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venerdì 11 maggio 2012


Italy: Greens leader in double digit result in Taranto

Italy also headed to the polls for local elections across the country last Sunday and Monday, with high voter abstention and a decisive defeat for the centre right. The big winner of the day was the anti-politics Five Star Movement party of comedian Beppe Grillo, but in Taranto at least, the Greens were making their mark with a double digit result.
In the southern Italian city, Green party leader Angelo Bonelli secured an impressive third place, with over 12% of the vote in the first round of elections for the city's mayor. The Italian local election system means that voters select candidates for mayor supported by lists consisting of a number of parties. The successful candidate's list subsequently gets 60% of the seats in the local assembly, with the other lists get the remaining seats according to their proportion of the vote, a system that must have been designed to confuse! Bonelli was supported by an electoral list of civic movements from the region, as well as the Federazione dei Verdi, in what is considered one of Italy's most polluted cities. Bonelli managed to carve out a new sector of public support by putting forward Green ideas of how to tackle the environmental crisis in the city whilst transitioning to more sustainable areas of employment. 

The real loser of the election was Silvio Berlusconi's PDL, which took losses across the country, holding only 2 of their former 17 mayorlties after the first round, but all parties supporting the technical government of Mario Monti took a hit, and it was the left and protest party of the Five Star Movement that gained the most from people's anger at the political establishment. 

Seats in all of Italy's assemblies will not be known until after the second round of mayoral elections are complete, so it is unclear as of yet how many seats the Greens have secured across the country. However Bonelli's success, hitting 12% of the vote in a city where they Greens have never been a truly significant force before, is a promising single for the future growth of a Green voice in the EU's fourth biggest member state.