Sunday 22 March 2009

Uniting the Italian Right

The right wing party Alleanza Nazionale will merge with Berlusconi's governing Forza Italia to form a new centre-right political party (called "People of Freedom", if I've understood the article correctly). (Here in German). The party will be launched in a 3 day conference in Rome, starting on the 27th March.

The AN have been in alliance with the FI since 1995, so it seems to be the culmination of a long process of integration. Perhaps the AN has modernised and become more moderate over the years, but with the increasing harshness of policies aimed against the Roma, it is hard to see a moderation in the attitudes of modern Italy from outside. So will having the AN inside rather than outside make it easier to govern more moderately if desired? There'd be less chance of members breaking away and damaging the government's majority, but at the same time it could make the senior coalition partner itself more right wing.

Since the AN are a big part of the UEN, the end of the AN (FI MEPs are in the EPP-ED group) along with the departure of Fianna Fáil, could mean that there will be enough leftovers for the Tories to attract in order to form their new EP group. It's definitely the end of the road for the UEN, anyway.

Also in the news is the annual march against the mafia.

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