After days of constant negotiations, intense political debates and various strategic actions taken from all the leading parties, the Italian Parliament has finally reached consensus and decided to re-elect current President Giorgio Napolitano. He is to serve a second term in the interest of minimizing the political crisis that is striking the country for the past couple of months.
The above-mentioned re-election has also historical importance for the recent Italian parliamentary history, since it is the first time in the post-war period that a president is selected to serve for a second term. However the anticipated political stability after the resolution of the problem of electing a president did not bring the expectable outcomes but functioned more as a chain reaction for new “political adventures,” this time in the field of the political parties.
After five unsuccessful electoral attempts to find a mutually accepted candidate, Giorgio Napolitano managed to get 738 out of 1007 votes from the regional representatives and the parliamentarians during the sixth and — as it is defined by the Italian constitution — final election. This process has significantly wounded the center-left Democratic Party (PD) since its members did not support the official candidates who have been proposed by PD, by capitalizing on secret ballots and leading its leader Pier Luigi Bersani to announce that he will walk out PD after the election of the President. Enrico Letta, who is the deputy leader of PD, announced that apart from Bersani, the whole of the executive committee of the party has resigned, signifying that vast changes should be expected in the center-left field.
Although the result of the Italian elections was very much volatile, giving to all parties more or less the same percent, PD was still the largest force in the political arena. However the center-left could not cope with Silvio Berlusconi’s strategic supremacy, leading Bersani to systematic failures in tactics. On the other hand, Silvio Berlusconi and his center-right coalition (PDL) are watching their performance improving by leading opinion polls and are expected to play a crucial role in the formation of a wide-coalition government, that will incorporate PD, PDL, and the political party of the technocrat Mario Monti.
Conversely, the strongest player and the one to reshape the political agenda was not else than the leader of the “Five Star Movement” Beppe Grillo. On the blog that he keeps, which is the main source of information for his proponents, Grillo used vitriolic language and accused the systemic parties to be cooperating not for the sake of the Italian society but for perpetuating a problematic and challenging situation that keeps Italians unemployed, apprehensive, and in dire financial straits. Grillo described the moment as being very much decisive and asked people to protest out of the parliament and to show that the political framework should be altered drastically.
Beppe Grillo, who is still one of the biggest fears of the German government and the Euro Zone financial leadership, is expected to see his percent skyrocketing given that there are many citizens in Italy who do not support the re-election of a well-experienced but old president, who used to be a part of the political system that brought the country to recession.
Additionally, there are many voices against the “flexibility” of the political parties to co-operate when there is an imminent failure in the elections and not for the survival of the Italian economy. One thing is certain: the following months are going to be of paramount importance for the contemporary Italian political history.