March 29, 2013 – The gridlock in Italian politics just got a bit tighter as Beppe Grillo, leader of the Italian anti-establishment Five-Star Movement party announced he would not endorse either the centre-left party of Pier Luigi Bersani or the centre-right party of former Premier Silvio Berlusconi so that an empowered government might be formed.
The results of the last Italian general election created an equal division amongst the three parties in the formation of a government, which meant that negotiations and discussions among the parties would be required to avoid another general election.
Beppe Grillo is a former comedian and entertainer, whose disillusionment with the entire Italian political landscape, especially after the years of perceived Berlusconi Inc. corruption, led to his formation of a protest party that has been supported by a significant quantity of the Italian population who feel the same way and share Grillo’s frustrations.
The Five-Star Movement (FSM) is a political movement, newly created as an anti-establishment party and in direct protest of the reigning political entities. And much as the newly-formed Party of Citizen’s Rights (SPOZ) in the Czech Republic created under the same circumstances by Milos Zeman, and other citizen’s movements organizing for the same purpose across the world, the FSM is receiving immediate support and success – much to the dismay of those dependent on the current political hierarchies.
The next step in the Italian process will be for current President Giorgio Napolitan to meet with the different representatives and determine if there is enough common ground for a way forward to be possible, or new elections will be required.
Another possibility is the continuation of the temporary government Mario Monti had presided over since 2011 – but Monti only received 10% of the popular vote in the last election, running a distant fourth. However, despite refusing to vote in confidence of a government formed by either of the two establishment parties, Grillo’s movement has indicated that it would support the continuation possibility.
On his blog, Grillo also made it clear that he does not believe that a formation of a government is even necessary for parliamentary representatives to pass laws and legislation.
“Parliament is sovereign, or at least it should be,” he wrote. “We don’t need a government for a new electoral law, or to enact urgent measures to help small business or to cut funds from the provinces.”
Making matters even murkier is the fact that Presidential elections are due to be held in mid-May, at the conclusion of Napolitan’s seven-year term and under Italian law, only the President can dissolve Parliament.
Apparently, some of the discussions and negotiations among the three top parties to form government have included possible arrangements as to who the next President should be – further infuriating the FSM supporters who see that as being just another example of democracy being taken out of the people’s hands.