27 September 2023

The vote of April seen from afar

It is interesting to see how the foreign newspapers commented on the Italian elections. We summarize some interventions recorded these days, starting from the headlines: "Vittoria precarious. The leftist coalition is doing it for a nap. Berlusconi contests The result "is of Liberation, while the New York Times writes" Italian vote, American echoes "with a clear reference to the uncertainties that accompanied the electoral victory of Bush in 2000; The independent and the Guardian correlate the vote and arrest of Provenzano and the Titan "end of the race for The Godfather" and "the power passes from hand to Italy. The head of the Chiefs is taken. "

"Chaos in Italy" and "an insult to an intelligent nation. Neither the buffoon Berlusconi nor the fragile Prodi deserved to win "are some titles of the Times, while from Paris Marc Lazar, director of the School of Political Science, says:" The Berlusconi era is perhaps over, but Berlusconism remains and can be present in other European democracies, in an era where fears and individual egoisms prevail. " The German weekly Die Zeit, by the mouth of the director Giovanni di Lorenzo, writes: "Berlusconi's defeat would have eliminated a European anomaly. In No country would it be possible to accept such a conflict of interest '; But he expresses serious doubts about Prodi's ability to cooperate with the Communist refoundation. And always from Paris, Le Monde expresses confidence in the resumption of the European dialogue but fears a deadlock for the assumption of important decisions.

The French economist Jean-Paul Fitoussi shows confidence in the resilience of Italy and, in addition to the economic problem, highlights the deficit of the image that "comes essentially from the fact that in no European country the President of the Council is able To control television and media directly. "

A theme, the latter, taken over by Charles Kupchan, former adviser to Bill Clinton and professor at Georgetown University in Washington, which says: "An American Berlusconi would be stopped by the law, by the rules, by the political ethics that would impose him Put companies in a blind trust, a blind fund. And it is this conflict of interest, which seems to me far from being healed, which weighs for me in the historical judgement on Berlusconi. Then he talks about the rise of populism and nationalism in the USA and in some EU countries, and adds: "The victory of Prodi, albeit a little, suggests a probable opposition to this wave of populism. Perhaps Berlusconi has gone too far, adopting positions and embracing a rhetoric that has proved fatal because of his credibility among the centrists. Whatever the reason, the victory of the centre-left offers an important opportunity to restart Italy and Europe ".

Matthew Kaminski, columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Silvio Berlusconi says: "Nobody can give up for the biggest seller in the country, but his problems in this election campaign are the result of the failure to keep the promise made after the NET victory of 2001: A different Italy, and speaking of a Prodi government adds: "We would like a Blair-style center, but we fear a Schroder-style centre-left. It seems to me that the Union will have too many special interests to defend. Let's face it: Italians, like the French, are afraid of change and free market. and "Farewell of Italy to the salesman Berlusconi" also speaks Matthias narse of Die Zeit, who adds: "Europe needs an Italy that is a modern democracy, liberal and prosperous. We, as neighbours of your country, have always been proud of the extraordinary cultural heritage that has become part of the European family. And, today, we want to be proud of its political culture too. "

Anton la Guardia, the Daily Telegraph, writes that "in the aftermath of the election the sensation is that it does not come out of paralysis and that Italy is destined to remain the sufferer of Europe". The Washington Post, with commentator E. J. Dionne, highlights the political characteristics in common between Italy and the Usa and highlights the symmetrical rift and polarisation itself, and says: "In both cases, fractures within the country will not Solving until the moment when the two strongly polarizing figures – that is, friends Bush and Berlusconi – will not withdraw, both from the scene. " "The affinity that Bush had with Berlusconi," says Philip H. Gordon of the Study Centre on Relations between the United States and Europe–was not only personal, but also philosophical and political, "and then he approaches the name of Prodi to Europe, as many commentators in these Days, and says, "Prodi has made it clear that foreign policy will have Europe as its priority. According to him, it must be Brussels, the partner of Washington, not the individual Member States of the EU. And this is certainly not the American position. "

The British newspapers see in Prodi a Europeanist convinced and fear an approach of Italy to France and Germany to revitalize and enhance the Community institutions; It is not by chance that José Barroso, the current President of the European Commission, declares himself convinced that Mr Prodi will be able to make an appropriate contribution to strengthening the European idea, and of Europe also speaks Juan Luis Cebriàn, founder of El Pais, who highlights the Knowledge of the community mechanisms and the economy that Prodi and says: "His chance is now to play for you Italians the European Charter. After the defeat of the European Constitution, Mr Prodi can reverse the course imposed by Berlusconi, Chirac in Aznar, which led to the current breakdown. With Prodi Italy returns to Europe, but the path will be long.

Of "anti-politics" Berlusconi and his move away from Brussels in favor of an unconditional Atlanticism speaks Dominique Moisi, deputy director of the French Institute of International Relations, and says: "The formation of a Prodi executive would be a good News for Italy but also for Europe: it would be a return to normality after the parenthesis, a little baroque, Berlusconi's style of rupture ". "I have never had it with him-writes Tim Parks, lecturer at the Iulm-indeed I have not sympathized with those who considered it tremendous: but now I really hope that we will not see him again at the head of the Italian government, because in recent months has not been very dignified. Everyone understood that he was fighting to fight his old retirement positions. " And speaking of the center-left, the writer adds that his campaign seemed to be amateurs and that it was not difficult to beat Berlusconi, perhaps with a new man, able to take more modern, incisive positions.

The theme of a split Italy in two also dominates the foreign press review. Moisés Naìm of Foreign Policy writes that "everywhere it is becoming very difficult to put together a majority that allows you to govern independently, as it was frequent in the past", and adds that in this sense "Italy has confirmed the tendency of Western countries split into politics, from the United States to Germany, just to make the most famous cases. " "You are no exception, you are full of the widespread rule." And we end with the founder of El Pais, who observes: "You are certainly not alone: France is split in half, like the United States, Germany and my Spain, Portugal. After the attacks of September 11, 2001 the right, in Europe as in the USA, campaigned with the party of Fear, envising as a nightmare the new, change, reforms. Governing is therefore difficult, but I do not think that the great coalition that Berlusconi seems to propose is the solution. The Programme of the Union of Prodi and that of Forza Italy are different, opposing, and I do not see them as conciliable.

This says the foreign commentators of a campaign just ended and a result that we Italians appear strange and that, instead, is considered in a different way from foreign newspapers. An election campaign that-let's remember-was influenced by television so much that it told the head of the OSCE observation mission that "the coverage of the Mediaset networks was biased in favor of the Premier", and a surprise result that leaves Space for future scenarios that are not easily predictable.

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