Europe

Berlusconi vote: Italian reaction

  • 14 December 2010
  • From the section Europe

Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi has won a vote of confidence in the lower house of parliament.

He won by a margin of three votes, following a tense session of the house and amid large protests in the capital.

Mr Berlusconi also won an earlier vote in the Senate. He had urged MPs not to jeopardise the country's stability by ousting him.

His critics argue he is too mired in personal scandal and corruption allegations to remain in office.

BBC News website readers in Italy have been sending in their reaction to the result and what it means for Italy.

Alessandro Severi in Brugherio supports Berlusconi

I am to an extent a Berlusconi supporter but I vote Lega Nord because I believe in their policies on immigration and supporting small and medium sized businesses. In any case they are part of the same coalition.

The vote doesn't mean this government will continue but it will put an end to Fini's attempts to form a government. If anything, Berlusconi's position will become stronger, not weaker as a result.

It will reshape the political landscape and drive political reform ahead of the elections. In Milan we are voting in municipal elections so it will be interesting to see how this affects them. All the parties need to sit down and propose how to form a policy that deals with the current economic crisis.

Even if we went to vote now, Berlusconi would still have a majority, according to the polls. What is the opposition to him? There's no clear policy from the left.

Luigi from Milan thinks Berlusconi is unstoppable now

Half of the country is with him, half of the country despises him. The general feeling is that he bought the vote. I don't have evidence for that but that is how it feels.

There's only so many accusations that you can hear before people start to question you. It's how he built his career: by corrupting key people and getting them to turn a blind eye.

As an Italian who doesn't agree with him, I can't see a way out of this situation. We're an elected dictatorship and the Italian system doesn't seem to be able to get rid of him.

After this vote, he's unstoppable now. If anything he'll become President of the Republic, at which point he'll really become untouchable. It's happened before in Italy.

He's not an example to follow for me or my kids.

Giacomo Romagnoli from Venice knew this would be the outcome

It's not a surprise that it went this way. I have been talking with other students and we all say nothing is going to change - it's always then same.

Fini waited too long. Two weeks ago was the time to act. It was a very urgent situation but they said there was nothing to decide. They closed Parliament instead. It was inexplicable.

Nobody trusts the political class anymore. I don't think you can apply the political dynamic like you can in France and the UK, where there is trust.

Berlusconi doesn't have the confidence in the real numbers, he used threats to win this vote. It didn't solve his main problems but it bought him time to fix them.

He'll continue as he has done in the last two years. If he can swing Parliament with this vote, then he'll manage to change the justice system in his favour so that he can escape justice.

The situation is not tense enough for riots but it soon will be and it will just explode.

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