Saturday, November 12, 2011

The end of an era

The whole world knows by now that Berlusconi has resigned.

It's been a long and tense day for Italy. The austerity law was passed this afternoon paving the way for Berlusconi's resignation. And at 8.30pm he was set to meet president Napolitano to hand in his resignation. He arrived nearly half an hour late and was greeted by furious cheers from the crowd, including the words 'Buffone!' (bufoon) and 'Mafioso!'.

Right now I'm watching people doing a conga line (known in Italian as trenino) outside the Quirinale (the official residency of the President) in Rome. There had been a bit of a twitter campaign to create a virtual trenino (you may have seen #aeiouy trending this week, it refers to this song which always kicks off the trenino at new year parties and the like) over the last few days to celebrate Berlusconi's resignation, and tonight people in the crowd that had been gathering for the last few hours are doing a real one.

His resignation won't solve the problems Italy has, but tonight Italy is celebrating something which it has been trying to achieve for years. No longer will the rest of the world laugh at this beautiful country because of the actions of one man. The situation is desperate, but there is hope for a new start.

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