A Tale of Two Countries

Frederika Randall in The Nation:

ScreenHunter_03 Sep. 27 10.59Next month the Constitutional Court will rule on whether a tailor-made 2008 law granting Berlusconi full judicial immunity is constitutional. If the measure is knocked down, the prime minister could be exposed to prosecution in a corruption case. His leading ally in his Popolo della Libert party, Chamber of Deputies president Gianfranco Fini, has been marking his distance from Berlusconi and signaling he's ready to replace him. Berlusconi's European partners and the Obama administration are said to be annoyed about his effusive displays of friendship to Vladimir Putin and Muammar Qaddafi. The European Union has censured Italy for towing boatloads of desperate Eritreans and Somalis, many of them certainly eligible for refugee status, back to Libya from where they set out–and where they will be interned in barbaric prison camps. And the worst of the world economic crisis is expected to hit Italy this winter.

For the first time, there is talk about the end of Berlusconi. And for the first time, comparisons of this regime to Fascism are being advanced not just as rhetoric but in all seriousness.

More here.