Berlusconi complains and Meloni is unimpressed

Berlusconi complains and Meloni is unimpressed

Die return from Silvio Berlusconi in the Senate was only partly triumphant. The 86-year-old founder and party leader of the Christian Democratic Forza Italia is no longer good on his feet, he needs help getting out of the car and walking. Certainly, it was a great satisfaction for the entrepreneur and prime minister with the longest reign in the history of the Italian Republic that, in the elections of September 25, he was able to win a seat in the parliamentary chamber in his constituency in Monza from which he was relegated in 2013 removed after his final conviction for a tax offense.

Matthias Rub

Political correspondent for Italy, the Vatican, Albania and Malta based in Rome.

But what happened at the constitutive session of the smaller parliamentary chamber on Thursday could not please the “Cavaliere”. Ignazio La Russa, the 75-year-old veteran of the right-wing conservative Italian Brothers party, was elected the new Senate President Giorgia Meloni, the new prime minister-designate. Berlusconi had given La Russa the important post of defense minister in his fourth and last cabinet between 2008 and 2011, and he had made Meloni minister for youth and sport.

But on Thursday and Friday, Berlusconi was no longer in charge of the haggling over the presidential posts in the two chambers of parliament, but just a spectator. In a tripartite alliance with the Melonis brothers in Italy – winner of the election with 26 percent of the vote – and Matteo Salvinis right-wing national Lega with almost nine percent, Berlusconi with his Forza Italia and a good eight percent vote is just the third force and cannot make any big demands.

Berlusconi jots down his anger on a note

In the election of Ignazio La Russa as Senate President and thus the second man in the state – after the President Sergio Mattarella – Berlusconi wanted to teach Giorgia Meloni, who he saw as rebellious, a lesson: the senators of Forza Italia should abstain, at least in the first ballot. Despite Forza Italia’s “protest vote”, La Russa got enough votes at the first attempt, namely 116 out of a total of 206, including 19 votes from the ranks of the opposition. That was an embarrassment for Berlusconi, the former master of deals and collusion.

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