Electoral boost for Italy’s far-right as centre-left alliance crumbles | Italy

A centre-left Italian alliance has crumbled less than a week after meeting, potentially handing victory to a coalition that includes two far-right parties as the country prepares for general elections in September.

Carlo Calenda, the leader of Azione, a small centrist force seen as crucial in lending weight to an alliance led by the center-left Democratic Party (PD), withdrew his support on Sunday after PD leader Enrico Letta , signed a separate electoral agreement with parties including the radical left group Sinistra Italiana and Europa Verde, a green party launched last year.

“I reached an agreement with Letta on the idea that an alternative Italy is possible,” Calenda said during an interview on Rai Tre. “Now I find myself standing alongside people who voted without confidence in [the prime minister] Mario Draghi 54 times… This coalition was made to lose. The choice was made by the Democratic Party. I can’t go where my conscience doesn’t take me.

An alliance led by Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy, a party with neo-fascist roots, and including Matteo Salvini’s far-right League and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, is currently on track to secure a clear majority in the September 25.

The PD is neck and neck with Frères d’Italie in the latest opinion polls, but even in partnership with Azione, the group’s latest poll is 33.6%, against 46.4% for its right-wing opponents.

“Unless there is a miracle, the left cannot win… The right has the election in its pocket,” said Roberto D’Alimonte, professor of politics at Luiss University in Rome. .

Letta and Calenda had pledged to form a government based on a “Draghi agenda”, essentially continuing a reform program initiated by the administration of the former head of the European Central Bank, which collapsed last month.

Calenda was upset by Letta’s electoral deal on Saturday with Nicola Fratoianni, the head of Sinistra Italiana, and Angelo Bonelli, who heads Europa Verde.

Sign up for First Edition, our free daily newsletter – every weekday morning at 7am BST

“These are people who never voted for Draghi,” D’Alimonte said. “And last week they voted against Sweden and Finland joining NATO. So it was exactly the opposite of what Calenda and the PD represent. How could such a coalition bridge the gap with the right if it is so ambiguous and contradictory?

Political parties have an additional seven days to present their alliances before a deadline expires. Asked what options are left for the left wing, D’Alimonte replied: “They can take a vacation.”

Meloni, who could become Italy’s first female prime minister, poked fun at the rift left, saying Calenda’s exit marked “a new twist on the soap opera”.

About Wanda Reilly

Check Also

Catalan separatists to hold rally amid infighting

By JOSEPH WILSON, Associated Press BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Catalan separatists will hold a rally …