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In September, two months after the collapse of the government of Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Italy held snap elections. Draghi, head of the European Central Bank between 2011 and 2019, took power in February 2021. His government was a technocratic “top-down” solution in the name of “national unity” to the political crisis facing Italy, and depended on a fragile balance of a very heterogenous coalition of parties.
In the elections on September 25, the right-wing bloc surged to victory, as expected. This coalition, led by far-right party Fratelli d’Italia under Giorgia Meloni, won 44 percent of the vote. The coalition also included parties led by other prominent right-wing politicians, like Silvio Berlusconi of Fuerza Italia and Mateo Salvini of the Lega party. The center-left coalition got just 26 percent of the vote.
However, the real election winner was abstention: at least 36 percent of eligible voters in Italy stayed home and did not cast a ballot for any party.
In this episode of All That’s Left, Giacomo Turci, an editor at Left Voice’s sister publication, La Voce delle Lotte, and a leader of the Revolutionary Internationalist Fraction in Italy, discusses the results of the elections, why the Right managed to win such a decisive victory, how to characterize the Meloni regime, what tasks lie ahead for the Left in this next period, and other important topics for understanding Italy at the present conjuncture.
Importantly, as Giacomo notes, the rise of the Italian Right did not happen in a vacuum, and cannot be placed only at the feet of Giorgia Meloni. Rather, the policies of the Draghi government, and also of the center Left, have paved the way for the rise of these reactionary forces. The Draghi government and center-Left parties offered no alternative, no substantial change, and no solutions to the crises facing Italy.
Instead, as Giacomo explains, these crises can only be solved in favor of the working class and oppressed with a fight for class independence, breaking with the dictatorship of the capitalists.
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