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<nettime> the spaghetti conundrum
Alex Foti on Mon, 5 Nov 2012 03:06:25 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> the spaghetti conundrum

This is the perfect storm for Italian politics. It's hard for us who are in
it to understand it, I imagine it must be impossible abroad to understand
the present entanglements of traditionally byzantine politica.it

First of all, the eurocrat Monti succeeded Berlusconi a year ago, to
general relief. Mr B. was basically ousted by a Palace coup orchestrated by
the President of the Republic (former commie rightwinger Napolitano) at the
request of Merkel and the EU. Monti is making people bleed (while leaving
banks and corporations unscathed) but at least he's honest and non-mafia. A
big change. But the honeymoon with him is now over as Italy has dropped in
a gloomy recession deliberately engineered by Monti's budget "rigor"
(that's how he calls austerity) in order to appease the notoriously crooked
"financial markets" which where targeting Italian gov't bonds. A Greek
situation has been averted, and Italy is doing a bit better than Spain
(there was no major real estate bubble and italy still has a manufacturing
export industry).  The evil dwarf is politically dead, don't let the media
enthusiasm for him (at least it's less grim than reporting on cuts and
austerity) fool you. It's game over for him and the Second Republic he
heralded in 1994, two years after Bribesville buried the socialists and the
christian democrats who had governed the 80s untroubled by the Communist
Party in opposition.

In spite of the Nobel Prize, the number of people who want to "to tie their
hands" (Monti lingo) to the EU is fast decreasing. But anyway this is an
emergency government, since general elections have already been called for
April. Or is it? Actually, bankers, industrialists, major media would like
to see a so-called Monti bis, after the spring elections (although he won't
be a candidate). So the center is trying to outmaneuver the left and seize

In fact, the right wing is in complete disarray after huge corruption
scandals have toppled first Bossi and his family and blemished the Northern
League (emerged in the early 90s against Bribesville corruption) hopefully
for ever. They proved being as prone to thievery as any other politician,
in spite of what they kept preaching for two decades. Then two major blows
brought Berlusconi's PdL down to its knees: major corruption cases were
uncovered in Lazio and Lombardy bringing down its two regional governments.
The case of Lombardy is particularly interesting because it had been
governed uninterruptedly for 17 years (!) by Formigoni, leading political
exponent of the reactionary catholic movement CL and its economic wing
Compagnia delle Opere, which occupied the Lombard health system and
privatized it, making millions in black funds in the process. The biggest
private hospital in Milano was brought to bankruptcy by the elderly priest
which founded it (it's where Berlusconi gets cured) conveniently died
before he was brought to justice. But what is emerging is more alarming
still. That is the 'ndrangheta, the Calabrese mafia has secured access to
all levels in the regional administration, from health to public housing,
to the major works that are being done to host EXPO 2015. A brave woman,
Lea Garofalo, was murdered and dissolved in acid in 2010 in Milano by her
'ndranghetoso husband because she collaborated with the judges. Yes, you've
read well: Milano, not Palermo (in fact, I support the leftist candidate
Giulio Cavalli, a guy that needs to live under police escort, in the
upcoming regional primaries). So now antimafia is really a national
problem, nobody can deny it. So at the end of January there will be also be
regional elections in Lombardy and Lazio.

So basically berlusconi and the league will be buried in the next
elections, but who will be their gravediggers? The Sicilian elections have
proved that the truly ingenuous Grillo's stunts (swimming from Reggio to
Messina to start his Sicily campaign) and the networked organization of the
5Star Movement will be major contestants in the general elections. If they
managed to become the first party in Sicily (where they had no foothold)
they can do anything. The PD, the party that turned the historical
compromise between catholics and communists into a political formation,
would normally be expected to pick up the pieces and lead a winning
coalition to government (think the two Prodis). But thanks to the typical
sadochism of the Italian center-left, this is by no means assured. PD
secretary Bersani (although he still keeps an eye to the center) has made a
coalition with Nichi Vendola, governor of Puglia and leader of Left Ecology
Freedom (4-5% but on a downward trend). With the PD they should obtain the
relative majority of votes and according to the current law, the absolute
majority of seats in Parliament. The problem is that on November 25 there
will be the primaries of the center-left and Bersani's victory is by no
means assured. His rival, Renzi, 30 years its junior and mayor of Florence,
is very TV-friendly and self-assured. He has vowed to send the old PD
leaders to the junkyard and has already managed to put old hands like
Veltroni and D'Alema out of the game. He has ties with Vatican and high
finance, but there is no question that he incarnates the generation that
has always been excluded by Italian politics, the thirty- and
forty-something. More than that, Italians are thirsty for change. And
parties are dead, this is the current mantra on Italian media and in
people's conversations. They are because they are mostly about the
apportioning of power positions rather than thinking out policies.

So the scenario is highly unclear. If Bersani wins the primaries, there
will be something like Prodi III, if Renzi wins the PD could split, and the
centrists could seize power as Montezemolo and Marchionne (Ferrari and
Fiat) would like. And the left could then maybe try a reunification
(unlikely, but still a possibility). I told you it was complicated. But in
a couple months the situation will be clearer and you won't need another
article of mine;)

Let's Occupy European Parliament in 2013


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