Berlusconi as Italy's president?

The election of the successor to Italian President Sergio Mattarella is due to begin in the united chambers of parliament on 24 January. The centre-right parties have agreed on Silvio Berlusconi as their candidate. The ex-premier had all but disappeared from the political scene as a result of various scandals and was banned from office for years. His comeback would be a scandal, the press judges.

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La Repubblica (IT) /

A dangerous experiment for the entire system

La Repubblica is concerned about the future of the Republic:

“Silvio Berlusconi's candidacy is not some harmless award given to an old protagonist at the end of his career. On the contrary, it is a political decision with a precise meaning that, if fulfilled, could have long-term repercussions for the country's entire republican system. Almost thirty years after entering politics, the Cavaliere's transfiguration as head of state represents a definitive victory of ideology over history, which can be overturned, denigrated or simply ignored in order to establish at the head of the country a new experiment in governance that is directed above all against the truth.” (ES) /

Don't let him run

Feminists Tiziana Plebani and Mara Bianca publish a manifesto signed by 6,000 people on

“We are outraged that his candidacy for the presidency of the Republic was not rejected outright, that he was not taken out of the race immediately and without the slightest hesitation. A man who has displayed an absolute lack of morals and sense of public service and who has repeatedly insulted the dignity of women cannot be considered for office. ... We are not asking that he be excluded on the basis of voting games and alliances but that his candidacy be declared inadmissible.”

La Stampa (IT) /

Sadly not a joke

The left is also partly to blame here, La Stampa says:

“In any other country in the world, this would be a joke. But despite a less than immaculate track record and the fact that his own party has only a seven percent share of the vote, the Cavaliere has once again become the boss of the centre-right in this most important game in a democracy [the elections]: he can drag his allies into defeat with him or propose a mediating name at the last minute, but it is he who holds the cards. ... This is the worst indictment for the left, which even after Berlusconi's fall has not managed to rid politics of Berlusconism.”