Why Should Americans Care About Italian Politics?

1780796_10202263975694899_1208989825_nThe answer is simple: why not? Italy is the fourth largest economy in Europe, as well as the ninth largest economy in the world, at least according to the IMF and the World Bank. That means that, as far as logical arguments go, if Italy’s economy collapse, EU’s economy will follow suit. And, by syllogism, American’s economy will also almost immediately deteriorate as well, given the fact that the European market and the American one are strongly interconnected to one another.

The problem is that, during the last two years – while the rest of the world was busy talking about the economy, Obama and the Russian Olympics – Italy has already changed two governments and is now going to witness the arrival of yet another Prime Minister. And bear in mind that this is probably not going to be an ideal Prime Minister.

The love story between former Premier Ennrico Letta, 47, and the Democratic Party ended on Valentine’s day, after just ten pretty difficult months. The Partito Democratico led by Matteo Renzi,39, has in fact sponsored his boss’ call for a new and “more courageous” executive during the course of a chaotic meeting held on Thursday, February 13. The assembly was overwhelmingly in favor of Renzi’s proposal (136 votes against 16).

Enrico Letta was forced to submit his resignation to Head of State Giorgio Napolitano, 88, on Friday afternoon, opening the way for “Demolition Man” alias Matteo Renzi, who recently tweeted: “a simple and courageous country: let’s try.”

Renzi has been harshly criticized by other leftist politicians who pointed out that he is way too young to cover the Prime Minister’s post. Renzi’s detractors argue that you cannot become Premier after having covered “only” the position of Mayor of Florence (with uncertain results): the gap between the two posts is too wide, just like the distance between Palazzo Chigi in Rome and Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. But Renzi’s rationale for ostracizing Letta out of business was in fact simple as well as courageous, as his tweet suggested. It was a huge leap in the dark. Basically, the Democratic Party leader argued that Letta’s executive has failed to meet Italy’s economic and political needs.

“After having taken into account the political situation and the most recent developments…”, read the PD’s document, “…the Democratic Party’s leadership observes the necessity and the urgency to open a new [political] phase through [the introduction of] an executive that will have the political strength it takes to face this country problems.”

Some called this a political blitzkrieg. Or, like Berlusconi put it: “an opaque” seizure of power. But the truth is that Renzi has been carefully working at his move for months now: the opportunity was too good to be left, and times were ripe. However, there is an idiosyncrasy between Renzi’s desires and Italy’s needs. The quirk reflects the political distance between Brussels and Rome. Italians are better off without Angela Merkel’s hidden guidance, but Europe is better off without Renzi’s subconscious anti-European drive.

The new champion of the Italian Left is an admirer of Barack Obama.  And that is the least of your problems, my dear Americans. Would you rather have a good leftist (provided such thing ever existed) or a bad one? Because some say that Matteo Renzi is not just a leftist: he is also a confused leftist. And he will be the third consecutive “unpopular” Prime Minister of our country: after Mario Monti and Enrico Letta. Matteo Renzi will make an “unpopular” Premier not just because he is the leader of a problematic Leftist party but also in the very sense of the term: because he wasn’t elected by the Italians. Yes, Renzi easily won the elections to become PD’s number one man, but – like political commentator Cesare Marinetti writes on La Stampa: “the PD is not Italy and neither is the party that won the elections”.

So, is this Matteo Renzi really going to make a horrible Prime Minister? Nobody can tell for now, but – at least according to Giuliano Ferrara, the well-known editor in chief of “Il Foglio” – Renzi will in fact make a better Prime Minister than Enrico Letta. Ferrara is all about lesser evils; he seems to be convinced that, while Letta was only a “lottery winner” (in the sense that he was lucky to become Prime Minister), Renzi is at least “the winner of a political struggle”. Now, Ferrara is a conservative commentator and the fact that he gives credits to Renzi has to do with the fact that he is also a long-time Berlusconi supporter. Berlusconi and Renzi disagree on almost everything, but the Italian electoral law, which must be changed according to both of them. Berlusconi has nothing to lose and everything to gain if Renzi becomes Prime Minister. And if Berlusconi makes a come-back into Italian politics, Renzi has nothing to lose either: he knows that Il Cavaliere is nowadays an almost innocuous political subject, and it will make a much more malleable opponent  than Beppe Grillo, anyway. Speaking about Grillo: the subversive leader of the Five Stars Movement doesn’t like Renzi, not in the slightest: he defined Renzi as a “unscrupulous careerist” and as a “friend of Berlusconi”. And that’s possibly the best sponsorship Renzi could get: if Grillo dislikes you in any sort shape or form, than there’s a great chance that you aren’t so bad, after all.

Grillo’s destabilizing movement is certainly the worst thing that has happened in Italy, from a political point of view, during the course of the last five years. The 5SM political program is preposterous, its economic program is laughable, its electorate is composed by radical anarchists, proto-fascists and anti-Semites.

Italy cannot waste any more precious time with Grillo’s movement. And that is perhaps the sole valid reason for supporting a new leftist Prime minister right now, since Renzi is opposed to Grillo, of course. It isn’t much, but it is all Italians can dream about nowadays. And that’s another reason why Americans should really care about Italian politics: ideally Americans should try and orchestrate another Marshall Plan, but this one should do a better job at contrasting Italy’s problematic inclination towards anti-social and anti-economic ideologies such as communism, socialism and the likes. Remember that Americans had nothing lose and everything to gain from the original Marshall Plan.

And keep also in mind that Italians aren’t stupid, they are just victims of socialist public schools and universities. If they could only grasp the fact that there’s absolutely nothing good in the ideas of the Italian Left and that, accidentally enough, the Italian Left has been in trouble since the demise of the Russian Communist Party, maybe they could finally find their way out of this diabolical catch-22. But in order to do that they need American ideological support.

You don’t really want to quote the New York Times when it comes to Italian politics, but they got one thing right this time: the PD is not new to internal struggles and its exponents are indeed concerned about the fate of Italian politics, especially since European elections are only two months away. And if you think European elections won’t influence American politics at least to some extent, think twice: for every political action there is an economic reaction. And spare a thought for the faith of Italian politics as well, if you don’t mind.

A shorter version of this article was previously published on Pj Media

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Andrea Loquenzi Holzer

The truth will set you free

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