Bye-bye Berlusconi!

Today Silvio Berlusconi finally agreed to step-down as Prime Minister of Italy under certain conditions. Il Cavaliere (The Knight in Italian and how he is known in Italy) has been one of the longest-serving ministers in Italian history. His political gaffes and notorious womanizing have made headline news for at least a decade. The damage and setbacks he has caused Italy will need to be assessed for years.

Arrivederci Silvio! It certainly is time for you to go. You’ve hurt your country enough. Italy has had enough of your hedonistic orgies while your country has low wages and negligible to no growth. Italy after Berlusconi is like the morning after a frat party–the leaders of one of the most culturally-rich countries and an important component of Europe completely drunk on grappa.

As one of the richest and most powerful men in Italy (Berlusconi’s net worth is estimated at $7.8 billion), he owns and controls most of the country’s media. During his tenure, he actually tried to end freedom of speech on the internet. Post the Knight, Italy is left in serious debt and chaos after years of sex scandals, alleged links to the mafia, fraud and the list goes on.

Having visited Italy in the late 90s for nearly a month, and then again in the 2000s a couple of times, I believe I could see the visible decline of the country. It seemed dirtier, abandoned buildings, a hopeless attitude among the youth and falling behind other parts of Europe. Monuments looked unclean, graffiti spayed almost everywhere and the warnings of crime more pronounced.

Rome burns during recent protests.

It wasn’t the Italy of just 10 years prior. Grazzie mile Il Cavaliere. You leave a legacy of moral corruption, debt and political dysfunction. As Europe’s third largest economy looks to China for help as an impoverished child, one can only wonder if the adolescent-minded Berlusconi feels any regret? Or is he off to another bunga, bunga party to continue treating women like the gelato of the week while the country implodes?

Jennifer Roche has a BA in the history of art from Chatham College with minors in philosophy and French. She has authored many publications for Catholic press as well as secular, and a storybook for adults and children on the Maltese Islands called Cat Tails from Malta.



  • Mark Polo

    Berlusconi is not “one of the longest serving ministers” but by far the longest-serving. He is the only Prime Minister in the history of Italy to serve a complete 5-year term, a feat he completed twice, and was near the end of a third term before stepping down. His nearest competition was PM for 3 years, I believe.

  • Rob Solens

    We will see if B. actually leaves — he said on condition of austerity. Pope for prez?

  • Rob Solens

    Silivo may not step down. He said on condition of austerity. Let’s see what happens.

  • davide

    greg the President of Italy holds very little power. He basically replaced the King. And he worse than Berlusconi he’s an athiest and a communist. Everyone so keen on the idea of Ber. being out of office. What ppl fail to notice is there are powers to be that are more sinister than him, they will wage war on the Church and italian moral values. The thought of fools is a funny thing.

    • Lea Sokolowski

      I think Davide is confusing critizing Berlusconi with the entire country of Italy. I don’t think that is the intention of the article.

      The piece above clearly attacks Berlusconi and his sophmoric approach to ruling a country than all of Italy.
      I ask if birth rate is low, early retirement, high taxes wouldn’t that all mean that Berlusconi didn’t do his job!

      Italy youth wouldn’t be burning Rome if all was well in the eternal city!!!!!

  • Davide

    hold up as an Italian citizen i can tell you for certain it is NOT all Belusconi fault. Your attack on my birth country is shameful mixed with some truth. The incredible low birth rate and huge entiltements is most of the problem. Low retirement age and high taxes is also. Italy’s problems started years before Belusconi. This post is hatefilled speach. You have insulted my country you managed to portray us as moronic absent minded fools. There is nothing wrong with Italian youth, and our monuments for the most part are prestine, and our country is NOT dirty, well Venice and Naples are rat holes. How about next time you post you write the good of Italy? I love America and never would i write of it the way you did Italia. Laters damn you really pissed me off and i was having a good day. Maybe we should be praying for the italians cause i am worried about my family. Whatever

    • Jennifer Roche

      Ciao Davide,

      I understand your emotional upset because you love your country, which is a worthy and admirable attribute. Please see that I praise Italy with “one of the most culturally rich countries” I, myself, have a great affection for Italy. I often say, “all good things come from Italy” and “if you don’t like Italy, there is something wrong with you.”

      I contemplated living in Italy and have studied in Italy for a month. I did notice a decline in the country as do most writers/analysts that I have read. The Economist cover says it all in my opinion.

      Further, you, yourself call Naples and Venice “rat holes”, which I would never assert even in most animated moments. I don’t think it is as bad as that, but there are problems since Italy’s GDP has markedly declined since Berlusconi (taken from economists, not me).

      I hope and pray for Italy, too. It is the center of the Church and influenced western culture–this is precisely why I hope she may see better days. Your country deserves better than Bunga, Bunga Berlusconi.


    At least he had a shot at the presidency. Herman Cain may never get there!



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