Politics

The Italian traditional left tries to strike back

The political left has nowadays two faces in Italy.

There is the old guard, represented by the trade unions, the Left Ecology and Freedom party and the left wing of the governing Democratic Party.

Then there is new left led by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, post-ideological and more or less comparable to the British labour.

Mr Renzi’s faction, as suggested by the fact that he is Prime Minister, is currently in charge. The old guard is trying to strike back, with trade union leader Maurizio Landini claiming a political role for its organization and the left wing of the Democratic Party, led by former Prime Minister Pier Luigi Bersani, threatening to block Mr Renzi’s electoral bill in the Senate.

However, all this maneuvers look unlikely to outflank Mr Renzi. Mr Landini’s move raised some eyebrows in the trade unions, which traditionally have kept themselves out of politics (nominally at least). Mr Bersani doesn’t look strong enough to influence Mr Renzi.

More generally the old left, after failing for twenty years to check Mr Berlusconi, has gained a reputation of political ineffectiveness which disconnected it from the voters.

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