Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Italians Fighting -- Don't Say You're Surprised

So we're now five days from the Italian general election. And, as if my people didn't like fighting to begin with, the gloves are off.

Again, this is in a relative sense.... Italian campaigns make American contests seem downright sedate.

The final debate between centre-right Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and leftist opposition leader Romano Prodi took place last night.

A sampling of the enlightened discourse:
Mr Prodi said: "The prime minister clings to data in the way a drunkard clings to lamp-posts - not for illumination, but to keep him standing up."

Mr Berlusconi replied: "I will not accept that. Have a little respect for the prime minister.

"Let me return Prodi's remark about the drunk by saying that Prodi is like a useful idiot - he lends his cheery parish priest face to the left, which is 70% made up of former communists."
The latest polls have Berlusca five points behind, with a quarter of the electorate undecided.

AP/Andrew Medichini