Donnerstag, 16.08.2018 12:41 Uhr

A new government in Italy: a game of thrones or of cards?

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 18.04.2018, 13:29 Uhr
Presse-Ressort von: Dr. Carlo Marino Bericht 5648x gelesen

Rome [ENA] Three traditional party families dominated Italy and Europe: the Christian-democrats, the social-democrats and the liberals. The hegemonic position of these party families was first questioned by the “new politics” of the Greens in the 1970s and by the populist radical right, which gained considerable electoral results from the 1980s onwards.The term “populism” has been widely used and applied to different contexts.

In the European context the term has been used to describe anti-immigration and anti-EU parties like the French National Front (FN), the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) and the Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV), Italy's anti-EU Five Star Movement and Silvio Berlusconi's anti-immigration alliance which have materialized as the well-defined leaders in Italy's election with the support of anti-immigration party "Casa Pound". In the Latin American debate, on the other side, populism was frequently employed to allude to the economic mismanagement and clientelistic practices of populist leaders like Juan Domingo Perón (Argentina), Alberto Fujimori (Peru), or Hugo Chávez (Venezuela).

The term populism is utilized depreciatively in the European media to designate such different phenomena as a grassroots movement, an irresponsible economic programme, or a demagogic style of politics. As reported today by the Italian Press Agency ANSA, the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella called Senate Speaker Elisabetta Alberti Casellati to his office and gave her a mandate to see if it is possible to end Italy's post-election political impasse. Italy hasn’t got a new government a month and a half after its election on March 4. Last week Mattarella said the political parties had not made progress towards the formation of a new government after a second round of formal political consultations.

Casellati has been given the task of attesting the existence of parliamentary majority between the parties of the centre-right coalition and the M5S. The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), the biggest single party in the new parliament, has up to now refused to do a deal with the whole centre right, the biggest coalition. The M5S has called on the anti-migrant, Euroskeptic League, the lead party in the centre right, to drop its ally, Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia, to make a deal possible. But so far no deal was reached. Casellati is an FI member and has been demanded to give an agreed-on indication for the awarding of a mandate of premier to form the government.

The centre-left Democratic Party (PD), which has led the last three Italian governments, will be in the opposition after it slumped to its worst-ever showing in last month's vote. At the moment, Liberal democracies seem to be in a fragile state. Simplistic populist messages of us vs. them with often-xenophobic undertones and attempts to undermine the legitimacy of democratic institutions can count on a receptive audience and a transformed (social) media landscape in Europe. Last March elections in Italy represent a test for the next ones: 2019 European Parliament election.

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