Politics Magazine

Italy’s Leaders Should Take A Different Path

Posted on the 27 February 2013 by Thepoliticalidealist @JackDarrant

The results from Italy’s legislative election are in. As with many countries faced with horrific austerity programmes, the traditional two bloc system has faced disruption, with the electorate failing to deliver a clear endorsement of any particular direction for the country. Except so far the Italians’ faith in liberal democracy has not been so thoroughly crushed, as in Greece, that fascism is flourishing. However, this is largely due to the fact that Italy needs little international intervention and is imposing austerity on itself rather than acting on dictats issued by IMF banksters while breezing through the country, staying in elite hotels for a night or two.

In Italy, control of both legislative chambers is needed to govern. Though the centre-left alliance led by the Democratic Party’s Pier Luigi has won a majority in the lower house, the Senate (elected on a regional basis, like the US) has no clear winner. The four main groups are the right-wing coalition led by Silvio Berlosconi, which came unnervingly close to victory, the anti-austerity Five Star movement, set up by comedian Beppe Grillo won an impressive 25% of the vote. Lastly, there are the technocratic centrists, led by incumbent Mario Monti. They failed to attract significant support, winning a mere 10% of the vote.

Silvio Berlosconi has implied that he wishes to form a coalition with the Democrats. This is the last thing they should do. Berlosconi is not fit for high office, and the ideological differences will be all but insurmountable. No, if the Democrats want Italy to notice that it has a left wing government, it should co-operate with the Five Star movement. The first acts of that government would then be to review the marketisation reforms inflicted on the country with no mandate, and then to rewrite deficit reduction targets. Put simply, they must tell international financiers that, until economic growth is strong, the deficit will grow regardless. Investment is essential and not negotiable.

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