Berlusconi, problema eterno de Europa

LONDRES – Silvio Berlusconi, tres veces primer ministro de Italia y político dominante del país durante dos décadas, fue juzgado y condenado a cuatro años en prisión, sentencia que luego se redujo a un año. Pero pocos en Italia (o en Europa) creen que Berlusconi vaya a desaparecer de la política italiana o de la europea en un tiempo previsible. Hace muy pocos días, Berlusconi declaró que tenía intención de continuar su carrera política (aunque dijo que no se presentará para ocupar el puesto de primer ministro por cuarta vez).

Cualquiera sea el papel que Berlusconi se reserva, seguramente no será marginal. Tal vez no quiera volver a ser rey, pero su control de Mediaset (el grupo de medios más grande de Italia) sin duda lo habilita para ser hacedor de reyes. Y dados sus enormes índices de popularidad, tal vez decida patear el tablero, adoptar una postura euroescéptica y antigobierno y tratar de provocar la caída del gobierno tecnocrático del primer ministro Mario Monti.

Monti reemplazó a Berlusconi en noviembre de 2011; lo hizo con un claro mandato y pleno apoyo parlamentario para implementar las medidas necesarias para recuperar la confianza de los mercados y calmar los temores de los socios de Italia en la eurozona y del Fondo Monetario Internacional de que el país pudiera seguir los pasos de Grecia. Cuando ese mismo mes se celebró la cumbre del G-20 en Cannes, Italia (lo mismo que Europa) estaba peligrosamente cerca del colapso. El gobierno de Berlusconi se encontraba profundamente dividido respecto de las medidas fiscales necesarias para reducir el costo de los pagos de la deuda del país; el atasco político interno, sumado a la incapacidad de Berlusconi para llegar a un acuerdo con Alemania y Francia, llevó a un aumento desenfrenado del costo de refinanciación. Entre julio y noviembre de 2011, el tipo de interés diferencial respecto de los bonos alemanes nunca bajó de los 500 puntos básicos.

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