Second, the more pressure builds on Berlusconi to resign, the more Italians are forced to contemplate the alternatives. They aren’t pretty. There are really only three options if Berlusconi resigns. The most likely is an unstable centre-right coalition under the ambitious and divisive Gianfranco Fini. Not only is Fini a former fascist who has previously expressed admiration for Mussolini, but he has also thrown away his ability to marshal the centre-right effectively with at least two unsuccessful bids to topple Berlusconi in the past. Rightly, many Italians continue to perceive Fini as untrustworthy at best, and dangerous at worst.
The next most likely possibility is a minority centre-left coalition headed by the ineffective leader of the PD, Pier Luigi Bersani. Bersani’s big problem is that the centre-left is hopelessly fragmented, and has failed to offer any coherent solution to Italy’s worsening economic woes. Neither the PD nor any of its allies are able to convince Italians that they can be trusted with government.