

But early projections give now the candidate of the Left, former magistrate Luigi de Magistris, well ahead in the second round, 61% against 39% for its rival. The outcome of the vote in Milan was also seen as a national test for Silvio Berlusconi, although Mr. Pisapia has campaigned exclusively on local issues.

The experts also emphasized the discretion of the principal leaders of the national left as Pierluigi Bersani, Democratic Party leader, came only after the support. According to the editorialist of La Stampa, "everybody knows that the vote of Milan is destined to change the national political balance." If defeated, Umberto Bossi, leader of the Northern League and Berlusconi's ally, aware of the wrath of the electorate against a Cavaliere "too focused on his personal battles," especially against justice, "might be tempted to break their historic alliance, "says the columnist.

In addition, such losses "could have consequences internal to the People of Freedom", the LDP, the party of Mr Berlusconi, with "hard to settle scores" and a possible challenge to the leadership of Berlusconi, according to the columnist . For his part, Mr Berlusconi, who had put all his weight into the first round, has been trying for several days to minimize the scope of a double setback in Milan and Naples.

"The result will have no effect on the government," he said to relatives, some claiming the support of the League. To show that he is firmly at the helm, Mr Berlusconi has called a cabinet meeting on his return from a bilateral summit in Bucharest on Tuesday at midday, and a meeting of the Presidency of his party, he wants to raise with the States-General of Primary and choosing a new name, according to commentators.

Silvio Berlusconi is hoping to quickly forget a possible setback in his stronghold, and even if there should be early elections, he does not consider until spring 2012. Between the two towers, Mr. Berlusconi had struggled to support its candidates, attacking the voters "brainless" who vote left and arguing with Mr.

Pisapia, Milan would become an "Islamic city", "an 'Tziganopolis' full of camps Roma ".

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