Socialist Worker

Italian election stalemate is a rejection of austerity

Published Tue 26 Feb 2013
Issue No. 2342

European stock markets panicked as results of last week’s Italian general election were announced.

A stalemate between the centre‑left and centre‑right blocks threatens instability­—and a government that cannot implement austerity.

Silvio Berlusconi, the billionaire former prime minister, failed to get re-elected.

Mario Monti, the unelected technocrat who replaced him, came a distant fourth.

His year of cuts had made him popular with other European politicians, but not with Italy’s workers.

An alliance led by Labour-type social democrat Pier Bersani, scraped into the lead.

But it falls far short of a majority in the senate.

The only party with anything to celebrate was the left wing, anti-corruption, Five Star Movement.

Led by former comedian Beppe Grillo, this new party picked up a quarter of the votes.

This is more than any other single party.

A government had yet to be formed as Socialist Worker went to press.

But a minority government or a broad coalition would struggle to implement the stability and austerity the markets and European establishment are demanding.

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Tue 26 Feb 2013, 16:52 GMT
Issue No. 2342
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