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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Italy election: Did a Bersani-Grillo alliance just become a real possibility?

Italy's centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani has just held his first post-election press conference. He's clearly not as good at soundbites as Beppe Grillo (or Berlusconi), but this is the gist of what he said:

The centre-left coalition is willing to "take its responsibilities" given that it got most seats in both houses of the Italian parliament;

He said of Beppe Grillo and the Five-Star Movement,
"They used to tell us to 'go home'. Now they're in [parliament] too. Italy is also their country. Let's see what they want to do for their country."
Crucially, Bersani said that, if asked to form the new government, he will put forward a "programme" - basically a to-do list for the next government, including changes to the electoral law, cuts to the cost of bureaucracy and politics in general and new policies for job creation to be discussed at the European level (whatever that means).

His line was that it's more important to "discuss what we want to do for this country" rather than wasting time on "diplomatic" exercises in an attempt to form a 'traditional' coalition.

And that sounds very similar to Grillo said earlier today, i.e. taking a policy-by-policy approach rather than going for a fixed coalition (as opposed to Berlusconi, who seems quite keen on a proper 'grand coalition'). So, could there be some sort of loose Bersani-Grillo alliance emerging?

Still early days...


Kevin said...

Florence mayor Matteo Renzi has had some nice things to say about Beppe Grillo, and Nichi Vendola (and a fair share of PD legislators,I imagine) would probably prefer an alliance with an anti-austerity group. So in many ways, a Bersani-Grillo alliance would be stabilizing (for the center-left, above all) in a way that the long-predicted Bersani-Monti alliance would have been destabilizing.

StevieFinn said...

I sincerely hope the Italians bring the whole of the EU down, simply because, an entity that is willing to force the people of the PIIGS to suffer as they have in order to bailout corrupt banks, deserves to die.

Of course those without empathy who do not mind being part of what is increasingly resembling a psychopathic state will not agree.

jon livesey said...

Reading quotes in Speigel leaves me wondering if Germany isn't even deeper in denial than ever.

Die Welt describes rolling back austerity as "nonsense", as if that is an obvious truth that brooks no debate.

Süddeutsche Zeitung says: "No, it wasn't the austerity-obsessed Germans who forced Italy to tighten its belt." Really? And how exactly did Berlusconi leave office and Monti become PM?

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has what is to me the sanest comment: "....... this election is a signal: half the Italians voted for aggressively anti-European platforms. That's an alarming signal that rings out beyond Itay's borders."