max 29th January 2015 Fifty shades of gerontocracy The Italian Parliament has just started to vote for the successor of Giorgio Napolitano, a president that represented an anomaly since he was re-elected for two more years to allow Italy to undergo a period of structural reforms in a time of high political uncertainty. It is hard, once again, to explain to my foreign colleagues and friends the political dynamics of the Bel Paese. PM Matteo Renzi, seen abroad as talkative innovator, met multiple times former PM Silvio Berlusconi, ousted from the Senate for tax fraud and banned from political activity for two years. Yet again, Berlusconi represents the nucleus of the Italian center-right and Renzi is trying to find an agreement with his predecessor to elect a bipartisan figure on top of the Italian political hierarchy. The profile traced by both Renzi’s and Berlusconi’s parties is of a “person that has to be a politician and not a technocrat, with international recognition and a great knowledge of Italian institution” but it seems both the Prime Minister and the media mogul haven’t agreed on a name yet that would satisfy the center-right and center-left. Today the Parliament will be called for the selection of the new President in the first round of voting and Mr. Renzi is said to back constitutional court judge Sergio Mattarella. Mattarella is a well-respected politician whose highest point in his career was to resign 35 years ago because of his hostility to a law that later on facilitated Berlusconi’s media empire. Is Mattarella the change Renzi is looking for? The best profile the process can produce?