Berlusconi on Course for Comeback

Rich, charismatic ousted PM will win new term, polls say
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 11, 2008 7:47 AM CDT
People of Freedom party leader Silvio Berlusconi, left, flanked by party member Alessandra Mussolini, granddaughter of late dictator Benito Mussolini, waves to his supporters at the end of a campaign...   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
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(Newser) – Silvio Berlusconi is marching toward a third term as prime minister of Italy, according to polls ahead of parliamentary elections Sunday. The Croesus-rich media magnate has used his business credentials to convince Italians that he's got the solutions to unemployment, declining economic competitiveness and stagnant growth.

The right-tilting and corruption-plagued Berlusconi government lost its majority in 2006, but the candidate's charisma and cash could vault him back into office. "I call it the Zorro syndrome," one columnist told the Christian Science Monitor. "Every 10 years or so, Italians need someone to rescue them." Although Berlusconi has said that he is "100% certain" of victory, a last-minute surprise is still possible: A third of the electorate is still undecided.