Silvio Berlusconi's Political Future To Be Decided Tuesday
Italian media tycoon-turned-Prime Minister faces a confidence vote in Parliament.
Italian media tycoon-turned-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will face a confidence vote in the Italian Parliament Tuesday that will decide his political future.
Over the last several months, Berlusconi has been hurt by a series of sex and influence peddling scandals, a week economy, pending lawsuits, eroding job approval levels, and the defection of key allies.
In the final days heading up to the vote, both Berlusconi and his critics have been lobbying for the support of lawmakers in hopes of tipping the scales in their direction.
As things stand, Tuesday's vote appears too close to call, and political analysts say that even if her survives the vote it may only prolong his political career by a few months before another political crisis hits what would be a hobbled ruling coalition.
Shares in Mediaset, the broadcast and film production giant Berlusconi owns, have actually shown some strength amid their founder's political problems. In late November, four months into the current political crisis, Mediaset shares hit a 24-month low. But they have rebounded slightly since then and have even risen slightly over the last two sessions, trading in a range near €4.50 ($6.03) per share on speculation that the 74-year-old leader may soon have more time to devote to the company instead of concentrating almost solely on his political survival.