Title Title
silv Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi looks to be on a comeback
Summary Summary
  The 81-year-old right-wing leader seems to be heading towards another political success
Highlights Highlights
Content Content
  <img class="size-medium aligncenter" src="https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/660/cpsprodpb/15F55/production/_92414998_036324830-1.jpg" width="660" height="453" />
Berlusconi is standing in Italian elections in March 2018 &nbsp;
  The <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Parliament_election,_2014_(Italy)">European Parliament Election of 2014</a> was remembered as Silvio Berlusconi's political dawn.
  <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Party_(Italy)"> Matteo Renzi's Democratic Party</a> won the election with 40.8 percent of vote and <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forza_Italia">Forza Italia</a>, Berlusconi's party, obtained the 16.8 percent and was not even able to reach the second place. This was occupied by the Five Star Movement, the rising anti-political-establishment party, which achieved 21.2 percent of the vote.
  Today, just three years later, things look quite different. First, the left-wing Democratic Party <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/d8fc95f6-f745-11e6-9516-2d969e0d3b65">split apart</a> earlier this year, resulting in two coalitions that are probably not going to run together for the imminent political elections <em>(Financial Times)</em>. Second, the current Democratic Party government fellow and leader of the Popular Alternative party, Angelino Alfano, <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-italy-politics/italys-former-pm-renzi-loses-more-allies-as-election-nears-idUSKBN1E02QP">said he will not run at all, and decided to leave the political scene</a>. Third, Berlusconi was able to recreate the alliance between his party and the <a href="http://time.com/4645415/matteo-salvini-italy-liga-nord/">far-right</a> Lega Nord, led by Matteo Salvini <em>(Time),</em> and managed to <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/08/opinion/silvio-berlusconi-sicily.html">win the regional elections in Sicily</a> at the beginning of November<em> (New York Times).</em>
  So now, the 81-year-old Berlusconi, is<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/12/silvio-berlusconi-after-tax-fraud-sex-scandals-heart-surgery-back-sicily-election"> once again back</a> (<em>Guardian</em>).
  The <a href="http://tg.la7.it/economia/il-sondaggio-politico-di-luned%C3%AC-4-dicembre-2017-04-12-2017-122463">latest polls,</a> here published on local Italian network TG, predict 35.1 percent of the vote for the right-wing alliance, while the struggling Democratic Party limps along with a 25.3 percent. The only real threat to Silvio Berlusconi's coalition <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/05/meet-luigi-di-maio-the-31-year-old-running-to-be-italys-next-prime-minister.html">seems to be the Five Star Movement</a>, with its 28.3 percent (CNBC.) However, being a party that runs alone, it will have a hard time, especially after the approval of the <a href="https://www.politico.eu/article/italian-parliament-approves-controversial-electoral-law/">new electoral law that encourages coalition-building</a> (<em>Politico</em>).
  <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-17/why-so-much-is-at-stake-in-italy-s-next-elections-quicktake-q-a">Much is at stake for Italy's next elections</a>, being the country affected by a big debt problem, with an unhealthy banking system, and still living in a post-crisis economic stagnation (<em>Bloomberg</em>). Things can still change since the elections are programmed to happen in spring 2018, but the trends show that the <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/bfabfcc2-c882-11e7-aa33-c63fdc9b8c6c">right-wing parties are rising and that the left-wing politicians keep losing votes</a> <em>(Financial Times)</em>. Thus, the four-time prime minister, who dominated the Italian politics since 1994, seems to be heading towards another rise to power -- despite the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trials_and_allegations_involving_Silvio_Berlusconi">long list of trials that involve him</a>, despite him being already expelled from parliament in 2011, and despite him being labeled as <a href="http://www.economist.com/node/18805327">the man who ruined Italy</a> (<em>The Economist</em>). Italy already had <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/21/if-berlusconi-is-like-trump-what-can-italy-teach-america">its Donald Trump</a>, and after 23 years it is still not able to free from him (<em>Guardian</em>).
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  Italy
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  analysis
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