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Why Italy matters

Berlusconi is no longer merely a threat to Italian democracy, but a warning to the rest of Europe

By John Lloyd   January 2003

The government of Silvio Berlusconi is an affront to the democratic values which the nations of the European Union affirm as their most precious heritage. It ruthlessly manipulates the large majority it gained in both houses of parliament in the election of spring 2001 to pass legislation tailored for the prime minister’s commercial benefit. It controls almost all of the nation’s television channels. It is, in many respects, comparable with governments of post-Soviet states-governments of backward economies which struggle with a much more recent experience of authoritarian rule than Italy.

The Casa delle Libert?  (House of Liberties) coalition of the…

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