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It was better in Brussels
by Thanos Kalamidas
2007-03-30 09:40:18
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Romano Prodi should know that when he left his seat in the EU commission for Italian politics that the game has totally different rules and the often sensitive balance he had to keep with the EU members is not the same fragile balance he has to keep in his own front, the anti-Berlusconi front he created in Italy.

The truth is that Mr. Prodi needed a bit more time to understand that the EU seat was easier than the Italian prime minister’s one, especially under the circumstances. The man returned to Rome with only one aim: to literally kick Silvio out of politics, since the man had done enough damage internally and abroad. First of all, his suspicious connections with all kinds of Italian ‘businessmen’ and then it was his media empire that dominated and manipulated the Italian public raised all sorts of questions.

Connections to all kinds of controversial nationalistic parties made him dangerous to the center liberal Prodi and, furthermore, Berlusconi’s sell out to the Americans at any cost and his surrender to George W. Bush’s wishes, despite arrogantly ignoring public opinion, made Romano Prodi angry, who had a different kind of picture. Prodi was standing in Brussels looking down at Italy and focusing on the reactions of the other European leaders forgetting that Rome is not Brussels.

So he moved back, hoping that it was the time for all the democratic parties to unite against the nationalistic front Mr. Berlusconi was creating. Mr. Prodi believed that he was still in Brussels when he was creating a united Europe against the nationalistic then Austrian government, isolating the Austrian prime minister from all European key decisions. It took one vote for Afghanistan to understand that he was back in Rome.

Romano Prodi survived the crisis and the confidence vote but that was not because he won the case but most likely because Berlusconi has similar problems; he cannot unite his former allies. The crisis is still here waiting and Mr. Prodi will stand once more in front of the parliament for exactly the same issue that nearly cost him the prime minister’s seat. In a twisting déjà vu, the Italian prime minister returned to the Italian parliament for the Afghanistan issue…again. However, the big question remains: what are communists to Catholics and center left alliance allies going to do, especially since new issue have arisen in Italian politics and the parties fragile relationships?

The Catholic Church and, to an extent the Catholics in the alliance, strongly oppose the government and the thought of giving greater equality to unmarried or same sex couples, the left is fully supporting the law but complains for the extended service of Italian troops under NATO commands and the increase of taxes, while the center and the socialists complain about the pensions policy leaving Prodi spending more time negotiating with his allies than governing.

When Mr. Prodi took the decision to leave Brussels and return to Rome, Silvio had warned him that he’s going to miss the EU, it seems that his words came true very fast and somehow I have the feeling it will be getting worse in the next few months when Mr. Berlusconi will again find the balance between his conservatives and right allies.

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Eva2007-04-01 17:49:52
They love the drama though..

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