Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/754/16223
Italian election - Results resolve nothing
The Italian election on 24 and 25 February was long-expected to end in a stalemate, but the closeness of the votes and the possibility of a temporary coalition and another election soon have caused big falls on stock markets around the world.
Fears for the ability of the eurozone's third largest economy to get out of economic stagnation and growing budget deficits and to repay its €2 trillion debts have fuelled speculation that the euro is once again in jeopardy.
A movement that was unknown three years ago - the Five Star Movement - has gone from 15% (in the polls) to 25% in the last two weeks! Its leader, the comedian Beppe Grillo, had taken an anti-euro and anti-establishment stance, and drawn hundreds of thousands to his 77 city square meetings across the country.
Grillo calls for nationalisation of the banks and a reduction in working hours to create jobs. He also criticises cuts to education and health services.
The so-called centre right coalition, headed by Silvio Berlusconi, also rose rapidly on the basis of populist promises such as ending the highly unpopular homes tax (and even repaying the €4 billion already levied!). It finished with 29.1% of the vote for the lower house - the Chamber of Deputies - to the 29.5% for the 'Centre-Left' coalition under Democratic Party leader, Pier Luigi Bersani who offered nothing and threw away an 11% lead.
For workers in Italy there was no mass party championing their interests in a clear fight against the austerity measures imposed under the former technocratic prime minister, Mario Monti on the orders of the 'Troika'. (Monti's own list struggled to get just over 10% of the vote)
The coalition called 'Civil Revolution' led by ex-magistrate Ingroia, in which the once combative Rifondazione stood, received just 2.25% of the vote and will have no deputies in the parliament.
A fuller analysis by Contro-corrente (the Socialist Party's sister organisation in Italy), will be carried on the website of the Committee for a Workers' International: socialistworld.net
In The Socialist 27 February 2013:
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