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Posted: 4/15/2008 8:43:10 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/15/2008 8:44:30 PM EST by Skibane]
Communists crushed as right rises

Financial Times
By Guy Dinmore in Rome
April 15 2008

Italy’s elections sprang many surprises, none more so than the rout of the Communists and the parallel surge of the rightwing, anti-immigration Northern League which has become the indispensable partner for Silvio Berlusconi.

For the first time since the postwar republic was founded in 1948, no Communists will be represented in parliament, their seats tumbling from 84 to zero. The Greens, partners in the Rainbow Left alliance, lost all 15 of their seats.

Fausto Bertinotti, veteran trade union leader, resigned as head of the alliance. Enrico Boselli quit as leader of the Socialists after they also lost all seats, confirming that party’s long decline.

Supporters of Mr Berlusconi celebrated the “revolution ... the final fall of the Berlin Wall in Italy”, and hailed what they see as his success in establishing a “normal”, bi-party system divided between his centre-right coalition and the centre-left Democrats. “The joke country of 1,000 parties and 1,000 governments is dead thanks to Berlusconi,” commented Senator Paolo Guzzanti.

Il Manifesto, the leftwing daily, said the Communists, in two years of coalition rule under Romano Prodi, had failed to deliver anything to their traditional supporters whose living standards were falling.

Many deserted the Communists to back the reformist Democrats, but in the north large numbers of workers voted for the rough talking, protectionist Umberto Bossi and his populist Northern League.

The League more than doubled its seats overall to a total of 85, becoming the third-largest party in parliament. Mr Berlusconi now depends on the League for his majority in both houses.

Mr Bossi has abandoned his calls for secession of northern “Padania” but pushes a regionalist agenda – in tension with the centralist National Alliance, another key coalition partner.

Mr Bossi on Tuesday repeated demands for fiscal federalism, a crackdown on crime and large-scale expulsions of immigrants, including European Union citizens.

Critics call his party racist and xenophobic. Senator Roberto Calderoli once took a pig to Bologna to desecrate land intended for a mosque.

Mr Bossi brought down the first Berlusconi government in 1994 after just six months. Relations were patched up and their next ruling coalition survived a full five years, from 2001 to 2006.
Link Posted: 4/15/2008 8:46:50 PM EST
Interesting.

Thanks for posting it Ski.
Link Posted: 4/15/2008 8:48:07 PM EST
This is great, I loved the pig part.
Link Posted: 4/15/2008 8:55:27 PM EST

Originally Posted By Skibane:
Communists crushed as right rises

Financial Times
By Guy Dinmore in Rome
April 15 2008

<Snip>

Critics call his party racist and xenophobic. Senator Roberto Calderoli once took a pig to Bologna to desecrate land intended for a mosque.

Mr Bossi brought down the first Berlusconi government in 1994 after just six months. Relations were patched up and their next ruling coalition survived a full five years, from 2001 to 2006.

There's a lot of jibber jabber on ARfcom about "wimpy" Europeans (because only Americans are ruff n tuff n stuff), but you'd NEVER see an American politician do something like that: he'd face the PC shithammer of doom. These sound like some fairly hardass people to me.
Link Posted: 4/15/2008 8:58:54 PM EST
My sister is dating a Roman rightwinger.

He's a good dude. Ex special forces, current EP and a tour guide for the family business.

I approve.
Link Posted: 4/15/2008 9:02:35 PM EST
Give it a year...

It will change...
Link Posted: 4/15/2008 9:09:37 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/15/2008 9:11:54 PM EST by Skibane]

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
Give it a year...

It will change...


That's the stereotype, alright...

Still, this article implies that the fabled Italian political fickleness may be a thing of the past:


Supporters of Mr Berlusconi celebrated the “revolution ... the final fall of the Berlin Wall in Italy”, and hailed what they see as his success in establishing a “normal”, bi-party system divided between his centre-right coalition and the centre-left Democrats. “The joke country of 1,000 parties and 1,000 governments is dead thanks to Berlusconi,” commented Senator Paolo Guzzanti.
Link Posted: 4/16/2008 3:54:33 AM EST
Silvio Berlusconi is one of my favorite world political figures. He has a lack of pretense that's refreshing. He's like the exact opposite of Barry Obama, who is nothing but pretense.
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