Bad Teacher

Italy's Addiction to Berlusconi

While the world’s opinion makers debate the next step for Italy’s new unity government, Newsweek’s Barbie Latza Nadeau sends off outoing prime minister Silvio Berlusconi with a psychological eulogy. Why did Italians tolerate their obscenely wealthy, law-bending, hedonistic leader for 17 years? “He is the great enabler who, for nearly two decades, has allowed Italians to feel they can cheat on anything from their taxes to their spouses because he does it himself.” The country sincerely believed Berlusconi would take them back to their glory days. “His edge lies in tempting the population to believe that they could live his dolce vita—an equivalent of the American Dream of prosperity with the addition of scantily clad women.”