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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Italy divided « Previous | |Next »
February 28, 2013

The elections in Italy that resulted in a hung parliament reflect a divided Italy in the context of corrupt politics, the politics of fiscal austerity imposed by finance capital in the eurozone, a shrinking economy and rising unemployment. Italy is in a crisis.

The centre-left coalition led by Pierluigi Bersani secured a solid majority in the lower chamber, but fell short of a majority by approximately 40 senators in the upper chamber. None of the parties/coalitions can reach the majority quorum of 158 in the Senate, even though Silvio Berlusconi, the leader of centre right was able to climb back. However, no party gained a majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

RoweDLaDolceVita.jpg David Rowe

The winner of this election is undeniably the ex-comedian Beppe Grillo, whose anti-austerity, social media based 5 Star Movement received one vote for every four cast this weekend. They filled an anti politics void with Grillo’s message being explicitly against the rest of the Italian political class because they have let the country down. Who will the Star Movement support, given their demands for a renegotiation of Italy’s agreements with Europe?

Fabrizio Carmignani observes if a country achieves a steady rate of economic growth, then no draconian tax hikes and expenditure cuts are required to ensure the long-run sustainability of debt. Is there a consensus for a shift from austerity to pro growth policies?

Many of the concerns of Grillo’s supporters are shared by people across Europe in that over the last decade, trust in the EU and national governments and parliament has been on a downward trend across the continent. These movements express a desire for the idea of ‘changing’ the system, the ruling elites and the traditional ways of making policy.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 2:14 PM | | Comments (8)


Elections are secondary to the austerian budget rules and an unaccountable central bank as defined in the Treaties. If you want to stay in the euro, there is no alternative to the Merkel-Monti agenda of austerity and precarity.

the present situation appears almost hopeless

As to Annon's comment, think on..

And again... we're regularly told that "playing the blame game" is pointless. That we must deal with the current situation as best we can.

And it's the powerless slob in the street who is FORCED to pay the price...

Italy's mainstream politicians have so far rejected fresh elections, fearing they could bring the M5S even more votes.

The Berlin-Brussels-Frankfurt consensus on austerity, which is being run by the Germans through Brussels, has exacerbated the debt problems of southern Europe, including in Italy. They have resulted in the southern European economies shrinking or failing to grow, subjecting many people to considerable pain. The EU’s current emphasis on austerity is condemning these countries to further stagnation

We can expect a period of non-Government: a phase of turmoil that will end up, not with a revolution but – in a best-case scenario – with some resignations, a few reforms and new elections. Whatever Italian government does emerge, it is likely to be moderate, weak and incapable of delivering much in the way of spending cuts or reforms that tackle vested interests.

In Germany, the Italian result is seen more as evidence that Italians are unwilling to face up to their problems than as an understandable reaction to the intellectually bankrupt strategy of austerity