EuropeItalian politicsItalyMario DraghiNational PoliticsSilvio Berlusconi

Silvio Berlusconi’s party hit by mass defections as new group gains traction – POLITICO

ROME — Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party has been rocked by a raft of defections to a new center-right political force.

The new group, Coraggio Italia — launched by the independent mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, and the center-right governor of Liguria, Giovanni Toti — said Thursday that they aim “to give a voice to the liberals and moderates not sufficiently represented in the center-right.”

Coraggio Italia already has 24 MPs and seven senators, including 12 from Berlusconi’s party as well as four from the 5Star Movement and one from the far-right League. Of the 945 Italian parliamentarians, just under 250 have changed parties this legislature.

Brugnaro, who runs a human resources business empire with a turnover of hundreds of millions of euros and is owner of a popular basketball team, has been compared to a Venetian Berlusconi in local media.

It’s bad news for the 84-year-old Berlusconi, who has been in and out of hospital in recent months and who suffered a serious coronavirus infection last fall.

Support for Forza Italia has halved from 14 percent in 2018 elections to around 7 percent according to recent polls, with Berlusconi’s health a major concern for what is essentially a personality-based party.

ITALY NATIONAL PARLIAMENT ELECTION POLL OF POLLS

For more polling data from across Europe visit POLITICO Poll of Polls.

Brugnaro told a press conference on Thursday in parliament that he wished “all the best to Forza Italia and other center-right parties,” but that it was time for a new movement to take over.

“Thanks to Berlusconi, he has been courageous, but now we have to look ahead, we are in another era,” Brugnaro said. “We are not against anyone, we say thanks, but we have to look to the future, we need young people.”

The group will continue to support the government of national unity, said its leader in parliament, Marco Marin. “This is a government of the best and deserves to go forward. We are here to help [Prime Minister Mario] Draghi, who is the most capable person.”

Nicola Lupo, director of the Centre for Parliamentary Studies at Luiss University in Rome, said: “Over the past 10 years attempts to set up a structure similar to Forza Italia for a post-Berlusconi-era have intensified. This move now looks like good timing, with the health condition of Berlusconi and a huge government majority, which gives MPs more flexibility to change party.”

“Italy is rowing towards an unknown destination as Draghi has already determined big changes in the political system, and others are likely to happen in view of the presidential election in 2022. If there are changes to the government after that, a group of 25 parliamentarians could be decisive in forming another government, whereas 12 months ago it would have had little impact.”



Due Credit: Efogator.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button