Where to now for Italy?

31 August 2006

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Paul Ginsborg
Paul Ginsborg

Italy's beauty and passion for life is marred by "shadows" such as one of the lowest fertility rates in the world and an economy that has left children being worse off than their parents, eminent author and commentator Professor Paul Ginsborg told the Sydney Ideas audience last night.

Professor Ginsborg, the author of the controversial and best-selling Berlusconi: Television, Power and Patrimony also discussed the legacy of Silvio Berlusconi, the country's richest man and former Prime Minister who once proclaimed himself as "The best political leader in Europe and the world."

Professor Ginsborg revealed how a media tycoon such as Berlusconi could thrive in Italy and also the "deep-rooted Italian idea that the State must be kept from interfering".

The UK-born author also posed the question of whether or not Berlusconi may make a comeback in Italian politics and if the country has learnt from its past.

Professor Paul Ginsborg is Professor of Contemporary European History at the University of Florence and a frequent commentator on politics, media and life in Italy. His other books include Italyand its Discontents: Family, Civil Societyand the State, 1980-2000 and last year's The Politics of Everyday Life. He is in Sydney as a guest of the University of Sydney's Department of Italian Studies.

The next Sydney Ideas event is the Socratic Forum: That We Should Keep Religion out of Australian Politics, to be held on Thursday, 14 September at 6.30pm, at the Seymour Centre. The Socratic Forum will be chaired by ABC Radio's John Cleary and speakers include the Rt Rev Robert Forsyth and Democrat Arthur Chesterfield Evans.

View the full Sydney Ideas program.

Contact: Katrina O'Brien

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