Destinations Magazine

Smartening up

By Stizzard
Smartening up Virginia Raggi, a sharp contender

EVEN fans of the Five Star Movement, an Italian political group often described as populist, maverick and anti-establishment, would never have credited it with slickness. So when the campaign video for Virginia Raggi, a 37-year-old running for mayor of Rome as the Five Star candidate, appeared online in late February, it came as a shock. Mute the soundtrack on Ms Raggi’s video, in which she declares that “we can again be a world city”, and her sharp suit and on-message presentation might be those of an aspiring Democratic congresswoman in America or Tory politician in Britain. A talented debater, Ms Raggi illustrates how Italy’s second-biggest political group is increasingly coming to resemble a normal party.

Polls are continuing to give the Five Star Movement a quarter of the electorate: about eight percentage points behind the governing centre-left Democratic Party (PD), but ten percentage points ahead of the right-wing Northern League. In Rome, a city that has long suffered from neglect and corruption at the hands of mainstream parties, Ms Raggi stands a fair chance of success when…

The Economist: Europe


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