Festive Roman crowds cheer end of Berlusconi era

[In the midst of the worst economic crisis since World War 2, the arrogance of power is shaken as, in many countries, oligarchs and dictators and billionaires are forced to exit the centers of power in growing disgrace.  Today, the people poured into the streets in Italy today to celebrate the departure of the hated Berlusconi.  We will see what struggles the people will be able to bring against the chokehold of capitalism in the months ahead… — Frontlines ed.]

By Cristiano Corvino and Gabriele Pileri, Reuters

ROME (Reuters) – Thousands gathered in Rome to celebrate the political demise of Silvio Berlusconi on Saturday, whistling and shouting insults as the 75-year-old media magnate drove to hand in his resignation as prime minister.

In an atmosphere reminiscent of a football World Cup victory celebration, squares outside government buildings were packed with cheering crowds, singing and chanting as the curtain came down on Berlusconi’s scandal-hit government.

Police held back the crowds behind barriers outside Berlusconi’s private residence in central Rome and in front of the Quirinale Palace, the residence of the head of state, President Giorgio Napolitano.

A small orchestra played the Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah as the crowd waited for Berlusconi to appear and hand in his resignation. Continue reading