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<nettime> The Political Right Today in Italy
Sverko, Adriano on Sat, 15 May 2004 13:49:55 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> The Political Right Today in Italy

I am interested in learning more about the political climate currently in
Italy from people that are living there. What are the deep cultural trends
that are bringing people back to notions of irredentism? 
We have heard much about Berlusconi in English and American media. His
conservative views. His mixing of  business and media and politics.
But there are other events that seem under-reported. Before I continue, a
bit of personal narrative: I happen to be from Istria and am of Italian and
Croatian ancestry. I speak both languages.
1. Some personal observations. The rise of Mussolini's granddaughter in
Italian politics, to lead the second largest right-wing party in Italy seems
to not get--shall we say--the alarmist coverage it perhaps deserves.
2. There seems to be a new interest in irredentism. (for a good definition
of the term: http://www.bartleby.com/65/ir/irredent.html
<http://www.bartleby.com/65/ir/irredent.html> )
I recently saw a light news-magazine show on a RAI TV station talking about
the Partisan (Yugoslav) extradition of Italians from the Croatian peninsula
of Istra (Istria, in English). I was a bit surprised that the story talked
about the 300,000 Italians pushed out of Croatia during the "purging" of
fascism. This news story was very tug-at-your-heartstrings and one-sided. It
did not get into any complexity. It did not report fairly. For example:
a)       During this post-Bellum period, Germans, Italians and Croats were
cleansed, not just Italians.
b)       During the time of "dictatorship of the proletariat", liberals and
even nationalists were in danger for their views or their deeds in
Yugoslavia. The same danger existed for an Italian nationalist, but also for
a Slovenian or Croat nationalist
c)       The newsmag story did not discuss the alliance that Croat fascists
(Ustasi) and Italian fascists forged. To do so would blur the simplistic
us/them dichotomy the news story aimed to produce
d)       Some details as to why people were forced out were not mentioned in
the story, including this: fascist youth organizations existed, such as
Piccole Italiane, and Opera Nazionale Balilla (ONB); Pula had a
concentration camp, filled with Slavs and communists. I am friends with one
of the prisoners who survived. He was sent there as a minor, about 15 years
old. He was sent there because of the testimony of another underage boy, who
said that his family was feeding partisan troops.
This stuff is exhausting; I am drained writing about it. I was in Stockholm
a few days ago and I heard an older man in a 7-Eleven speaking Italian. I
introduced myself and we spoke a bit. When I explained that my funny Italian
accent comes from Croatia... next thing I knew, he went on, ranting about
how Istra and Dalmatia should be a part of Italy. I couldn't believe I was
hearing this. And I thought that is 50% of the entire size of the nation.
Don't I have a right to exist, too?
Adriano Sverko


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