Monday, 27 May 2013

Italy local elections -- a test for the new government?

This Sunday and Monday Italians will go to the polls again to vote for local elections.
In total, 565 local authorities will hold elections -- but most of the attention is on Rome mayoral vote.

In the capital city the contest will be between the outgoing mayor Gianni Alemanno (PdL) and Ignazio Marino (PD), and resembles therefore the frictions underpinning the recently appointed government led by Enrico Letta.

Opinion polls give Marino a few points ahead of Alemanno, but after the results of February 2013 general election nothing can be taken for granted in the voting behaviour of Italians.

The results of this local elections will be crucial to understand not only the way in which the Italian electorate is reacting towards the current government, but also to assess the impact of the growing sense of distrust towards party politics and the widespread anti-politics feelings on voting attitudes and turnout.

More details on Italian local elections can be found in this article published on BBC News.

Ignazio Marino (PD) and Gianni Alemanno (PdL)

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Chances of new era in Italian politics 'non existent'
In a recent article, the IPSG Convenor and Secreaty Dr Daniele Albertazzi has analysed the state of the current Italian government, the figure of the PM, and the role of Silvio Belusconi.

He argues that despite Prime Minister Enrico Letta's rhetoric and Silvio Berlusconi's attempts to restyle himself as a statesman ready to compromise, there is little chance of a normalisation of Italian politics.

The full article is available at this link.

PM Enrico Letta (PD)

Silvio Berlusconi (PdL)

Monday, 6 May 2013

Giulio Andreotti, one of the most prominent and controversial Italian political figures, has died aged 94

In many respects, talking about Giulio Andreotti means tracing the profile of one of the men who has made the political history (and mysteries) of Italy. 

In his long political career in the Christian Democracy (DC), Andreotti became one of Italy's most prominent figures: he helped drafting the Constitution, entered the Parliament in 1946 and remained there ever since -- serving as Prime Minster seven times, holding eighteen key senior Cabinet positions, and eventually seeing out his days as senator-for-life.

But the Christian Democrat who was friends with popes and cardinals was also a controversial figure who survived corruption scandals and allegations of aiding the Mafia and being connected with the "boss of the bossess" Totò Riina.

He had a reputation for cunning, and was known for his political acumen, his subtle humour and witty allusions and was admired by friends and foes for his intellectual agility.
Andreotti always kept a low profile, was (seemingly) detached from mundane events, and always demonstrated a stubborn determination to achieve his goals. His relationship with power  was highly disputed, and won him the reputation of being one of the most contested figures on the Italian political scene. To quote one of the aphorisms he was famous for: "Power wears out those who do not have it". 

Love him or loathe him, Andreotti was undoubtely a sophisticated Statesman, who lived through the most crucial phases of Italian politics.  He certainly held the key to some of the secrets and misteries of the First Republic. These will now be buried with him forever. 

Here are thelink to what the BBC's and the Guardian's obituary of Giulio Andreotti.

A young Giulio Andreotti in his study, with a picture of Alcide DeGasperi

A recent photo of the senator-for-life Andreotti

Friday, 3 May 2013


"Girlfriend in a coma" is a feature documentary produced, written and directed by Annalisa Piras (L'Espresso) and co-written and narrated by Bill Emmott (former editor of the Economist).

The title, taken from a song by the Smiths, refers to the state of lethargy in which Italy has fallen -- a coma from which the country has to wake up. The documentary explores Italy’s political, economic and social decline over the past twenty years, looking at what Emmott labels as "Mala Italia" as well as the "Buona Italia", and includes interviews with former Prime Minister Mario Monti, politicians like Emma Bonino and the recently appointed Italian PM Enrico Letta, as well as film director Nanni Moretti, philosopher Umberto Eco,  FIAT CEO Sergio Marchionne, the author of Gomorra Roberto Saviano, and many others.

The documentary is beautiful and cruel, and provides a trenchant analysis of contemporary Italy.

The trailer of GIAC is available here:

The full documentary can be purchased through GIAC's official website.