Something’s rotten in the state of Italy

…According to The Nation. Of course, the nightmare that is Italian politics is no secret to even the casual observer. But here is part of the picture of how bad things really have been:

Although Berlusconi seemed to be a neoliberal when he came to power, he proved to be interested in only one market: the commercial TV he monopolized. Now Italy’s economy is floundering, with small businesses going belly up, 2 million jobless and no prospects at all for the young (up to 50 percent of young people are unemployed in some regions, and university graduates are fleeing the country). While across Europe governments are pouring funds into research, universities and the knowledge economy, and into green and sustainable growth, Italy is doing nothing. Berlusconi, at the mercy of his Northern League allies, has passed more blame-the-victim bills to make life miserable for immigrants than measures to prop up the economy.”

The problem that any opposition to Berlusconi seems to run into is itself the fragmented nature of Italian politics.

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