... [Silvio Berlusconi] seeks another stint as PM in the general elections set for this coming Sunday [February 24th]. Polls show him trailing center-left opponent Pier Luigi Bersani by 5 percentage points.How does he plan to win over the electorate in the final days before the ballots are cast? Two words: tax refunds. In a mass-mailing sent out earlier this week, his political party (the 'Freedom People' movement) sent voters a personalized letter describing his bold new plan to abolish an unpopular property tax, the Imposta Municipale Unica (IMU), and directly refund previously paid IMU revenues to Italian taxpayers.
Say what you will about pandering, voters in most countries do seem to enjoy receiving refund checks...
Will the tax refund help Berlusconi close the gap on Bersani? That's in doubt because there's another brash candidate for PM who is suddenly gaining momentum and surging in the polls: comedian turned-social activist Beppe Grillo. The Italian Republic governed by comedian? Who says politics isn't great theater.
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