Classifieds | Archives | Jobs | About TGT | Contact | Subscribe
 | 
Last updated 53 minutes ago
Printer Friendly Version | TGT@Twitter | RSS Feed |
HOME LOCAL MIDEAST ASIA WORLD BUSINESS SPORT OPINION WRITERS
Italy votes for centre-left premier candidate
December 03, 2012
 Print    Send to Friend

ROME: Italy held a primary runoff on Sunday for a centre-left candidate to run as premier in next year’s election — an important ballot given that Italy’s centre-right camp is in utter disarray over whether former premier Silvio Berlusconi will run again.

Sunday’s runoff pitted veteran Pier Luigi Bersani, 61, against the 37-year-old mayor of Florence, Matteo Renzi, who campaigned on an Obama-style “Let’s change Italy now” mantra and attracted many disgruntled Italians back to politics with his call to “scrap” the old political order.

Nearly all polls show Bersani, leader of the main centre-left Democratic Party, winning the primary, since he won the first round of balloting Nov.25 with 44.9 per cent of the vote to Renzi’s 35.5 per cent.

Even before the polls closed on Sunday, analysts were already discussing the potential that Bersani could well be Italy’s next premier.

Nevertheless, Renzi will have won a victory of sorts in knowing that he has forever changed the Italian left.

Renzi’s perceived conservative leanings, while alienating the left’s hard-core communists, attracted Italians young and old who have grown disenchanted with Italy’s political class after a spate of corruption and party finance scandals, analyst Luca Ricolfi wrote in the La Stampa newspaper.

“Even if he loses, as I think he will, he had an important renovation function within the party,” Rome resident Pietro Marucci said Sunday as he voted for Renzi.

Renzi’s style — moving around Italy in a motor home to meet crowds, addressing supporters in just a shirt and tie, no jacket — attracted quite a following and drew inevitable comparisons to Barack Obama.

But some analysts said he was simply not yet ready for the job of running Italy, and that his relaxed, fresh approach to politics isn’t what Italy needs as it navigates through a grinding recession, near-record high unemployment and tries to tackle its enormous public debt of €2 trillion ($2.5 trillion).

“Italy certainly badly needs new faces, fresh faces,” commentator Massimo Franco said. “But I think that between Renzi and Bersani, the big problem is also experience.”

Associated Press
 

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Comments
 
Post a comment
 
Name:
Country:
City:
Email:
Comment:
 
    
    
Related Stories
Italian sex abuse priest hangs himself in sacristy
ROME: An Italian priest who admitted to sexually abusing a young teenage girl hanged himself in the sacristy - the cleric’s changing room in his church - the diocese of S..
Italian president testifies in major mafia case
ROME: Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano gave unprecedented testimony on Tuesday in a major trial that accuses the state of holding secret talks with the Sicilian Mafia..
Renzi compares critics to ‘grumpy pensioners’
ROME: Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi defended his job reform plans on Sunday, comparing naysayers to grumpy pensioners, a day after a mass protest in Rome against th..
Italy mayor wants separate buses for Roma people
ROME: An attempt by an Italian mayor to create a separate bus route for Roma people sparked outrage among politicians on Saturday, who compared the move to apartheid-era ..
Protesters march against Renzi labour reforms
ROME: Demonstrators from across Italy filled the streets of Rome on Saturday to protest against labour market reforms, which the government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi..
 
FRONTPAGE
 
GALLERY
 
PANORAMA
 
TIME OUT
 
SPORT
 
 
Advertise | Copyright