Silvio Berlusconi

Letter from Italy

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With Silvio Berlusconi's government embroiled in fresh controversy, new struggles are taking off, writes Phil Rushton.

Photo: Elizabeth Austen

In the months after the election of the Berlusconi government in 2008 an overwhelming sense of gloom took over the Italian left. But in recent months those clouds of despondency have been progressively blown away. That's not to say that there's been a wholesale recovery of the kind of optimism that pervaded the left during the growth of the anti-capitalist and especially anti-war movements between 2001 and 2003, but in the space of a year things have changed markedly.

The resistible rise of the videocracy

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As both politician and media magnate, Silvio Berlusconi arguably holds more power than any Italian leader since Mussolini. Erik Gandini spoke to Louis Bayman about his documentary film, Videocracy.

The Economist is run by a group of communist conspirators. That, at least, was the response of the current Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, when, before the 2001 elections, the British magazine stated that the man was unfit to be the leader of a democratic country.

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