De reactie op het aftreden van Berlusconi gisteravond leek af en toe even op de volksvreugde in Egypte en Libië na respectievelijk het terugtreden van Mubarak en de dood van Khadafi. De vreugde in Italië was echter beperkt tot een kleine groep en bovendien, de Italianen hebben zelf Berlusconi herhaalde malen herkozen. Over het waarom van het feit dat Berlusconi zo lang en zo vaak is herkozen staat aan de hand van verschillende reacties op zijn aftreden een aardige samenvatting in The Guardian van vandaag:

“He told us what we wanted to hear, but that is no way to raise kids or nations,” said author and commentator Beppe Severgnini. “Italy is now like a reformed alcoholic, we have drunk too much populist booze and need a doctor to tell us to quit.”

En:

Rizzo said Berlusconi had built consensus by saying what Italians thought, but did not have the courage to say: “When he said don’t pay taxes if they get too high, we were ashamed but in private many agreed.”

En:

“Italy was sexist without him, but Berlusconi removed the shame,” said Lorella Zanardo, whose documentary about primetime TV showgirls caused a sensation in 2009. “I give lectures in schools and meet 15-year-old girls who believe the secret to life is marrying a millionaire or becoming a showgirl and a government minister a year later. “

Maar ook:

Italians who voted for Berlusconi in 1994, 2001 and 2008 have been quick to say they were not fooled by empty promises. “Thanks to tax breaks he introduced, I have more money to retire on, it’s that simple,” said Cesidia Fosca, a 69-year-old housewife from Rome. “I like Berlusconi, I voted for him, but he had the press and the magistrates against him and they didn’t let him govern.”

Dit alles bij elkaar geeft een aardig beeld van zijn populariteit.

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