From Henry Kaspar, a glance at the cost of dysfunctional politics and inept leadership in Italy:
Both Spain and Italy entered this period with problems that had something of the aspect of “self-fulfilling prophesies,” but the Spanish government under Zapatero has managed the situation much better than the Italian government under Berlusconi. The shame of the matter is that since Spain is still in a very bad situation, Zapatero’s government is set to get trounced at the polls notwithstanding its comparatively impressive handling of a difficult situation.
Meanwhile note that if Berlusconi is really convinced that Italy faces a pure problem of liquidity, the Italian state is in possession of a uniquely large quantity of “priceless” artifacts and artworks that could be posted as collateral. Of course to sell the nation’s cultural heritage to meet a fiscal crisis would be unthinkable, but if it’s really a pure crisis of liquidity, there’ll be no loss of collateral and thus nothing to worry about.