The plot to topple Berlusconi

Berlusconi says farewell1Much as many were relieved to see the back of Silvio Berlusconi as Italy’s PM during the height of the Eurozone crisis in 2011, the revelations by Tim Geithner should have all democrats including those on the Left deeply worried. EU officials approached the former US Treasury Secretary in November of that year with a plan to overthrow the billionaire media magnate, Geithner recounts in his new published book Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises.

They wanted us to refuse to back IMF loans to Italy as long as he refused to go,” he writes. Geithner told the conspiring Eurocrats them there was no question of obliging. Although the US has quite a record of overthrowing elected governments, in this case he said that much as it might be desirable: “We can’t have his blood on our hands”. Continue reading

Is it all over for Silvio?

Berlusconi says farewell1Is it all over for Silvio? This question has been asked repeatedly over the past twenty years since the billionaire media magnate entered Italian politics. Today the answer has never looked more like a Yes.

On Wednesday the former prime minister was forced into a humiliating u-turn as plans to topple the government by withdrawing his party’s support backfired very badly.

Silvio Berlusconi’s actions prompted a confidence vote but Italian Premier Enrico Letta, from the Democratic Party that since the Spring has been in a ‘grand coalition’ with Berlusconi’s PDL party, won it. The Senate voted 235 to 70 in favour. Continue reading

Italy’s centre-left is dead, long live the Italian Left!

The ‘grand coalition’ between the Democratic Party and Berlusconi’s right-wing People of Liberty party means it’s time to say goodbye to the ‘centre-left’ and hello to a new Italian Left, says Marco Sferini.

For the first time after the death of the Christian Democrats and the Italian Communist Party , the bourgeois forces find themselves politically united in an executive that brings together supporters of the centre-right, the entrepreneurial class, the middle class and even the common people who voted, to no avail, for the Democratic Party having been mislead that their’s was a “useful vote” that would help the Democratic Party beat Silvio Berlusconi and his People of Liberty party. Continue reading

Italy shows the weakness of the European left

The latest general election to take place in Europe, this time in Italy, seems to confirm that the political left across the continent will continue to suffer if it fails to present an inspiring alternative to austerity.

I say seems to – Italian politics and its shifting party names and electoral alliances makes it difficult for a occasional viewer to follow, but the result seems to match trends across Europe.

The Italian centre-left seems to have squeezed a victory of sorts, but it could have and should have done better.

Continue reading

Italy passes hire and fire labour ‘reforms’ but no hope of jobs or growth

The government of Mario Monti has passed labour ‘reforms’ that will make it easier for employers to fire workers.

The vote, after months of haggling in parliament, came as workers and their unions protested against the measures that seek to dump the costs of an escalating crisis of the global banking sector and the Euro on those who can least support them. Continue reading