Page last updated at 18:34 GMT, Tuesday, 15 April 2008 19:34 UK

Readers' views: Italy's election

Map of Italy

Silvio Berlusconi has won his third election victory in Italy. His bloc won majorities in the Senate and lower house.

Two Italian voters - Rafaella in Milan who voted for Mr Berlusconi and Lorenzo in Florence who did not - share their views on his election victory.

RAFAELLA, MILAN

I understand why a vast majority voted for Berlusconi and his coalition. Italians are neither gullible nor blind. They were aware that the survival of Italy was at stake.

We cannot live in the past, we must move ahead and think of our present
Day by day we saw Italy going down the drain thanks to a high rate of unemployment, a serious economic crisis, rising crime, illegal immigration, a leaky National Health Service, an obsolete legal system etc. All these issues are deeply felt by common people like me.

When you see that nothing really changes and that promises are disregarded a compelling desire to change arises. A vast majority of Italians asked for a stable government to restore confidence and to rebuild all the different social and economic layers of the country.

This was a strong signal of wisdom and maturity coming from most Italians. They weren't influenced by campaigns and vague allegations against Mr Berlusconi. He is the right man in the right place at the right moment. Who else if not a skilled businessman like Berlusconi could lead the country out of this agony now?

We must give Berlusconi a chance. We cannot live in the past, we must move ahead and think of our present otherwise Italy won't even have a future!

LORENZO, FLORENCE

Lorenzo

Mr Berlusconi has been very good at promoting his own image, we have to give him credit for that.

He promised things that sounded good to many Italians, like removing taxes on properties and raising pensions.

These promises swayed many people and gained him votes, but I think they are unfeasible at the moment and will bring no more than short term benefits. He forgot to say how he would raise the money to keep his promises.

Many young skilled workers already earn less money than retired people who have an average pension, and it would be ridiculous to expand this gap.

One of the problems Italians have been discussing lately is wealth redistribution. I think we should understand that there is an issue that comes before this that is even more important. Before managing to redistribute wealth we have to manage how to produce it and Berlusconi failed to explain this.

What the country should focus on now is how to use the potential of its young people, how to make companies competitive on a global scale and how to deal with organised crime in the south of country, considering it is responsible for major downturns in the Italian economy.

Will Berlusconi take care of these things? I do not think so. He certainly did not seem to be so concerned about them during his campaign.



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