“Who trusts Berlusconi?” is the title of a recent paper from the Economics and Econometrics Research Institution in Brussels. The ability of Berlusconi to clutch on to power is continually baffling. It’s like Italy has been stuck for over a decade in a book written by Kafka, but with bunga bunga parties.
Even The Economist, which chooses its words carefully, recently published a front cover with the words “The man who screwed an entire country“, which is the sort of thing that you might be more likely to find Sun journalists tittering over.
In “Who trusts Berlusconi?”, Fabio Sabatini set out to throw some light on why Italy has tolerated Berlusconi for so long. In particular, he looks at TV viewing habits, and trust in TV. He finds that people who trust what they see on television are significantly more likely to also trust Berlusconi. Perhaps this is unsurprising, given that his company, Mediaset, owns three of the seven national TV channels.
Berlusconi: the best argument for media pluraility I’ve ever heard.
The full paper is here: http://www.eeri.eu/documents/wp/EERI_RP_2011_08.pdf