Apart from the event itself, the formation of the second Berlusconi

government is, from a wider perspective, replete with interesting

elements. It facilitates a better understanding of where the transformation

process of the Italian political system stands about 10

years after the crisis of the 1990s. The theme of government – its

process of formation and completion, as well as its political basis

and operational capacity – is of obvious importance. The ‘First

Republic’ was predominantly characterised by the way government

was produced (and how it consequently functioned). It is no coincidence

that the debate on institutional reform that began in the

1980s targeted the issue of government and the need for reform.