the Abruzzo regional elections, the centre far-right coalition, orchestrated by
Interior Minister Salvini, won 48% of the vote by pushing populist topics and tweeting
with abandon; the left alliance managed only 31.3%. In the future, Marco
Marsilio of the Fratelli d'Italia Party, despite the relative weakness of his
group, will hold the influential post of president.
election campaign was heavily dominated by social policy issues. There are no
shortage of these in the Abruzzo region. These issues include social
infrastructure and health care; the noticeable inadequacy of attempts to remedy
the catastrophic earthquake in Aquila in April 2009; and general
infrastructural investment issues covering everything from job creation,
quality of social services, crime and safety, waiting lists in the public
health system and many other similar problems.
right-wing coalition was not short on promises. At national level, they want to
increase national debt in order to finance, at least in the early stages, the
social generosity that they are promising. This is at odds with the wishes of
Brussels. The idea is to introduce what is sometimes presented in Germany as an
‘unconditional basic income’. Many people are of the opinion that this is more
an extended social assistance benefit that has not been available in Italy to
date and which is likely to cost a considerable amount of money.
politics often operates according to its own rulebook: issues are surprisingly taken
up by one side and then suddenly by the other. Observers see a critical
political mass particularly in the combination of social issues that are close
to the citizens and that impact everyday life, such as waiting lists or being
pushed into expensive private treatment, a general fear of the future, dissatisfaction
with the current situation and the usual populist messages.