Italian Right Gains Ground with Election Victories

April 30, 2008 06:00 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
The return of Silvio Berlusconi and the election of Rome’s first far-right mayor since World War II signal a possible national shift to the right.

30-Second Summary

Rome’s mayoral election, won by Gianni Alemanno with 53 percent of the vote, marks the city’s first shift away from leftist ideology in 15 years.

The election results come in the wake of widespread protest against crime committed by immigrants, specifically those from Romania and Bulgaria.

According to government statistics touted by Alemanno, these groups make an increasing percentage of the nation’s criminal and prison populations.

Rome’s general resistance to these groups was galvanized following the murder of Giovanna Reggiani, a housewife who was killed on a footpath near an immigrant camp late last year.

The immediate response saw one of Rome’s most popular papers call for an “end to tolerance.”

Promising tougher measures to deal with such crimes, and with the immigrant population as a whole, Alemanno campaigned on a platform of “law and order,” declaring that as a part of his sixteen-part “Pact for Rome,” he would force the removal of 20,000 immigrants from Rome, and order the destruction of camps surrounding the city.

Alemanno’s victory also serves as another vote of confidence for Berlusconi, who actively campaigned on the new mayor’s behalf.

This collaboration also spotlights the new working relationship Berlusconi has developed with groups on the far right, many of whom worked with his newly formed People of Freedom party to help secure his national victory.

Headline Links: Election results suggest shift to political right

Background: Berlusconi, Giovanna Reggiani

Reactions: Two-party system in Italy

Opinion & Analysis: Rightward migrations?

Key Players: Gianni Alemanno


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