Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Berlusconi: even the loyal spokesman Paolo Bonaiuti leaves your sinking Forza Italia for the New Centre-Right?

Sunday, 14 April 2014. As Forza Italia (Go Italy) appears to be losing more and more voters, Paolo Bonaiuti decides to leave the party to follow Berlusconi's former dauphin Angelino Alfano into the Nuovo Centrodestra (New Centre-Right).

“It was a difficult and painful decision,” said the 74-year-old Paolo Bonaiuti, announcing his divorce from Berlusconi's Forza Italia (Go Italy) 2.0, the party re-founded by Berlusconi, when he decided to ditch the PDL (People of Freedom Party), in a virtual night of the long knives to get rid of some of his opponents.

Sometimes it was painful for Mr Bonaiuti (centre) to be on Berlusconi's side.
It's “a decision I have delayed for a long time, but fully motivated by political differences and personal incomprehension that have deepened in the past year.” said Bonaiuti, who has been Berlusconi's public face for a long long time. 

The first impact between the two was a tough one, on 7 January 7, 1994, Bonaiuti wrote a tough editorial against Silvio Berlusconi, accusing the entrepreneur of having “hunted” Indro Montanelli out of his own newspaper, Il Giornale.

But two years later (in 1996), the former journalist embraced the Knight's (now ex-Knight) cause and adhered to Forza Italy, to start a close association that lasted for 18 years, until he realized the “personal incomprehensions” (it took a while, yes, we realized that).

Beside the farewell of Bonaiuti, the European elections forecast depicts a pretty gloom situation for Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia, with a 17.2% of the casts showed by a survey prepared on the 11 April (a terrible plunge as on 21 March, only three weeks before, Forza Italia was considered to be able to collect the 21.2% of the preferences). Apropos: now that Silvio Berlusconi is out of play, who will justify his name on the logo for the campaign?

Bonaiuti telling it to Berlusconi
(photograph: Merlini-LaPresse)
Is this the end of Silvio Berlusconi (as we know him)? Difficult to say, but as the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg rejected the former Italian prime minister's appeal, he definitely won't be able to run in the elections and he is destined instead to help the elderly as part of his punishment for a tax fraud conviction.

According to the Italian Magazine L'Espresso the breakaway of Bonaiuti is just a sign of the a troubled party that is going to disintegrate under the pressure of internal fights and lack of heir to the disgraced Silvio Berlusconi. Furthermore, the Italian Democratic Party (PD) led by Matteo Renzi became a more appealing alternative to delusional berlusconians.

A stampede might me in the offing.