Sgrena Affair Sinks Berlusconi
The fact is, people are getting fed up with the economic situation here, the fact that Berlusconi & Co. pass laws for their own benefit, and that they've started to mess with the Italian Constitution (sound familiar?). That has been pointed out as one of the main reasons for the Italian citizens' disapproval.
but no one I know is even thinking about Sgrena or the war in Iraq lately. Those are things that flare up every now and then, and then fade out in the minds of your Mario Rossis, once they have to get back into their daily routine. Other things have come up in the meantime: election squabbles, the Sanremo song festival, Easter holidays, the Pope's most recent illness(es) and death... Sgrena and Iraq are seeming more and more distant to most people. After all, look how fast all of Bush's scandals fly past in the U.S.
What people face every day is the fact that they can't make ends meet anymore -- the cost of living has skyrocketed (I, for one, am behind in my taxes, because any money I make has to go first for food, bills, etc.), and of course they blame the euro and the government. And they're also getting fed up with seeing Berlusconi's grimacing mug all over the place. Good grief, he was on "Porta a Porta" on TV again the other night! I think people have voted, at least this time, mainly with the things that affect them most directly in mind, and to send a message to Berluska & Co.: We're fed up!
As Antonio Di Pietro said, in order to get elected, the campaigning Berlusconi had made it sound as if everyone would be better off with him in office when, in the end, it's only Berlusconi himself and a few of his buddies who are better off.
Italians voting in regional elections gave Berluconi's Forza Italia a drubbing. The mishandling and the dissembling surrounding the Sgrena affair coupled with Bush and Blair's public humiliation of Berlusconi over troop withdrawal have contributed in handing the left a big victory. Huge overall voter turnout topping 71%.
Abruzzo (L'Aquila): United Center-Left 54.8%
Calabria (Catanzaro): United Center-Left 58.5%
Campania (Naples): United Center-Left 56.4%
Emilia-Romagna (Bologna): United Center-Left 65.0%
Lazio (Rome): United Center-Left 51.0%
Liguria (Genoa): United Center-Left 50.5%
Marche (Ancona): United Center-Left 55.5%
Piedmont (Turin): United Center-Left 53.0%
Puglia (Bari): United Center-Left 48.9%
Tuscany (Florence): United Center-Left 60.5%
Umbria (Assisi): United Center-Left 60.5%
Berlusconi's party took Lombardy and Venice