But on the other hand, the ordinary people can legitimately expect "something more" of those who hold public office. One can expect them to demonstrate integrity and a degree of moral decency and, within the range of the charity due towards human failings, to nevertheless offer an example that is worthy of imitation. I think it is putting it mildly to suggest that Silvio Berlusconi has not done this, thereby not only failing to live up to expectations that the Italian people might rightly have had of him but also bringing into disrepute the very idea of public office. News reports of his impending resignation can only be welcome.
La Croix, with the facility of the French language, puts it very nicely with this headline which doesn't really successfully translate into English:
Les Italiens préparent l’après-Berlusconi (Italians prepare for the "after-Berlusconi")The opening paragraph of their report is as follows - the added emphasis in bold is mine:
Au centre de la vie politique italienne depuis 1994, Silvio Berlusconi, 75 ans, semble plus proche que jamais du terminus. L’incapacité de son gouvernement, contesté de toutes parts, à gérer la crise économique, ses démêlés avec la justice, les scandales de mœurs qui ont entouré sa vie privée lui ont fait perdre sa crédibilité, tant aux yeux des Italiens qu’à ceux des partenaires européens et des marchés.According to the BBC:
At the centre of Italian political life since 1994, Silvio Berlusconi, 75 years, seems closer than ever to the end. The incapacity of his government, challenged on all sides, to solve the economic crisis, his troubles with the law, the moral scandals that have surrounded his private life have made him lose his credibility, as much in the eyes of Italians as in those of European partners and the markets.
The euro rose sharply against the dollar following the news of Mr Berlusconi's decision.