Italy: Frantic deal to appease Europe
26 October 2011
Corriere della Sera
“A mini deal for Europe”, headlines Corriere della Sera a few hours ahead of Italian prime minister Berlusconi’s journey to the Eurozone summit in Brussels, where he’s expected to present Italy’s new austerity plan. Berlusconi’s party and his Northern League coalition partners have been struggling in recent days to reach agreement on pensions as demanded by the EU.
“The current pension system has not been touched because of Umberto Bossi of the Northern League’s opposition”, explains Corriere della Sera, but it is understood that the “coalition parties have reached a deal to raise the retirement age to 67 years”. In a concerned editorial, Corriere della Sera editor-in-chief Ferruccio de Bortoli appeals to Italian politicians to put divisions aside, calling for Berlusconi’s resignation: “Italy is not Greece. However, even though this may be unfair to us, we are not trustworthy anymore in Europe. For months we have been announcing new measures that have been never approved. Berlusconi should resign. He is the only one to blame for this”.
Roberto Napoletano, editor-in-chief of the Italian economic daily Il Sole 24 Ore, agrees: “Berlusconi and his government keep on avoiding their responsibilities. Italy must stop this shameful farce”. Despite agreement on the austerity package, Berlusconi’s government seems again on the brink of collapse. According to La Repubblica, he is likely to resign next December or January 2012 to advance general election due in 2013 and therefore avoid a “disadvantageous” new voting system which will be probably approved by a forthcoming national referendum.