The New York TimesThe New York Times

Italy's next government hinges on a familiar face: Silvio Berlusconi

By Jason Horowitz

18 Oct 2022 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

You know Italy’s politics have taken a worrying turn when Silvio Berlusconi is seen as a “protector of Italian democracy.” The NYT examines the role the billionaire will play in Italy’s government.

ROME — During the final campaign rally for Italy’s right-wing coalition before it emerged victorious in Italy’s elections last month, the billionaire mogul Silvio Berlusconi, a smile frozen on his waxen face, stood center stage, propped up, quite literally, by his hard-right partners, Giorgia Meloni and Matteo Salvini, who waved Berlusconi’s hand above his head.

The tableau may have evoked an Italian remake of “Weekend at Bernie’s” more than a modern-day triumvirate. But the three will now make up the most right-wing Italian government since Mussolini, with Berlusconi, 86 and decreasingly popular, as its fragile linchpin.

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