February 13, 2013

Can Italians Resist Silvio's Charms?

F. Ehlers & A. Smoltczyk, Der Spiegel

AP Photo

The rumors had been swirling for days, and there were mysterious Tweets coming from a certain Berlusconi2013. Then, last Sunday, it was finally time for Berlusconi's big surprise, when he announced "la proposta shock," -- his big campaign promise. Critics promptly dubbed it a "proposta sciocca," or foolish proposal.


It was 12:32 p.m. in the old Milan convention center when Berlusconi explained that he not only intended to abolish the real estate tax but also wanted to reimburse those who have paid it by March -- in cash if necessary. "You can pick up your money at any post office," he says. "If you vote for me."

The announcement triggered shrieks of delight only three weeks before the election. "Silvio," one woman shouted, "you are a legend!" The financial...

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TAGGED: Silvio Berlusconi, Italy, Europe


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