Phil Rushton

Letter from Italy

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With Silvio Berlusconi's government embroiled in fresh controversy, new struggles are taking off, writes Phil Rushton.


Photo: Elizabeth Austen

In the months after the election of the Berlusconi government in 2008 an overwhelming sense of gloom took over the Italian left. But in recent months those clouds of despondency have been progressively blown away. That's not to say that there's been a wholesale recovery of the kind of optimism that pervaded the left during the growth of the anti-capitalist and especially anti-war movements between 2001 and 2003, but in the space of a year things have changed markedly.

Looking for a fightback in Italy

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The impact of the economic crisis is heightening tensions in Italy and sharpening the need to reconstruct a political opposition to Silvio Berlusconi.

Last month in Turin the metal workers' union FIOM held a Fiat National Workers' Demonstration. The march, taking place in Fiat's home city, articulated the anger of thousands of workers who had been laid off for a month. They were also protesting against any job losses that may occur as a result of Fiat's acquisition of 20 percent of Chrysler and the proposed merger with Opel.

Letter from Italy

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April saw the right deal a devastating blow in the Italian elections. Phil Rushton looks at the reasons for the defeat and how the left can rebuild

The disastrous election results in Italy have sent shockwaves across Europe. It seems incredible that Silvio Berlusconi is back in with a bigger majority than before and that Italy's defence minister is now a fascist, Ignazio La Russa from the National Alliance.

Rifondazione in Naples

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Round table discussion: a strong movement from below is needed

Chris Bambery and Phil Rushton talked to four activists from Naples just hours after it was confirmed that the centre left had won a majority in both houses of the Italian parliament. Chiara Siani is a member of the national committee of Rifondazione's youth wing. Francesco Locantore is active in Attac Italia. Antonello Zecca is a member of the Naples 18 March Committee for Peace. Fabio Ruggiero is a Rifondazione activist and a supporter of the Sinistra Critica current within the party.

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