He's also a criminal and a joke, and Italy will be well rid of him, maybe soon:
Reporting from Rome— Italy's beleaguered prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, has survived more than 50 no-confidence votes and multiple accusations of criminal and sexual impropriety, including charges he paid for sex with a 17-year-old girl. But the 75-year-old billionaire may have finally met his match in the bond market.
With dwindling confidence in Berlusconi's ability to manage Italy's affairs — and the Eurozone's debt crisis hanging in the balance — investors Monday pushed up Italian bond yields to a euro-era high of 6.63%. That means higher borrowing costs, and takes the yield ever closer to a point that tipped Greece, Ireland and Portugal over the edge and seeking financial rescue.
… Indeed, the reaction from financial markets adds to "strong pressure for Berlusconi to resign," said Sergio Fabbrini, political science professor at the LUISS Guido Carli university in Rome.
In once sense, this the ultimate referendum on his performance. The bond rates represent the utter failure of the country to right itself.
On the other hand, as much as I would like to see Berlusconi out, there's something unseemly about the bond market* having this much power over a sovereign, democratic country. It reminds me of the rating agencies trying to dictate the size of our own budget cuts during the summer.
Capitalism should be a tool in service of democracy, not the other way around.
* The bond market is people, my friend.