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Italy: A poll that could become a nightmare for the left

Bad news for the Democratic Party in Italy, which has seen Giorgia Meloni's party dangerously approaching them in the polls. Fratelli d'Italia (FdI) seems to be making great strides towards becoming the second largest party in the country after the Lega led by Matteo Salvini.

Published: January 14, 2021, 8:50 am

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    The numbers reported by the latest polls are thrilling numbers (not for the government majority, of course). In particular, the latest result reported by SWG for Tg La7 show how Brothers of Italy are rapidly approaching the Democratic Party. According to SWG, in fact, Giorgia Meloni’s party has reached 17,2 percent, while the Democratic Party collapsed to 19,4 percent.

    One cause of this haemorrhage of votes could be the ever closer government crisis, with the Giallorossi daily in the eye of the storm due to the constant bickering between Matteo Renzi and the premier Giuseppe Conte. As Italian daily LiberoQuotidiano recalled, in the 2019 European consultations the party now led by Zingaretti stood at 22,7 percent while Fratelli had only 6,44 percent.

    The poll also highlighted a slight decline in the League which, while remaining the number one party in Italy, dropped to 23,2 percent. As for the 5S Movement, the group of won 14,7 percent. However, it is the Fratelli d’Italia party that recorded the greatest growth. And this has not failed to cause an upset. “Italy has never known a ‘normal’ right, European and conservative, but only an anomalous right, populist and sovereign, radical and illiberal […] But unfortunately they are unfit to govern the country,” thundered Massimo Giannini, director of the Press, as reported by Libero.

    Giorgia Meloni promptly replied: “Your reasoning seems anomalous to me, given that you are speaking to the president of the party that embodies all Western conservative movements. Evidently the rest of the world does not think like you.” Speaking of a “never demonstrated moral superiority” of the left, the president of the Brothers of Italy explained how it was clear that there was a real attempt by some to decide what the right should be. It’s a pity that “a right that likes the left does not like those of the right, and therefore is destined to be marginal,” Meloni pointed out.

    “I understand legitimate hope, cultivate it as well. What you cannot do is try in every way to demonize the right when it wins, by painting reality for what it is not,” concluded Meloni.

    Now all that remains is to wait for the results of the ballot, provided that Italians are finally allowed to go and vote and express their preferences without reshuffles or governments made up of various temporary managers.

    The announcement by the Minister of the Interior Luciana Lamorgese during in the Chamber about banning the words “mother” and “father” on official documents, has most probably also contributed to the rise of FdI. The words “mother” and “father” will be banned from the identity cards of young people under the age of 14 and reintroduced on the same documents with the words “parent 1” and “parent 2”.

    Matteo Salvini had been instrumental in ensuring the reintroduction of “mother” and “father” on the Italian identity card. “We will defend the natural family founded on the union between a man and a woman,” said the leader of the League in 2019, explaining that his was a “decree that restored organic relations” abolished in 2015 by the Renzi government who had replaced “mother “and” father “on the documents to avoid discrimination against the so-called rainbow families.

    But the Lamorgese explained that the decision followed the EU directive which found that “the [current gender] application of the new provisions has entailed significant critical issues, in terms of data protection and the protection of minors, in cases in which the subjects exercising parental responsibility are not attributable to the maternal or paternal figure, now expressly provided for, and represent the need to adapt the provisions to the regulatory framework introduced by the European regulation on the processing of personal data”.

    The minister then recalled that on October 15, 2020 a further amendment to the ministerial decree of December 2015 was proposed “aimed at restoring the word parents in the electronic identity card issuance discipline, replacing father and mother, for ensure compliance with the regulatory framework introduced by the European regulation”.

    Lamorgese explained that the new ministerial decree scheme has already obtained the agreement of the Ministry of Economy and that of the Public Administration and was now awaiting the opinion of the Data Protection Authority.

    The news announced by the minister had not pleased the center-right. “With all the problems that exist in Italy, the government is concerned with deleting ‘father’ and ‘mother’ to replace them with Parent 1 and 2. The sooner they go home, the better,” was Salvini’s comment on the move by the Interior Ministry.

    Strong criticism of the government came also from FdI. Deputy Giovanni Donzelli recalled that there were other priorities to be put in place, especially in a period still marked by the health emergency and the economic crisis. “In this year in which clandestine landings have tripled and organized crime is profiting from the economic difficulties of Italians caused by an unprecedented economic crisis, the government’s greatest concern is to remove the words father and mother from the identity cards, replacing it with the infamous parent 1 and parent 2,” said Donzelli who admitted that they were “thrilled by what are the priorities of this majority which proves once again that it ignores the real needs of Italy and Italians”.

    “It is pure ideology and it is a colossal lie,” said the ProVita e Famiglia movement. “Attacking the family, the cornerstone of society, can only destroy this country and its healthy growth even more, especially now that with the Covid emergency mothers and fathers are almost alone facing the tragedy of making ends meet and guaranteeing a peaceful future for their children. The family is fundamental and is the only natural environment for the development and well-being of the whole society.”

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      The Italian public wants change, and the longer it is frustrated from voicing its resentment and anger, the greater the change is likely to be. The current COVID-19 pandemic has shut down the country and renders an election in the immediate future impractical, as the government considers extending restrictions to April. The problematic measures taken by the Conte-2 government against the pandemic are just one issue, however, as this article well states.

      The government parties, the PD and M5S, are held in low esteem by the Italian public. The PD seems to be a particular target of dislike by the Italian public, as it seems to be driving most of the unpopular programs by the government as the latter’s dominant partner. The Italian right, and in this case the FdI, are the beneficiaries of this disillusionment of the Italian public with their government and the political parties that support it. The just-announced departure of Renzi’s IV from the government coalition begins a heightened period of uncertainty in Italian politics. Elections may be delayed, but when they are held, the political landscape is likely to change significantly, and in the Italian right’s favor.


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