From Ferraris to fashion, Parmesan to politicians, as elections approach we take a look at Italy’s fragile economy and colourful politics through the eyes of its top entrepreneurs, PM Monti and main rival Bersani.
“A lot of our leaders look like they arrived yesterday from the moon. Instead, they’ve been in a crucial position for 20 years.” Chairman of Ferrari, Luca di Montezemolo, is deeply frustrated. Along with a number of other top Italian entrepreneurs, he believes that ‘brand Italy’ is being tarnished across Europe by the country’s poor political leadership. “Berlusconi has been a big delusion. He announced the liberal revolution and unfortunately he didn’t do it.” Italy changes governments like a Milan model changes outfits and now that it’s all up for grabs again this weekend, is there really much of a chance any of the four front-runners can change things for the better? Bersani, the man many are tipping to lead Italy after the elections, says his top priority will be to repeal laws that have allowed Berlusconi to avoid prison, despite having more than 100 cases brought against him. Yet Berlusconi’s chances are improving in the polls and it’s expected his party will control the Senate. Meanwhile, current leader Mario Monti, the man they call ‘Super Mario’ after he pulled Italy back from the brink of economic collapse, looks set to be thrown out by voters. “I cannot claim to have the glamour and the ability to entertain audiences that my predecessor, Mr Berlusconi, is very excellent at,” Monti shrugs. Whatever the result this weekend, it is sure to be a dramatic battle.