It is no surprise that anti-immigrant rhetoric is a vote getter. Latest opinion polls show that the Lega of Matteo Salvini, just now threatening to expel the Romani ethnic people, or Roma, has overtaken Luigi Di Maio's Movimento Cinque Stelle, even though in national general elections only three months ago the Five Stars won 15% more than the Lega.
For the past 25 years, on my first day of an introductory history course, I ask students why they hate history. At first, they are surprised and even astonished by my question. But they soon lose their reticence and offer all the usual answers: “history keeps repeating itself;” “we never learn from history;” “history has no importance in our contemporary world or my life.” As professional historians, we have perhaps failed in our duty to fully engage the public with the past. I can’t help thinking of this failure as we witness hour-by-hour the fate of 630 human beings literally adrift at sea in the Mediterranean. Their lives hang in the balance because of the political choices and poisoned culture of contemporary Italy.
When 629 migrants were en route by sea to Italy on June 10, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini declared that no Italian port could accept them. "Saving lives is a duty, but turning Italy into Europe's refugee camp, no," he stated. Spain is to take them in, but the EU is splintered on this.
In a globalized world it is hardly surprising that foreign affairs occupy more political space than ever before. In particular, the new Italian government's overture to Putin's Russia stirs up a hornet's nest.
The magazine you’re holding in your hands is a special edition that celebrates our first five years, with a selection of the best of our articles, interviews, and reporting. The pieces you see here, are almost all print versions of our television stories shown on our “i-Italy TV” program, now also five years old, which airs every Sunday on NYC Life. And our web portal, i-Italy.org, turns 10 in May.
The current political, fiscal and constitutional crisis in Rome, the most serious since the murder of Aldo Moro forty years ago, can only gather steam with the calling of new elections. With the collapse risk of its Palace of Justice and the results of the last administrative elections, the city of Bari in the meantime becomes the mirror of the current Italian political plight. The new elections set for June 10 will be a test of things to come.
Final ratification of a new government requires the approval of President Sergio Mattarella and then a vote in Parliament. Meanwhile, a close reading of the Constitution spells out a new premier's responsibilities.
Until lunchtime Wednesday Italy seemed to be plunging into the year's second round of national general elections. But in a surprising turnabout, Silvio Berlusconi dropped his opposition to a populist government of the Five Star movement and the Lega. The irony is that "what couldn't be done in two months was in a couple of hours."
Sixty days after national general elections in Italy, no government is in sight despite long and tense negotiations among the parties. As the politicians' tempers flare, the long-suffering President Sergio Mattarella is left to seek a way out of the impasse.
President Sergio Mattarella appoints Senate President Maria Elisabetta Casellati to conduct exploratory negotiations for a new government. By way of light relief, in a street art cartoon copying Caravaggio's famous painting politicians are satirized as cardsharps.
Experts here disagree over whether the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China will have an effect on Italy and its economy, and to what extent. In particular, if U.S. wine exports to China decline because of higher tariffs, Italian wine sales may rise even further.
On Thursday, the second day of formal consultations in the Quirinal Palace, the risk of new elections continued to cast a shadow over the talks guided by President Sergio Mattarella. And in a changing Italy its youthful new Parliament just may prove unpredictable.
Despite his party's resounding lead over every other party in Italy, Di Maio's M5S failed to achieve the 40% necessary to gain control of the government -- at least not yet. But on Friday the newly installed 630-member Parliament and 315-member Senate begins electing their presidents, in a notable show of horse-trading and power.
The Macerata shooting of immigrants casts a dark shadow over the forthcoming national general elections, less than one month distant.
A few days ago, while watching Al Jazeera, or was it the dreaded Russian Television Network during lunch, I was not at all surprised to hear that the most-articulate-ever President of the United States of America, or POTUS as some refer to him, had embarrassed us, the Suffering People of the United States, or SPOTUS, again. Unlike his Kenyan-born Muslim presidential predecessor, there is never any doubt that he alone among all others truly says what he means. This time, he was heard muttering something scatologically unmentionable about “depressions into which manure is deposited.”
In his New Year's speech President Sergio Mattarella praised Italy's politicians for having the legislature last the regulation 5 years. But in national general elections that take place in just 60 days, those with "institutional responsibilities" must each do his share, he said.