Thursday, May 11, 2006

Will Napolitano experience a Pertini?

Finally, Italy has a new president as well: Giorgi Napolitano (looks a little bit like Toby Ziegler in the The West Wing??!). Yes, he is an old man, just like (almost) all politicians in Italy. But still, I like his track record.

Napolitano fought against Mussolini and was thrown into jail (like Gramsci). He was a crucial advocate of a market-oriented social democracy (a riformista) when the Italian communist party was reformed in the early 1990s. He is a federalist and his autobiography is called "From the PCI to European socialism".

The Swedish journalist Olle Svenning has written an excellent article about Napolitano, and I just had to translate the last part:
Napolitano had, like a Pope, to wait until the fourth round until he was elected president. Berlusconi could not accept a person characterized by tradition, the left culture of the people, and a deep belief in Europe.

Moreover, for Berlusconi, with all his TV-armies, equipped with foolish commercialism, Napolitano's literary and cultural education must appear to be frightening.

After the weekend, Prodi will present the new government. The change of government will follow. Italy will be civilized.

Then Italy will win the World Cup. Just like in 1982, when Sandro Pertini, socialist and deported anti-fascist, was head of state.
In conclusion: We won, "berlusconismo" is over, and the World Cup is around the corner. La vita è bella, anyone?


Anonymous Christian W said...

Very interesting indeed. Two comments are needed however:

First, and most importantly, to say that "berlusconismo" is over may be a bit too early. I don't think Berlusconi will lay back and let the Prodi administration govern in peace, but try to destroy as much as possible. And in contrary to Svenning, I believe Italy is still far from being civilized just because Berlusconi lost the election with 24,000 votes. Rather we have only seen the beginning of the next farce in Italian political history.

Second, and less importantly, "reformisti" actually becomes "riformista" in the singular.

11/5/06 18:58  
Blogger Eric Sundström said...

Good points!
1. This may not be the end of "berlusconismo". It might not even be the beginning of the end. But it is, hopefully, the end of the beginning...
2. My Italian is not that good anymore, so I changed the text right away.

11/5/06 23:42  

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