Silvio Berlusconi will remember for a long time the Thursday 1 of August. At 19.30 pm the Court of Cassation of Milan presided over by Antonio Esposito confirmed the conviction for tax fraud in relation to “Mediaset case” to four years of imprisonment. It was morover canceled the sentence concerning the disqualification from public offices for five years, that will be postponed to the Court of Appeal.
Immediate was the reaction of the former prime minister who entrusted to a video message his comments about the sentence. He started by thanking his children, his lawyers and all Italians who supported him. He spoke about the sentence describing it as “a judgement based on nothing absolute that it takes away my personal freedom and political rights” declaring also that “No one can understand the burden that I have carried, the level of aggression that has been put upon me as a result of serious accusations and trials that had no basis in reality”. At the end of the video message the now ex Knight exclaimed that he will not give up because“we will set again Forza Italia”.
The attention of the foreign press especially dealt with on the precarious political situation in Italy. In Great Britain, The Financial Times predicts a possible crisis of government as it “hardline loyalists said Italy’s democracy was at stake, not just the political career of their leader, and threatened to withdraw their support from the party’s coalition with prime minister Enrico Letta’s centre-left Democrats”.
The Telegraph remembers the long list of convictions and the trials that Berlusconi has subjected until now, restating that “Berlusconi is still appealing convictions in other cases for having sex with an underage prostitute, abusing his prime ministerial powers and leaking a police wiretap to damage a political rival” . It expressed very hard against the Italian judicial system, denoting it as “Italy’s slow-moving justice system”.
BBC news also outlines a drastic scenary to Italy, highlighting that “a collapse of an already fragile government could have plunged the third-largest economy in the eurozone into instability. Early indications are that Berlusconi does not want to bear the responsibility of damaging Italy when it is struggling to emerge from its worst recession since World War II”.
Again The Guardian, in the wake of the other journals above mentioned, is worried that “the eurozone’s third-largest economy is thrown into political crisis, after Berlusconi gets his first criminal conviction”.
Elsewhere in other Countries in Europe, such as France, Spain and Germany the opinions settle on the same line. Le Figaro defined the convinction “historical” and the Spanish El Pais said that “the Supreme Court has opened a big question about the imminent future of Italian politics”.
Finally in Germany, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung declared: “the Knight is the end”. The question is now spontaneous: it will be right?