Election campaign in Italy points to the right

By Oscar Redondo

Correspondent of Prensa Latina in Italy

The resounding fall of the Draghi government, who lost the parliamentary majority after the refusal of the 5 Star Movement (M5S), Forza Italia (FI) and La Liga to vote on a resolution in support of his administration, aggravated the political crisis in that country.

This complex situation could lead to the end of the year in a country once again under the sign of the extreme right, since an alliance between the most powerful conservative forces -Brothers of Italy (FdI), La Liga and Forza Italia (FI)-, marches comfortably to the fore of the polls.

It seems very difficult for the left to oppose “a dam” to contain them, as recently requested by the leader of the Democratic Party (PD), Enrique Letta.

The unity favors the rightists, as does the rising popularity of FdI president Giorgia Meloni, 46, linked from her earliest youth to neo-fascist ideas.

Even former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, whose conservative credentials no one questions, expressed concern about the possibility of Meloni becoming the next head of government, considering her speech too extremist.

The leader of Forza Italia had to give in to the leader of FdI on July 27, during a meeting with Meloni and Matteo Salvini, the greatest exponent of La Liga, and signed a tripartite pact according to which the political formation that obtains the most votes in the elections will decide who will assume command of the country.

The path to the right appears clear. The PD is on the heels of FdI, with just one point less difference in almost all the polls, which place both forces between 20 and 25 percent acceptance.

LEFT DIVISION LIMITS YOUR ELECTORAL CHANCES

However, it is the alliances that decide the victory at the polls. Deep differences between the PD and the 5-Star Movement (M5S) dim the hope of containing the advance of the ultra-conservatives.

Recent polls by the Youtrend and Cattaneo Zanetto pollsters agreed that if the conservative political formations face a left without the M5S, they would achieve up to 60 percent of the seats, with 240 of the 400 deputies and 122 of the 200 senators.

Both pollsters state that even in the event that the pentastellar movement integrates the leftist electoral proposal, the advantage of the right-wing coalition in Parliament, with 221 deputies and 108 senators, would be maintained.

They consider that even in a third scenario of a broad alliance between the PD, the M5S, Italia Viva, Acción, +Europa, Izquierda Italiana and Europa Verde, the union between FdI, La Liga and FI would have 202 deputies in the Chamber, which It would give him a narrow majority in that area, although it would add only 99 senators.

Letta repeatedly emphasized, in statements to various media, that he rules out any agreement with the M5S due to the role played by that party in the fall of Draghi.

The M5S was certainly the formation that unleashed the crisis, but many observers consider that the opposition position assumed by FI and La Liga, which were also part of his coalition, was decisive in the prime minister’s resignation.

The government alliance, according to analysts, was already uncomfortable. Too broad and encompassing, it brought together practically all the political forces of the left, center and right, except FdI, with all the nuances. It was difficult for one and the other to impose their agendas, so different.

Draghi remained in power for just 17 months, in times of Covid-19, with the country almost paralyzed, but the final months of his term were complex internally and externally.

Inside, an economic crisis derived largely from the pandemic, with rampant inflation. Abroad, the military confrontation between Russia and Ukraine, with its serious geopolitical and economic consequences.

The experts foresaw that the change was approaching and the outcome would hardly be delayed until May 2023, the date scheduled for the general elections.

ULTRANATIONALISM AT THE DOORS OF GOVERNMENT

In that scenario, it was undoubtedly Meloni, from the opposition, who did the most to push the country to early elections, in which he aspires to achieve victory.

The latest Youtrend poll, published on July 29, indicates that the FdI, with 23.3 percent acceptance, is at the forefront of the campaign, a position it has held since the start of the campaign, followed by the PD, which now it has 22.8 percent.

Following the July 27 agreement with Salvini and Berlusconi, respective leaders of La Liga and FI, Meloni has a high chance of becoming the new head of a government with an ultra-nationalist orientation at the end of 2022, given her political positions.

At just 15 years old, as a student, she joined the Youth Front of the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement (MSI) party and in 1996 assumed the leadership of Student Action, in the far-right National Alliance, for which she was elected deputy in 2006.

At just 31 years old, in 2008, she was appointed Minister of Youth by the then head of government, Silvio Berlusconi. In 2012 she founded the Brothers of Italy party, which she began to lead two years later. In 2020 she assumed the presidency of the Group of European Conservatives and Reformists.

His motto in the electoral campaign is “Italy and Italians first!”, and one of the government’s objectives is to put a stop to immigration. He also speaks out against abortion and same-sex marriage.

She is also in favor of renegotiating the European Union treaties and Italy’s membership of the euro monetary community, which is causing concern in that regional bloc.

Meloni, who clearly defends his far-right political orientation, recently stated that “we are building a great conservative party” and those who differ from these ideas within its ranks, “we will treat him as he deserves, a traitor to our cause.”

This threatening speech is questioned even by his allies, such as Berlusconi himself, who stated before the July 27 meeting with Salvini and the leader of the FdI, that with his extremism “he can even scare the moderate right”.

arb/ort

Election campaign in Italy points to the right