What the Italian media says about Berlusconi’s vows

Il Sole 24 Ore

“We are at the center of the world's storm, but we can quickly recover. Italy today needs international credibility; it needs people who know the language of markets and of States and who know how to speak to Countries of the euro area but also to Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Obama's United States as well as to the “new rich” countries of the world, starting from China. We need competent people, who are well-balanced and able to negotiate peer-to-peer with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

“This (not others) is the challenge Italy today has to face. The Greeks have called in one of their people who is able to “speak to markets”. They face a dramatic situation and they risk, in any case, of not making it; not us. We really can make it because we, as can clearly be seen, are not Greece. We have to make it because we have at least 325 billion public bonds to issue on the market, in one year, and therefore it is necessary to be able to count on the confidence of foreign investors. The historical share of our bonds owned outside of Italy is still over 45%, Italian households directly own 14.3% (the Bank of Italy's financial stability report, November 2011), 19.5% counting the shares in foreign investment funds ascribable to Italian investors. Banks have a hard time renewing their purchases that are at very risky levels; the spirit of mobilization of Italian private capital in support of our public bonds is commendable (it transmits an important message of confidence) but we need to be aware both of the magnitude at stake (there is an important share of purchases from abroad that cannot be replaced) and of the risk, which cannot be underscored, that Italian investors empty a significant part of their bank deposits, feeding further, serious concerns.”

“We cannot afford electoral pauses of a few months. Issuing on the market at least 325 billion Italian public bonds (173 of which maturing in the next six months) is a feat that can only be accomplished if the world resumes having confidence in Italy. This is the truth and it has to be fully told if we want to be serious.”

Il Corriere della Sera

“A nation adrift. That is the impression we are giving Europe and the markets, which continue to chastise us they did yesterday. We should remember that Greece and Ireland went to the wall with bonds at seven per cent and yesterday, many in New York and London were betting on Italy’s bankruptcy. We must do everything possible to avoid this. Together. The Italy that works and does its duty does not deserve this.

“Berlusconi’s day is done. His resistance no longer makes sense. He risks dragging down his party – which ought to be urging him to step aside – and, above all, Italy. The crisis is economic but also political and linked to Silvio Berlusconi. He should have announced before that he wasn’t going to stand again and then call an early election. Like Spain.”

Italy Chronicles

“Although not widely renown for keeping to his promises, Silvio Berlusconi kept to a promise today.  Despite no longer holding a majority in Italy’s lower house, he did not resign because he promised himself he would not do so.

“What Berlusconi has done to extract himself from a sticky situation is, in typical Berlusconi style, to have made yet another promise.”


About the Author

The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.