Italian Government in Jeopardy over Berlusconi Appeal

The parliamentary leaders of Silvio Berlusconi’s party have demanded the suspension of parliament in protest at a decision by the supreme court aimed at preventing him from evading a four-year jail sentence on a technicality.

The heads of the media tycoon’s Freedom People (PdL) movement in both chambers said they wanted the legislature to cease all activity for three days. The centre-left Democratic Party (PD), which is joined to the PdL in Italy’s left-right coalition, immediately rejected the demand, opening a rift within Enrico Letta’s already fragile government.

In a further threat to its survival, Berlusconi’s representatives announced they were boycotting a meeting on Wednesday of the three parties that make up the coalition.

The media tycoon has already been convicted in two lower courts of a €7.5m (£6.5m) tax fraud orchestrated by his Mediaset TV company. The judges added to the prison sentence, which Berlusconi is unlikely to have to serve, a ban on his holding office for five years, which would be an even harsher blow.

If his case had followed its normal course through the supreme court, his final appeal would have been heard in about six months’ time. But – as the result of a law passed by Berlusconi’s government in 2005 – one of the counts on which he was charged would have been “timed out” in the meantime by a statute of limitations.

via The Guardian

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency
trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza