Berlusconi alliance wins in Sicily

A centre-right alliance led by a candidate backed by ex-prime minister Silvio Berlusconi won Sicily's regional elections this weekend. Commentators analyse the vote with the Italian parliamentary elections in spring 2018 in mind.

Open/close all quotes
Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

Comeback is history's joke

The Süddeutsche Zeitung explains what Berlusconi's triumph in Sicily means for the Italian parliamentary elections next spring:

“The new electoral law poses different obstacles: while in Sicily it's enough to win by a single vote, in Rome you need an absolute majority. None of the three poles - the right, the populists or the left - will manage this on their own. Only those willing to form coalitions spanning broad ideological gaps will rise to power. ... Unless the impression from Sicily is misleading there will be no getting around a Berlusconi comeback: without his votes a governing majority - either right-wing or left - won't be possible in Italy. And that's a pretty eccentric joke history is playing on us.”

Der Standard (AT) /

Renzi must go

Sunday's election spells the end for the left's erstwhile beacon of hope Matteo Renzi, Der Standard concludes:

“He has gambled away his political capital, not just as far as voters go but also among members of his own party. They'll never forgive him for the debacle in Sicily's regional elections on the weekend. The calls for him to be replaced at the helm of the party by spring of next year can no longer be ignored. Because what's imperative now is to prevent Silvio Berlusconi or Beppe Grillo from winning. The only one who still believes Renzi can be the saviour here is probably Renzi himself.”

Corriere della Sera (IT) /

Grillo's party fails to achieve its goal

The big loser of the election is the Movimento 5 Stelle party, writes journalist Antonio Polito of Corriere della Sera:

“For M5S coming second, which makes it the strongest party in Sicily, is in reality a defeat. ... It presented the vote as a test run for the parliamentary elections [in spring 2018], but the outcome it had forecast didn't occur: the protest party had wanted to demonstrate in Palermo that the old political class is defunct and that it is the only alternative. But Nello Musumeci [who started his political career in the neo-fascist party Movimento Sociale Italiano], an elderly former neo-fascist under the patronage of 80-year-old Berlusconi, defeated it there.”