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Santoliquido, Giuseppe

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La Libre Belgique - Belgium | 30/03/2006

Berlusconi on the campaign trail

Giuseppe Santoliquido, a Belgian political scientist, analyses the televised duel between Silvio Berlusconi and Romano Prodi, the leader of the centre-left opposition. "Attentive observers of the televised confrontation will have noticed that Mr. Berlusconi began each of his responses and retorts with the same phrase: 'Mr. Prodi is misrepresenting the facts'. He then furnished a whole litany of statistics of unknown provenance whose only purpose was to avoid having to face off in the concrete arena of reality. ... The prime minister's obsession with sticking to the framework of a virtual debate at all costs is easily understandable. What is less so is the silence of a majority of observers on the democratic stakes of the Italian electoral contest. ... For Italians, this election will not be about a choice between a coalition of the right or a coalition of the left. It will be about avoiding another governmental majority whose ideas and practices are marked by xenophobia, fascism and the whittling away of freedoms."

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