Giorgio Napolitano’s hour came on November 11, 2011: Silvio Berlusconi was at the head of a government paralyzed by internal conflicts that had lost the confidence of the financial markets and its European partners due to continuous mismanagement. The risk premium for Italian government bonds compared to German federal Treasuries, or the so-called “spread,” had risen to more than 500 basis points, and the country was teetering toward insolvency. Napolitano then summoned Cavaliere to the Quirinal Palace, the Italian president’s official residence, and asked him: “Do you and your government still have the power to change things with convincing and radical measures?”
Berlusconi, who also died in the meantime There was no response – two days later he returned to the Quirinal to hand Napolitano his letter of resignation. The four-time former prime minister left the palace through a back exit. He never returned to high government. In front of the main entrance of the Quirinal Hotel, hundreds of Romans celebrated Berlusconi’s downfall by singing the party song “Bella Ciao.” In those days, Napolitano became the dominant central figure on the Italian political stage, the organizing force in the Roman anarchy, the thinker and leader of the Republic – in short: “Re Giorgio,” or “King Giorgio,” as he said. Italians have called him by name with respect and affection ever since.
“Food practitioner. Bacon guru. Infuriatingly humble zombie enthusiast. Total student.”