You know that your country is becoming a banana republic when the three main news items of the day are about three separate cases of corruption regarding important politicians.
Image courtesy of Emmanuele Bassi
The Minister of Justice Mario Clemente Mastella (UDEUR, center-left coalition), his wife (president of the Regional Council of Campania) and other members of his party have been accused of bribery. When, on Wednesday, his wife was placed under house arrest he resigned but he will continue to support the coalition on a case-by-case basis. This means that with only three seats, on a total of 315 elected senators, he will have a strong blackmailing power as the center-left coalition has a majority of one in the Senate.
The governor of Sicily, Salvatore Cuffaro (UDC, center-right coalition), was found guilty of having helped the Mafia and was given a five-year sentence but he will not go to jail until the automatic appeal process is concluded. This will take years so, despite the sentence, he can continue to govern Sicily.
In the meantime Naples prosecutors have called for Silvio Berlusconi (Forza Italia, center-right coalition), the former prime minister, to be sent for trial on corruption charges. In a separate criminal case he is also accused of trying to pay some senators elected with the center-left coalition to vote against the government.