December 13, 2012 2:22 am

All that effort gone to waste

From Mr Jorgen Henningsen.

Sir, I have spent the better part of three years trying to convince my Italian, and sceptical, partner that Wolfgang Münchau’s weekly column in the FT is very worthwhile reading. She has gradually given in and accepted that I have a point.

This week, all that effort went down the drain. I do not deny that Mr Münchau’s article “Politics have burst through a Mario Monti bubble” has valid points on the excessive focus on austerity or on Mr Monti’s fear of confronting Angela Merkel. The problem lies in the recognition that Mr Münchau gives to Silvio Berlusconi as a possible future Italian prime minister. One gets the impression that Mr Münchau is at the point of regretting that Mr Berlusconi “will not become prime minister”.

The fact that Mr Berlusconi has made a number of “observations” on the Italian crisis that Mr Münchau considers “spot-on” is not surprising. Actually, Mr Berlusconi has, over recent years, said virtually everything – and its contrary. That is precisely what characterises an opportunist, and precisely why there is no reason to pay the slightest attention to any “observation” or statement he makes.

Over and above the fact that Mr Berlusconi has himself created much of the mess on which he now offers such clear solutions, it is offensive to other, more serious, contesters of the future leadership of Italy, to compare them with Mr Berlusconi.

Jorgen Henningsen, Copenhagen, Denmark

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