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Jun 15, 2011

Analysis: Berlusconi’s 17 years of dominance draw to a close

ROME (Reuters) – After 17 years, Italians finally seem to have had enough of Silvio Berlusconi.

Massive defeat in four referendums on nuclear energy, water privatization and trial immunity for ministers last weekend were the biggest blow in an annus horribilis for the prime minister that many analysts say signals the start of a new era.

Jun 13, 2011

Italians say no to nuclear energy in referendum

ROME (Reuters) – Italians looked set to ban nuclear energy for decades on Monday in a referendum that was strongly influenced by the Fukushima disaster but was also a resounding political vote against Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Official figures showed turnout easily exceeding the 50 percent quorum needed to validate four referendums, including one on a ban on nuclear power.

May 27, 2011

Embarrassment and mockery over Berlusconi’s latest gaffe

ROME (Reuters) – Silvio Berlusconi’s latest international gaffe, when he complained to a bemused President Barack Obama about his problems with magistrates, stirred mockery, embarrassment and scorn at home on Friday.

Obama looked baffled when television cameras picked up the Italian prime minister buttonholing him at a Group of Eight meeting in France and treating him to one of his trademark tirades about magistrates who have hauled him into court for four concurrent trials.

May 26, 2011

Berlusconi risks defeat in key local elections

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi faces possible defeat in local elections on Sunday and Monday that could cause serious political instability and even provoke challenges to his own leadership.

A stunning setback in the first round of the polls in his stronghold of Milan on May 15-16 caused turmoil in Berlusconi’s center-right alliance and for the first time undermined the political dominance he has enjoyed for nearly two decades.

May 23, 2011

Analysis: Berlusconi’s woes hinder vital economic reforms

ROME (Reuters) – Italy has come under a market spotlight at the worst possible moment, when bitter political infighting and a decline in the strength of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi herald a period of new instability.

Berlusconi is not only facing three corruption trials and a lurid sex scandal but a stunning setback in local elections last week that has unleashed divisions in his ruling alliance.

May 17, 2011

Berlusconi suffers in Italian local polls

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has suffered a significant setback in local elections that has punctured his image of invincibility and could usher in a period of political instability.

Berlusconi was uncharacteristically silent on Tuesday after the vote, but aides said he was “surprised and saddened” by results that will force his center-right bloc into a run-off in its stronghold of Milan for the first time in 14 years.

May 17, 2011

Berlusconi dealt a blow in Italian local polls

ROME, May 17 (Reuters) – Local elections have dealt a blow
to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, described as
“surprised and saddened” after his centre-right bloc was forced
into a run-off in its traditional stronghold of Milan.

Berlusconi, embroiled in a sex scandal and facing three
trials for corruption, had campaigned frenetically to turn the
elections into a vote on him and his national policies.

Apr 3, 2011

Is Italy’s legal reform just a favour to Berlusconi?

ROME (Reuters) – Silvio Berlusconi, facing charges in three trials over corruption and one over paying for sex with a teenager, calls himself the most persecuted man in history.

No surprise then that one of his closest acolytes has launched what Berlusconi calls an “epoch-making” reform of Italy’s dysfunctional justice system but what critics condemn as a simple stay-out-of-jail card for the Italian premier.

Apr 3, 2011

Analysis: Is Italy’s legal reform just a favor to Berlusconi?

ROME (Reuters) – Silvio Berlusconi, facing charges in three trials over corruption and one over paying for sex with a teenager, calls himself the most persecuted man in history.

No surprise then that one of his closest acolytes has launched what Berlusconi calls an “epoch-making” reform of Italy’s dysfunctional justice system but what critics condemn as a simple stay-out-of-jail card for the Italian premier.

Mar 9, 2011

Berlusconi survives despite sex, diplomatic scandals

ROME (Reuters) – Accused of sex with an underage prostitute and fawning over Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Silvio Berlusconi has weathered scandals that would have obliterated any other Western leader long ago.

His survival may astonish foreign observers but is the result of a political map in which a deeply divided opposition, his domination of the media and his campaigning skill have left him as the only leader deeply conservative voters can turn to.

    • About Barry

      "I am the Editor or cluster chief in charge of Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece. I have previously worked all over the world in a long career with Reuters which has taken me from Asia to the United States. My positions have included Americas production editor, World Desk editor, Middle East Editor and Africa editor. I recently planned our multi-media coverage of the soccer World Cup in South Africa and reported extensively on the tournament and its impact on the continent. I will be based in Rome from November"
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