With Italy's Mario Monti planning to resign as soon as his 2013 budget is approved, some motley majority of Italy's political parties will need to unite before the forthcoming elections, expected in February. Enter the omnipresent Silvio Berlusconi. Though Berlusconi is just gaining momentum, his return to Italian politics portends only bad things for the country's economic reforms and potential recovery. The New York Times explains:
Although Mr. Berlusconi’s party is running at only 18 percent in the polls, that is enough to give him considerable influence. He now positions himself as a pro-European but anti-austerity candidate, but other European leaders have learned not to take him or his ever-changing positions seriously. Yet if he attracts enough votes to make his party the largest center-right bloc in the next Parliament, he would be well placed to deny any government a majority, except on his destructive, self-serving terms.
One thing is certain. Angela Merkel will not be pleased.