Angelino Alfano publicly asked MPs and senators to disobey Mr Berlusconi and to renew the parliamentary support to PM Letta. Furthermore, he specifically said that Freedom People Party should “avoid a schism.”
“I remain firmly convinced that all of our party must give Letta the confidence vote. (…) I am a convinced and loyal Berlusconian. But loyalty imposes to say that extremist positions alien to our traditions and common values can’t prevail. And if they do prevail, the dream of a new Forza Italia will not come true”, he added.
“Even though I understand the risks that I am taking on, I have decided to put an end to the Letta government,” Berlusconi said in a letter sent to the Catholic weekly magazine Tempi. There is still a minority of MPs inclined to back their leader. Actually, Berlusconi die-hard supporters said they would vote in favour of Letta only if their leader allowed it.
“At this point, even though I’m convinced that the best thing is to bring down this government, I will vote in favour of the confidence vote only if Silvio Berlusconi asks me to — nothing else,” Sandro Bondi, a top Freedom People party official, said in a statement rebutting Alfano .
Alfano’s audacity can be considered a historical rebellion in Italy, where “Il Cavaliere” has ruled for the last 20 years before resigning in November 2011, and he is the longest-serving postwar prime minister of the country. The most surprising of all is the fact that their own supporters directly and openly challenged him.
First Fini, then Alfano… “il Cavaliere” has become increasingly more alone. Meanwhile, Il Giornale (owned by Berlusconi) offers today a front-page headline that reads “Alfano Traitor”. It is interesting to mention that, in early 2013, Berlusconi baptised Alfano as his “political godfather.” It all looks like a novel by Mario Puzzo, and it seems a vendetta may be coming.