Webster G. Tarpley, Ph.D.
February 21, 2013
This coming Sunday and Monday, Italians will go to the polls to choose a new parliament and thus a new prime minister, while setting the stage for the election of a new president of the republic shortly thereafter.
Most indications are that the most numerous faction in the coming parliament, with just over one third of the votes, will be the Common Good coalition, composed of the Democratic Party (the remains of the old Italian Communist Party), the Left Ecology Freedom movement of Nichi Vendola, which includes various paleocommunists, and some smaller forces. This coalition is led by Pier Luigi Bersani, a colorless bureaucrat. Ironically, despite its leftist rhetoric, the Common Good is the formation most likely to continue the austerity policies which are currently tearing Italy apart.
Coming in second with almost 30% should be the center-right coalition around the People of Freedom, the party of the irrepressible former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, joined by the Northern League of Umberto Bossi, a xenophobic group which also articulates the resentments of northern Italy against the south, the Mezzogiorno.
Another important leader is Giulio Tremonti, the former Minister of Economics and Finance. Berlusconi, a wealthy businessman and three-time prime minister, was most recently in power from 2008 to November 2011. Berlusconi’s fall had been prepared through a series of lurid revelations about his personal life, including an attack by the CIA document dump known as Wikileaks. Berlusconi’s second-place status represents a remarkable comeback, and the last polls show him closing on Bersani.