This afternoon the Regulation Committee decreed that the Senate will use an open vote on Silvio Berlusconi’s relinquishment of his seat. The PDL reacted with anger. PDL group leader Renato Schifani commented: “This decision will have consequences” and PDL member Roberto Formigoni claimed: “The Constitution has been overturned.”
The Committee’s decision was expected yesterday, but it was impossible for members of the panel to reach an agreement. PDL members asked to postpone the decision, while the President of the Senate Pietro Grasso (who is also the chairperson of the Regulation Committee) pushed for deliberating quickly. The panel re-started its work this morning and after noon the final decision was made.
The tension within parties was also increased by the fact that yesterday the Senate set the agenda for the next four weeks and the vote on Berlusconi’s case is not planned before November 22nd. The M5S declared it a ridiculous waste of time. Furthermore, yesterday evening Berlusconi asked Prime Minister Enrico Letta to clarify whether or not the Severino Law is retroactive. Letta replied that government should not get involved in personal legal cases. We’ll see in the next few hours if he manages to avoid getting embroiled in Berlusconi’s affairs.