12 April 2006
Berlusconi must give up power
Despite Silvio Berlusconi's narrow loss in the recent Italian election it will be extremely difficult for Romano Prodi to shift Italy's richest man from power. Berlusconi, directly or indirectly, currently holds sway over 90% of the country's broadcast media. With a reported one million spoilt ballots, a lead of just 25,000 and the Italian broadcast media against him, Prodi faces an uphill battle to shift the man who declares himself to be the "Jesus Christ of politics". If he secures his rightful place as prime minister of Italy, Prodi must immediately push for a new conflict-of-interest law that will force Berlusconi to relinquish ownership of his family holding group Fininvest SpA or leave politics. It is a disgrace that a democratic nation ever allowed the situation to develop whereby the head of state controlled such an overwhelming majority of the broadcast media and, should he emerge victorious, Prodi must rectify this as quickly as possible.