Italy

Italian comedian Beppe Grillo’s Five-Star Movement joins ranks with the far right

By Marianne Arens and Peter Schwarz, 1 July 2014

The alliance with UKIP is confirmation of the right-wing character of Beppe Grillo’s M5S.

Italy after the European elections

By Marianne Arens, 11 June 2014

The election victory by the Democrats is above all due to the absence of any genuinely left alternative to their right-wing politics.

Italy: “Tsipras List” defends the EU

By Marianne Arens and Peter Schwarz, 15 May 2014

Given the hostility to the EU and the Renzi government, the list "Another Europe with Tsipras" plays a crucial role in preventing the emergence of a left-wing opposition movement of the working class.

Thousands of refugees intercepted off the coast of Sicily

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 26 March 2014

The Italian authorities’ boasting about the recent rescue of refugees in the Mediterranean is a cynical cover for their anti-refugee policies.

Rome at risk of Detroit-style bankruptcy

By Marc Wells, 4 March 2014

Italy’s new premier, Matteo Renzi, has approved a decree that prepares the framework for an unprecedented assault on public workers and services as well as the selloff of cultural assets.

Italy’s new prime minister prepares attacks on working class

By Marianne Arens, 26 February 2014

Combined with rhetoric about uniting the nation, the end of ideological struggles and the courage to make radical decisions, Renzi declared war on the working class.

Change of government in Italy

By Marianne Arens, 15 February 2014

Matteo Renzi has organised what amounts to a palace coup to overthrow his party colleague, Enrica Letta.

Attacks on wages and jobs at Electrolux in Italy

By our correspondents, 4 February 2014

Electrolux intends to close its northern Italian plants unless workers’ wages are drastically reduced.

Italy: Democratic Party chief Renzi attacks Letta government from the right

By Marianne Arens, 31 January 2014

Most recently, Renzi teamed up with Silvio Berlusconi to put Letta under pressure, whom he would like to replace as government leader.

Italy’s “Forconi” movement

By Marianne Arens, 21 December 2013

The main source of support for the Forconi movement comes from farmers, long-distance drivers, traders and small businessmen.

Survivors of Lampedusa tragedy among refugees brutalised in Italian camp

By Robert Stevens, 19 December 2013

Migrants at a camp on the island of Lampedusa were forced to strip naked, in mixed company, and then hosed down by staff.

Renzi elected Democratic Party leader as protests spread across Italy

By Marianne Arens, 12 December 2013

While a wave of protests has hit Italy, the 38-year-old mayor of Florence won the election for leader of the bourgeois “left” Democratic Party.

Italian Senate expels Silvio Berlusconi

By Marianne Arens, 30 November 2013

Prime Minister Letta said the way was now open for the implementation of “reforms” and an austerity budget.

Berlusconi’s party splits in Italy

By Marianne Arens, 19 November 2013

While Berlusconi announced on Saturday his party’s return to the name Forza Italia, Angelino Alfano unveiled a new party.

Italian government crisis remains unresolved

By Marianne Arens and Peter Schwarz, 7 November 2013

Even after surviving a second no-confidence vote at the beginning of October, the Italian government of Prime Minister Enrico Letta is staggering from one crisis to the next.

Italian government adopts austerity budget

By Mariane Arens, 21 October 2013

The so-called stability law 2014 mandates spending cuts of close to €12 billion and tax cuts for business of €3.7 billion.

Middle East wars drive refugee flows, Mediterranean migrant deaths

By Robert Stevens, 15 October 2013

Many refugees who have died off the Italian island of Lampedusa are fleeing imperialist wars in countries like Libya, Syria and Somalia.

Fifty dead as another migrant ship sinks off Italy

By Alex Lantier, 12 October 2013

This shocking tragedy brings renewed attention to the toll in lives from the European Union’s reactionary Frontex anti-immigrant legislation.

Fortress Europe’s rising death toll

By Robert Stevens, 11 October 2013

After the loss of 300 lives in the boat disaster off Lampedusa, the EU is demanding even more measures against immigrants fleeing poverty and war.

Protests mount as Lampedusa migrant death toll expected to hit 400

By Robert Stevens, 9 October 2013

The Italian government is responsible for the deaths of up to 400 migrants off the southern island of Lampedusa.

More than 130 dead after boat capsizes off the southern Italian island of Lampedusa

By Robert Stevens, 4 October 2013

Over the past months, there has been a vast increase in the numbers of asylum seekers attempting to enter Europe via this route.

Italian government survives confidence vote

By Peter Schwarz, 3 October 2013

Rather than a “historic day for Italian democracy,” Wednesday’s confidence vote was a closing of ranks within the ruling class for a fresh assault on the working class.

New government crisis in Italy after resignation of five ministers

By Marianne Arens, 30 September 2013

The Italian government is set to collapse just five months after taking office.

Berlusconi’s party threatens to bring down Italian government

By Marianne Arens, 5 August 2013

Following the conviction of Silvio Berlusconi, his People of Freedom party is threatening to pull its ministers out of the coalition government led by the Democratic Party.

Italy bus crash claims 39 lives

By Stefan Steinberg, 30 July 2013

The Naples crash is the second deadly transport accident in Europe over the last week.

Wave of suicides in Italy as social conditions deteriorate

By our correspondent, 21 June 2013

Suicides related to economic causes have increased 30 percent in the past four years, according to a recent report.

Grillo’s Five Star Movement loses Italian local elections

By Peter Schwarz, 1 June 2013

Many who had voted for Grillo’s Five Star Movement in the parliamentary elections found that he has no answer to the social crisis in Italy.

Beppe Grillo agitates against immigrants

By Marianne Arens, 22 May 2013

On May 14, Beppe Grillo published a racist blog post appealing to far-right forces.

Tens of thousands march in Rome against austerity

By Stefan Steinberg, 20 May 2013

Trade union leaders used a large demonstration in Rome on Saturday to cover their tracks in supporting the recently formed coalition government led by Prime Minister Enrico Letta.

The rotten foundations of the Italian coalition government

By Marianne Arens and Peter Schwarz, 15 May 2013

An appellate court has handed down a four-year prison sentence for tax evasion to former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

No retreat from austerity in Italy

By Chris Marsden, 2 May 2013

Enrico Letta heads a coalition tasked with continuing the savage austerity measures begun under Mario Monti.

A Grand Coalition for austerity in Italy

By Chris Marsden, 29 April 2013

The formation of a Grand Coalition government in Italy shows the degree to which the global financial oligarchy dominates political life.

Italian bank scandal reveals depth of financial crisis

By Mike Jobson, 29 April 2013

Italian prosecutors ordered the seizure of €1.8 billion in a probe of Monte dei Paschi di Siena bank.

Democratic Party’s Enrico Letta will try to form Italian government

By Alex Lantier, 25 April 2013

After two months of crisis following February’s elections, recently reinstalled Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has tasked Enrico Letta with forming a government.

Italy: Napolitano re-elected as president

By Peter Schwarz, 22 April 2013

The reelection of Georgio Napolitano as Italian president is a strictly temporary solution.

Presidential vote heightens political crisis in Italy

By Peter Schwarz, 20 April 2013

The election of Italy’s president, like the previous general election, has exposed deep divisions and bitter power struggles within the ruling elite.

Italy: Bersani, Berlusconi discuss forming coalition government

By Marianne Arens and Peter Schwarz, 12 April 2013

Seven weeks after the Italian election, the Democratic Party and the People of Freedom party are discussing a grand coalition to form a government.

Italian president pardons officer involved in CIA renditions in Italy

By Stefan Steinberg, 10 April 2013

At the end of last week the Italian president, Giorgio Napolitano, issued a pardon to US colonel Joseph Romano who was involved in a CIA rendition operation in Italy.

As government crisis drags on

Italian president appoints expert commissions

By Marianne Arens, 4 April 2013

The ruling class in Italy is desperately seeking to override the election result of February 25 and develop a political mechanism to continue the austerity policies that were decisively rejected by the electorate.

Attempts to form Italian government collapse

By Marianne Arens, 28 March 2013

A month after Italian elections produced a hung parliament, the latest attempts to form a government have collapsed amid mass opposition to austerity.

Italy: Bridgestone wants to close plant in Bari

By Marianne Arens, 19 March 2013

Tyre manufacturer Bridgestone is responding to the declining European tyre market by cutting jobs in southern Italy.

The political significance of Beppe Grillo’s Five-Star Movement

By Marc Wells and Peter Schwarz, 9 March 2013

To understand the rise of Beppo Grillo one must take account the deep crisis of European capitalism and the bankruptcy of the traditional parties of the “left”.

Italian parties endeavor to form a government

By Marianne Arens and Peter Schwarz, 6 March 2013

Italian parties are trying to form a government to continue the austerity measures of ex-premier Mario Monti.

The Italian election: A political watershed

By Peter Schwarz, 28 February 2013

The Italian general election last weekend is a watershed event in the political development of Europe.

Italian voters reject the European Union’s austerity measures

By Peter Schwarz, 27 February 2013

Italian voters have unambiguously rejected the policies of the Monti government and the European Union.

Initial results indicate stalemate in Italian election

By Peter Schwarz, 26 February 2013

The Italian election result presages fierce social conflicts and political upheavals.

In the Italian elections, Rifondazione Comunista emerges as a bourgeois party

By Marc Wells, 12 February 2013

Rifondazione is joining the Citizens’ Revolution alliance of prosecutor Antonio Ingroia, completing its transformation into a bourgeois party.

Former Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi praises Mussolini

By Marianne Arens, 8 February 2013

Italy’s former prime minister used the occasion of Holocaust Remembrance Day to praise the fascist “Duce” Benito Mussolini.

The human cost of Italian austerity

By Paul Bond, 29 January 2013

As the social catastrophe deepens, all parties in Italy’s general election have agreed to impose further austerity measures.

Italy plunges deeper into recession as general election approaches

By Paul Mitchell, 25 January 2013

Italy’s recession will be worse than previously expected this year, the Bank of Italy said last week as it cut its 2013 estimate for economic growth.

Italy: Beppe Grillo’s inexorable move to the right

By Marianne Arens and Peter Schwarz, 24 January 2013

The Five-Star Movement led by comedian Beppe Grillo is regarded as the protest organisation with the best chance of success in the Italian elections.

Monti to lead coalition in Italian election

By Alex Lantier, 31 December 2012

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has announced plans to lead an electoral coalition based on a pro-austerity “Agenda Monti for Italy.”

Italian Prime Minister Monti resigns

By Peter Schwarz, 11 December 2012

Monti resigned for tactical reasons. He is attempting to secure a long-term and stable parliamentary majority for his increasingly unpopular austerity measures.

Italian steel workers fight for jobs

By Marianne Arens, 5 December 2012

Employees of the Ilva steel group carried out demonstrations throughout Italy last week to protest against the closure of the company’s main plant in Taranto.

Sicily elects new regional president

By Marianne Arens, 22 November 2012

Voters’ illusions about Sicily’s new regional president, Rosario Crocetto, are bound to explode as the economic crisis continues to create fertile ground for the Mafia and other reactionary organizations.

Mass demonstrations in Spain, Portugal, Italy against austerity and unemployment

By our reporters, 15 November 2012

Hundreds of thousands of workers took to the streets Wednesday in a number of European countries to demonstrate against rising unemployment and the austerity measures dictated by the European Union and the IMF.

L’Aquila, Italy earthquake: Long sentences for seismologists

By Marianne Arens, 9 November 2012

Seven scientists convicted to long sentences by a court in L’Aquila, Italy are being scapegoated for the disastrous consequences of the 2009 earthquake.

Italy’s ex-premier Berlusconi convicted of tax fraud

By Marc Wells, 5 November 2012

Media tycoon and former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was convicted October 26 of tax fraud in a Milan court and sentenced to four years’ jail time and five years’ ban from public office.

Alcoa workers travel to Rome to protest imminent plant closure

By Mike Jobson, 17 September 2012

On September 10 about 500 Alcoa workers from Sardinia travelled to Rome to protest the imminent closure of their plant located in Portovesme.

Sardinian miners occupy coal mine

By Marianne Arens, 31 August 2012

On Sunday evening over 100 miners began an occupation of the Carbosulcis coal mine, which is situated on the southwest coast of Sardinia.

Italian right wing honours fascist war criminal

By Marianne Arens, 22 August 2012

An Italian town has erected a monument to the notorious fascist, Rodolfo Graziani.

Italian prime minister to cut additional €26 billion

By Marianne Arens, 10 July 2012

The new austerity package of Italian premier Mario Monti agreed last week will cut an additional €26 billion at the expense of the working population.

Earthquakes shake northern Italy

By Marianne Arens, 2 June 2012

An earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale struck the northern Italian region of Emilia Romagna, killing 7 and injuring more than 50.

Italian local elections: high abstention and a protest against austerity

By Marianne Arens, 9 May 2012

Traditional parties and politicians lost heavily in Italian local elections held last weekend.

Italy: The Monti government and the crisis of the Northern League

By Marianne Arens, 16 April 2012

While the Monti government's austerity measures are fueling social opposition, the extreme right-wing Northern League is trying to channel popular anger and despair along racist lines.

Trade unions in Italy play crucial role in the abolition of workers’ rights

By Marianne Arens, 30 March 2012

Italian prime minister Mario Monti knows he has nothing to fear from the unions and Italy’s pseudo-leftist organisations as he introduces his new labour reform.

Hire-and-fire labor reform: A historic attack on the Italian working class

By Mike Jobson, 26 March 2012

On Friday the Italian cabinet approved a reform advanced by the unelected Monti government to scrap Article 18 of Italy’s labor code.

Italian truckers strike against austerity closes Fiat plants

By David Walsh, 17 March 2012

Ongoing protests by Italian truck drivers against the government’s austerity measures and the price of fuel have cut production at several of automaker Fiat’s plants.

Monti government deregulates Italian jobs market

By Marianne Arens, 7 March 2012

The Italian government and the employers’ federation are intent on abolishing the country’s employment protection laws and are relying on the support of the trade unions.

The uncertain future of Pompeii’s extraordinary ruins

By Mark Church, 6 March 2012

The ancient Roman town is in great danger due to years of under-funding and over-exploitation, producing widespread degradation and the collapse of ruins.

More than 60 dead as cold snap grips Italy

By Marianne Arens, 18 February 2012

More than 60 people have died as a result of cold weather and snowstorms in the east and northeast of Italy.

The Costa Concordia disaster and the profit drive of the cruise business

By Martin Nowak, 2 February 2012

Two weeks after the sinking of the Costa Concordia, the dirty side of the lucrative cruise business is increasingly coming to light.

Growing strikes against austerity policies in Italy

By Mike Jobson, 1 February 2012

Strikes and protests continue in Italy after strikes by truckers and fishermen against austerity policies paralysed the country early last week.

Striking truckers, fishermen clash with Italian government

By Mike Jobson, 27 January 2012

Yesterday the government of Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti moved to crush protests by truckers, fishermen, and other professions hit by Monti’s unpopular social attacks.

Aluminum giant Alcoa closes plant in Sardinia

By Mike Jobson, 26 January 2012

On January 9, the aluminum company Alcoa announced the closure of its primary aluminum plant in Portovesme, on the Italian island of Sardinia.

Italian truckers, taxi drivers mount national strike against social cuts

By Alex Lantier, 24 January 2012

Truckers and taxi drivers blocked roads and highways throughout Italy, as protests spread against the social cuts of Prime Minister Mario Monti.

Death toll likely to rise in Italian cruise ship tragedy

By Stefan Steinberg, 19 January 2012

Beyond the role played by the captain, an examination of the broader issues in the capsizing of the Costa Concordia cruise ship suggests that it was an accident waiting to happen.

Eleven dead, 29 missing as cruise ship runs aground in Italy

By James Brewer, 17 January 2012

Rescuers are still searching for survivors in a capsized ocean liner off the coast of Tuscany.

New Italian government tilts foreign policy towards Washington

By Marianne Arens, 6 January 2012

The new head of the Italian government has made significant changes in the country’s foreign policy.

Italian government attacks labour protection laws

By Marianne Arens and Peter Schwarz, 5 January 2012

Just before Christmas the Italian parliament adopted a package of austerity measures totalling €80 billion in cuts, hitting pensioners, workers and the socially disadvantaged.

Far-right fanatic guns down immigrants in Florence

By Stefan Steinberg, 16 December 2011

An Italian author with links to the extreme right shot down two immigrants and seriously wounded three others in Florence on Tuesday before taking his own life.

Italy: Technocrat Monti introduces new drastic austerity package

By Stefan Steinberg, 6 December 2011

In response to pressure from financial markets and European leaders, Italy’s new prime minister, Mario Monti, has moved quickly to introduce new austerity measures.

Italy’s Fiat terminates collective bargaining agreements

By Marc Wells, 2 December 2011

The decision by Fiat’s CEO Sergio Marchionne to terminate collective bargaining agreements starting by January 2012 is an historic attack on basic rights won by workers over decades of bitter struggle.

Italy: The cabinet of Mario Monti—a government of the banks

By Marianne Arens, 18 November 2011

Italy’s new emergency government is a government of big business and the international banks.

Italian “left” supports new Prime Minister Mario Monti

By Marc Wells, 18 November 2011

The appointment of Mario Monti for the post of premiership and the support given by the “left” parties and trade union organizations pave the way to unprecedented attacks on the working class.

Berlusconi and the Italian “left”

By Peter Schwarz, 16 November 2011

The most important factor in Berlusconi’s rise to prominence was the impotence, cowardice and unending betrayals carried out by the country’s official “left” opposition.

Resignation of Italy’s Berlusconi clears way for “technocratic” government chosen by the banks

By Stefan Steinberg, 14 November 2011

The resignation of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi clears the way for the appointment of a “technocratic” government led by the economist Mario Monti, in accordance with the demands of the international banks.

European Union presses for change of government in Italy

By Peter Schwarz, 12 November 2011

Following the example of Greece, Italy is also likely to be governed soon by a technocratic government designated by the international banks.

Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi announces his resignation

By Marianne Arens and Peter Schwarz, 10 November 2011

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi announced his resignation Tuesday evening. He plans to stay in office until the Italian parliament has adopted the austerity measures demanded by the European Union.

Italian government prepares historic attack on workers

By Marc Wells, 2 November 2011

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi submitted last Wednesday a proposal for the so-called “structural reforms for growth.”

New wave of job cuts at Italian Fiat plants

By Marianne Arens, 20 October 2011

Italian unions refuse to organize cross-border solidarity to defend jobs and conditions and back lower wages and poorer working conditions in Italy on condition that job cuts are carried out elsewhere.

Italian government closes refugee camp on Lampedusa

By Marianne Arens, 10 October 2011

The recent closure of the refugee camp on the Italian island of Lampedusa will lead to more deaths added to the list of hundreds who have died trying to escape war-torn Libya.

Italy prepares “left” government of austerity

By Marc Wells, 30 September 2011

In order to continue the assault on workers, the Italian ruling class is looking to the formation of a more “left” government, not affected by Berlusconi’s sordid political and personal record.

Italy moves to secure its share of the booty in Libya

By Marianne Arens, 14 September 2011

Italian business and political circles take for granted their right to decide on the future of the oil and gas wealth of the country’s former colony, Libya.

One-day national strike in Italy against austerity measures

By Marc Wells, 7 September 2011

Hundreds of thousands of workers went on strike Tuesday and took to the streets to protest against the assault on their social rights.

Italian ex-leftists and the new austerity measures

By Marc Wells, 29 August 2011

The response of the Italian ex-leftists organized in Sinistra Critica to the government’s austerity measures reveals their essential approval for the social cuts, their class collaboration and nationalism.

Italy prepares new cuts after stock market panic

By Marc Wells, 8 August 2011

The Italian government is preparing further social austerity measures in response to the Thursday stock market crash and demands from investors for more anti-worker cuts.

Italy: Centre-left opposition supports austerity measures

By Marianne Arens, 27 July 2011

Significant sections of big business are now pushing for an early change of government.

Berlusconi doubles cuts in Italian austerity program

By Marianne Arens, 15 July 2011

Under intense pressure from the financial markets, the government of Silvio Berlusconi announced on Tuesday that new austerity measures were to be enforced more quickly and ruthlessly than previously planned.

Financial markets target Italy

By Ulrich Rippert, 12 July 2011

On Monday the finance ministers of the 17 Euro-zone countries met at a hastily convened emergency meeting in Brussels to discuss the spread of the euro crisis to Italy.