Italy’s Small Left Rejects Pact, Making Defeat More Likely

Pier Luigi Bersani speaks at a Democratic Party event in Bologna, Italy, February 24, 2012
Pier Luigi Bersani speaks at a Democratic Party event in Bologna, Italy, February 24, 2012 (Partito Democratico Emilia Romagna/Vincenzo Menichella)

Italy’s smaller left-wing party has ruled out a pact with Matteo Renzi’s Democrats, making a populist or right-wing victory more likely in the upcoming election.

Pier Luigi Bersani, a former Democratic Party leader who now belongs to the dissident Democrats and Progressives, has rejected Renzi’s overtures as “theatrics”. Read more “Italy’s Small Left Rejects Pact, Making Defeat More Likely”

Italy’s Leftists Open Door to Necessary Alliance

Pier Luigi Bersani addresses a Democratic Party congress in Rome, January 17, 2013
Pier Luigi Bersani addresses a Democratic Party congress in Rome, January 17, 2013 (Ilaria Prili)

Pier Luigi Bersani, the leader of Italy’s dissident leftist party, has opened the door to a pact with the ruling Democrats, saying, “If they want to talk to us, they must know that they should come with proposals.”

Bersani’s nemesis, Matteo Renzi, who toppled the older man in 2013, called for left-wing unity on Monday.

“There is more harmony with people with whom we have been divided by arguments and controversies than with our traditional rivals,” he argued. Read more “Italy’s Leftists Open Door to Necessary Alliance”

Italy’s Bersani Resigns After Failed Presidential Elections

Pier Luigi Bersani
Italian Democratic Party secretary Pier Luigi Bersani gives a speech in Turin, Piedmont, August 28, 2010 (Francesca Minonne)

Italy’s left-wing leader, Pier Luigi Bersani, is stepping down after lawmakers from his own party voted down the men he had nominated for the presidency.

Bersani, who won a majority for his party in the lower chamber of parliament in February’s election but not in the Senate, where conservatives occupy nearly as many seats, did get right-wing support for his first presidential candidate, the former Senate speaker Franco Marini, but fell short of the required two-thirds majority when some of his own members joined the anti-establishment Five Star Movement in backing leftist Stefano Rodotà instead.

Bersani’s second choice, former European Commission president Romano Prodi, also failed to win the unanimous backing of left-wing parliamentarians and infuriated right-wing leader Silvio Berlusconi, who was twice defeated by Prodi in national elections. Read more “Italy’s Bersani Resigns After Failed Presidential Elections”

Italy’s Left May Have to Let Berlusconi into Coalition

Italian Democratic Party secretary Pier Luigi Bersani gives a speech in Turin, Piedmont, August 28, 2010
Italian Democratic Party secretary Pier Luigi Bersani gives a speech in Turin, Piedmont, August 28, 2010 (Francesca Minonne)

Italy’s left-wing leader, Pier Luigi Bersani, may have little choice but to go back on his word and form a government with former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s conservatives.

Bersani’s Democratic Party won a majority of the seats in the lower chamber of parliament in February but not in the upper chamber, where Berlusconi’s right-wing alliance holds almost as many seats.

The anti-establishment Five Star Movement could also give Bersani a majority, but its leader, Beppe Grillo, had ruled out joining any coalition. Read more “Italy’s Left May Have to Let Berlusconi into Coalition”

Italian Left Restless After Disappointing Election Result

Pier Luigi Bersani
Pier Luigi Bersani addresses a Democratic Party congress in Rome, January 17 (Ilaria Prili)

Florence mayor Matteo Renzi has questioned his party’s leader Pier Luigi Bersani’s attempts to form a government in Italy less than a month after the left failed to secure a majority in both houses of parliament.

Bersani’s Democratic Party won a majority of the seats in the lower chamber of parliament in February but not in the Senate, where former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s right-wing alliance claimed nearly as many seats.

Bersani has ruled out a grand coalition with the conservatives and courted Beppe Grillo’s anti-establishment Five Star Movement instead with a promise to present a program that his members could support. Read more “Italian Left Restless After Disappointing Election Result”

Italy’s Left Issues Ultimatum, Threatens Reelections

Pier Luigi Bersani addresses a Democratic Party congress in Rome, January 17
Pier Luigi Bersani addresses a Democratic Party congress in Rome, January 17 (Ilaria Prili)

Italy’s left-wing leader, Pier Luigi Bersani, has issued an ultimatum to Beppe Grillo, whose anti-establishment Five Star Movement prevented the Southern European country’s largest left- and right-wing parties from winning an absolute majority in parliament last month.

In an interview on RAI state television, Bersani, a former industry and economic development minister who was the left’s prime ministerial candidate in February’s election, reiterated his opposition to either forming a “grand coalition” with former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s right-wing party or propping up another technocrat government like the one led by outgoing premier Mario Monti.

Bersani’s Democrats commands a majority of the seats in the lower chamber of parliament but not the Senate, where Berlusconi holds almost as many seats.

Grillo has 54 senators, who could give Bersani a majority. Read more “Italy’s Left Issues Ultimatum, Threatens Reelections”

Italy’s Left Courts Populists, Rules Out Grand Coalition

Pier Luigi Bersani speaks at a Democratic Party event in Bologna, Italy, February 24, 2012
Pier Luigi Bersani speaks at a Democratic Party event in Bologna, Italy, February 24, 2012 (Partito Democratico Emilia Romagna/Vincenzo Menichella)

Italy’s left-wing leader, Pier Luigi Bersani, has said he is willing to put forward a political program without looking to form a fixed alliance in an attempt to court Beppe Grillo’s anti-establishment Five Star Movement.

Bersani’s Democrats, who won a majority of the seats in the lower chamber of parliament but not in the Senate, are expected to be asked by President Giorgio Napolitano to launch talks to form a government. Read more “Italy’s Left Courts Populists, Rules Out Grand Coalition”

Italy’s Left Rules Out Centrist Coalition After Election

Pier Luigi Bersani addresses a Democratic Party congress in Rome, January 17
Pier Luigi Bersani addresses a Democratic Party congress in Rome, January 17 (Ilaria Prili)

Italy’s left-wing leader, Pier Luigi Bersani, has dismissed the possibility of breaking his alliance with smaller Green and socialist parties in favor of a centrist coalition that includes the supporters of incumbent prime minister Mario Monti.

Bersani, whose Democratic Party is expected to win a plurality of the seats in February’s election, said, “This possibility does not exist,” when asked about sacrificing Sinistra Ecologia Libertà, formerly a coalition of far-left parties, in favor of a coalition with Monti’s supporters.

Unlike Bersani’s own party, Sinistra Ecologia Libertà has not supported Monti’s economic and fiscal reforms. Partly leader Nichi Vendola characterizes the possibility of joining a government that includes Monti as “fantasy politics.” Read more “Italy’s Left Rules Out Centrist Coalition After Election”

Italy’s Left Tops Prime Ministerial Poll, Monti Second

Pier Luigi Bersani speaks at a Democratic Party event in Bologna, Italy, February 24
Pier Luigi Bersani speaks at a Democratic Party event in Bologna, Italy, February 24 (Partito Democratico Emilia Romagna/Vincenzo Menichella)

A CISE survey published in the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore on Sunday found that the country’s left-wing leader, Pier Luigi Bersani, is in the lead to win the premiership.

Incumbent prime minister Mario Monti, who has announced he will contest February’s election leading a coalition of centrist parties, places second. Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is in third place. Read more “Italy’s Left Tops Prime Ministerial Poll, Monti Second”

Bersani Declared Winner in Italian Left’s Primary Election

Pier Luigi Bersani speaks at a Democratic Party event in Bologna, Italy, February 24
Pier Luigi Bersani speaks at a Democratic Party event in Bologna, Italy, February 24 (Partito Democratico Emilia Romagna/Vincenzo Menichella)

Party secretary Pier Luigi Bersani has been nominated as the Italian left’s prime ministerial candidate. His challenger, Florence mayor Matteo Renzi, got just 40 percent of the votes.

Bersani, a former communist who served as minister for economic development in the country’s last left-wing government, emerged as the frontrunner from last week’s first voting round, despite a study showing Renzi to be the more viable general election candidate.

Bersani is popular on the left, but only 35 percent of Italian voters support him compared to 44 percent for Renzi.

With former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s conservatives down in the polls and incumbent prime minister Mario Monti set to step down next year, the left has a clear opportunity to win back control of the government. Read more “Bersani Declared Winner in Italian Left’s Primary Election”