This music video from Italy says about itself:
“Bella ciao” is an Italian partisan song of World War II. The song Bella Ciao was sung by the left-wing anti-fascist resistance movement in Italy, a movement by anarchists, communists, socialists and other militant anti-fascist partisans. The author of the lyrics is unknown, and the music seems to come from an earlier folk song sung by riceweeders in the Po Valley. Another interpretation has been given following the discovery in 2006 by Fausto Giovannardi of the CD “Klezmer – Yiddish swing music” including the melody “Koilen” played in 1919 by Mishka Ziganoff.
From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
The outlook for Italy is grim, but the left can learn from this election
Matteo Renzi’s Democrats, the party of incumbent Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, suffered “not a defeat, but a disaster”, as Daniela Preziosi writes in Il Manifesto, limping in with less than a fifth of the popular vote.
Victory is now being claimed both by the contradictory but chauvinist Five Star Movement, which emerged as the largest single party, and the so-called “centre-right coalition” which brings together the party of sex pest and tax fraudster Silvio Berlusconi, Forza Italia, with Matteo Salvini’s League (formerly the Northern League) and the Brothers of Italy, organisations that flirt more openly with fascism.
We can expect lengthy wrangling as Five Star and the League seek coalition partners in a hung parliament.
The make-up of Italy’s next government is unclear, as is what its attitude is likely to be to the European Union. Both self-declared victors have called for Italy to leave the single currency, though Five Star’s leader Luigi di Maio has flip-flopped on the issue. Inevitable coalition talks will provide plenty of room to ditch awkward promises.
What seems incontrovertible is that Italy’s refugees, immigrant population and ethnic minorities will need solidarity and support in the coming months: mass deportations have been promised by Salvini and di Maio alike, and both have helped feed the growing “culture of hatred and xenophobia” highlighted by Communist Refoundation national secretary Maurizio Acerba following the racist shootings in Macerata a month ago.
What is equally incontrovertible is that anti-racist work on its own will not be enough, but will need to be part of building a socialist alternative.
Renzi’s Democrats, after some initial hesitation, signed up to a number of anti-racist rallies recently, one of which saw tens of thousands take to the streets.
It was not enough to prevent meltdown for a party discredited by attacks on pensioners (the right-wing parties vowed to reverse rises to the pension age that it imposed) and on labour rights (Renzi’s Jobs Act undermined job security, leading to a rise in precarious and short-term work).
It may also have looked hypocritical, given the Democrats’ willingness to indulge in anti-immigrant rhetoric and stigmatise asylum-seekers when electorally convenient.
Coming so shortly after the decision by Germany’s Social Democrats, who also received a drubbing at the last election, to renew the “grand coalition” with right-wing Chancellor Angela Merkel that landed them in this mess, the Italian results confirm the hopelessness of attempting to defeat the far right through socialists aligning themselves with the liberal Establishment.
The cancer of racism can only be cut out if the causes are addressed — and that means ending the supremacy of the market.
The left must offer a new deal which places working people and their families’ needs first through a programme of strengthening workplace rights, empowering trade unions, extending public ownership and redistributing wealth.
Only through such policies do we tackle the poverty, insecurity and anxiety that provide a breeding ground for racism.
It is no coincidence that Britain’s Labour Party, the only mainstream left party in a major European country to offer such a programme, is bucking the trend and leading in the polls.
And if Labour wants to secure and build on that lead, it has to remain “as radical as reality itself” and avoid being house-trained by the British, European and transatlantic institutions which have created the current crisis.
Two months after the Italian elections, all attempts to form a majority government have failed. President Sergio Mattarella announced on Monday night that he will try to form a “neutral” caretaker government to prepare new elections by the beginning of next year. If such a government is not supported by the political parties, new elections could take place in autumn or as soon as July: here.
The far-right Lega (formerly the Northern League) and the protest Five Star Movement presented a 58-page coalition agreement in Rome on Thursday. It is the programme of a reactionary government with semi-fascist characteristics: here.
The attempt to form a government in Italy of the Five Star (M5S) protest movement and the far-right Lega has failed, for the present. Giuseppe Conte, who was commissioned by President Sergio Mattarella to form the government after being proposed by the two parties, returned his mandate on Sunday evening after just four days: here.