Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is back in the political arena again. In a speech delivered in Fiuggi the 81-year-old announced that he wants to lead his party Forza Italia in the next parliamentary elections, which are to take place in March 2018 at the latest. Italy's commentators examine what keeps the man of many comebacks coming back.
The old soldier's weapons
Berlusconi is in top form and knows how to outshine his younger rivals, Huffington Post Italia comments:
“He's back. As leader of the centre-right, without heirs, without successors to the throne, all alone on the stage. Despite the convictions and sceptics. In his blue suit with a light blue shirt and sporting the party's pin, just like at the start of any election campaign. In top form, slim - slimmer than ever at 70 kilograms, according to the old rule: the diet decides when the right time has come to re-enter the arena. ... His body is a political medium and for the first time Berlusconi is trying to use his wrinkles to enhance his appeal - in an election campaign dominated by 40-year-olds.”
Innovators have a hard time in Italy
La Stampa tries to explain the Berlusconi phenomenon:
“The workshops where Italian leaders are forged have apparently all been shut down. Or at least they are no longer capable of producing any that are a match for a brash figure like Berlusconi. The last one who was able to stand up to him was Romano Prodi. But he retired a long time ago. The younger challengers have to cope with the capriciousness of a country like ours in which the generation change is evoked but constantly postponed. A country that calls out for revolution and applauds innovators at the top of its voice, only to tire of them just as quickly and send them packing with a sadistic twist.”