The Italian Supreme Court has confirmed the victory of Romano Prodi’s center-left coalition over Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia/Northern League/National Alliance combination. That means that Prodi will become Prime Minister sometime next month.
Earlier, I remarked while most Western European leaders had recognized Prodi’s apparent victory with congratulatory telephone calls, the three B’s — Bush, Blair, and Berlusconi himself — were holding out.
That’s no longer true. Blair has done the right thing. The remaining holdouts are Bush, Pope Benedict, and Vladimir Putin.
And, of course, Berlusconi, who looks as if he’s going to have to be dragged out of office feet-first. He’s alleging fraud in an election his own Interior Minister says was cleanly run, and demanding a “grand coalition.”
I hope the Decider-in-Chief and His Holiness are pleased with the company they’re keeping, and the enemies they’re making among Italians who care about constitutional democratic government.
Footnote Atrios wonders how Italians are reacting to Berlusconi’s buffoonery. In pondering possible answers to that question, recall that anyone who gets his news from television, rather than the newspapers, has access only to Berlusconi’s side of the story, since he owns all the private networks and has made the public ones Fox News-like in their slavish devotion to the party in power. Once Prodi takes power, that situation will change.