Giorgio Cremaschi* on the local elections in Italy on May 6-7
In the midst of economic and social crisis and the devastation of the rights and future of workers and unemployed, local elections have suddenly appeared. Viewed from the point of view of social reality, there’s something fraudulent about them. The Democratic Party, the centrist parties and Berlusconi’s party all agreed on raising the pension age to 70, on the catastrophic change to the constitution through the introduction of a balanced budget [ratification of EU fiscal austerity compact], on the Europeean Agreements with Merkel and Sarkozy, on the destruction of Article 18 [job protection code].
They agree on the IMU [property tax on first homes], on taxes on payroll and pensions. They agree on all the important things, yet the main parties supporting the Monti government in this election pretend to clash, they fight and oppose each other to win power in local government. We don’t want to enter into the merit of the mayoral candidates, they each have their own history, their own legitimacy. Instead we want to debate the role of the governing parties. A role that foreshadows in this election the parliamentary elections of 2013. Elections that, if something doesn’t happen, will likely be the falsest in the history of the Republic.
The Monti government, in fact, is already working hard on the next government, and those further down the line, to ensure continuity of economic policy. He does so with international agreements in Europe such as the fiscal compact, with counter-reforms of the labour market, with counter-reforms of pensions, with liberalization and privatization. It ‘s ridiculous to think that this is an emergency government. This is a constituent government, which is preparing the programme for future governments, provided of course they accept that continuity.
This continuity can only be broken electorally by hitting all the forces that support the Monti government, creating a new political framework. A policy framework to prevent the continuity of economic policies that have brought Greece, Portugal, Spain to the disaster, Italy on the edge of one, and all of Europe into recession.
To achieve this change it is to be hoped that, from France, there is a break with the Europe of Monti, Merkel and Sarkozy. And the rupture extends across the continent. So we make an appeal not to vote for any of the parties supporting the Monti government. Don’t vote for them in these local elections and let’s prepare not to vote for them in the parliamentary elections. Not voting for ABC (Alfano, Bersani, Casini – [leaders of the main three parliamentary parties/groupings) is a concrete way to say no to Monti and his disastrous policies.
*Giorgio Cremaschi is a left activist and a senior figure in the Italian metalworkers union FIOM
NOTE: There will be elections on 6-7 May in Italy in just over 1,000 communes. Among the candidates are those put forward by parties not represented in parliament, and who oppose Monti’s social and economic policies, including Communist Refoundation. Italian readers can check out who is standing here