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TOPIC: italian elections


The New Face Of Populism: Giuseppe Conte, An Italian Robespierre?

The political novice set to become Italy's next prime minister has called himself the 'defense lawyer' of the people. While Conte’s words mirror the aspirations of today’s anti-establishment parties, they also have deeper roots in Western history.


ROME — With a few softly-spoken words after receiving the mandate to form a government by Italian President Sergio Mattarella, the lawyer-turned-politician Giuseppe Conte signaled the beginning of a new era in Italian politics. "I will be the defense lawyer of the Italian people," he said to the cameras. "I'm ready to do this at any cost."

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A True Political Revolt In Italy? Start With A Woman Prime Minister

Electing a first-ever prime minister could resolve the current Italian post-election impasse, and send a message abroad.


TURIN, ITALY — After the March 4 election indicated a strong desire for change and renewal of the Italian political class, the time has come for Italy to nominate a woman as prime minister for the first time in its history. More than half of Italian voters opted for anti-establishment parties, and regardless of the outcome of the fraught negotiations set to begin this week, electing Italy's first-ever female prime minister would indisputably be a strategic choice.

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After Brexit And Trump, Italy's Urban-Rural Divide Deepens

Like the the UK and U.S. election surprises before, Italy's recent populist triumphs marked a revolt by voters outside the major urban centers.


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Inside The Right-Wing Stronghold That Elected Italy's First Black Senator

Voters in the northern town of Spirano helped put a hardline conservative in the senate. Only the man in question —Toni Chike Iwobi — is an immigrant from Nigeria.

SPIRANO — More than a week after a divisive election that handed half of the vote to anti-establishment parties, Italy is still mired in a political crisis that continues to raise serious questions about the nation's identity. Spirano, a small town northeast of Milan, is no exception.

The two big winners of the election were the populist Five Star Movement, which swept southern Italy, and the anti-immigrant League party, which won big in the north as part of a right-wing coalition. Both parties railed against immigration during the campaign which in Spirano, allowed the League to win over most of the town's 6,000 people. But that's only part of the story.

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Maria Corbi

In Southern Italy, Where Populist 5 Star Movement Took Off

In Sunday's stunning national elections, the former leftist stronghold near Naples joined the outsider revolt against the political establishment. What comes next, however, is still not clear.

POMIGLIANO D'ARCO — This gritty town north of the Mount Vesuvius volcano is home to several automobile factories on the outskirts of the southern city of Naples. In Italy's parliamentary elections last Sunday, the people of Pomigliano d'Arco stood firmly behind Luigi Di Maio, the young leader of the Five Star Movement, giving him over 60% of the vote.

Pomigliano was but one dot in a sea of yellow, the color of a Five Star Movement that swept the surrounding region of Campania and the entire south, winning a third of the votes nationwide and the mantle of Italy's most popular party.

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Jacopo Iacoboni

Italy, Old And New Avant-Garde Of Global Populism

From both the left and right, populist leaders in Italy are again at the forefront of the movement around the world.

TURIN — Italians went to the polls in a closely-watched election Sunday, and voters took a decidedly populist bent. As final ballots are tallied, a total of 50% of the vote went to either the populist Five Star Movement or the right-wing League, two parties that share a distaste for the Italian establishment and the European Union.

That result has drawn admiration from populist leaders around the world. Marine Le Pen celebrated on Twitter, calling it "a bad night for the EU." Steve Bannon, the former chief strategist to President Donald Trump, arrived in Italy a few days before the end of an election campaign season he glowingly defined as "pure populism."

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Nicola Pinna

Italian Elections: Using 'Guerrilla Art' To Change Immigration Debate

Anti-immigrant rhetoric has become increasingly commonplace as political forces jockey for position ahead of this Sunday's national elections.

TURIN — Their faces adorn election posters seen throughout the cities of Italy last week, inviting citizens to "vote for them." But the people depicted — Jasvir, Michael, Anayet, Mamhut, Zhang, Rahaman, Viltus, and Ali — are not candidates in the upcoming national elections, on March 4. They're immigrants, from all walks of life, chosen by Italian artists for a public campaign to protest the anti-immigrant rhetoric so prevalent in this election season.

Italians will go to the polls for the first time since an inconclusive vote in 2013 led to a grand coalition between the center-left Democratic Party (PD) and center-right parties under Enrico Letta. The deal collapsed later that year over a tax hike and Letta himself was ousted by PD leader Matteo Renzi in early 2014. Renzi presided over a slow economic recovery from the eurozone crisis, but his tenure also saw a spike in migrant arrivals on Italian shores.

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Paolo Mastrolilli

Report: Proof Russians Trying To Influence Italy Elections

Five Russian-linked Twitter accounts are clearly favoring anti-establishment Italian parties Five-Star Movement and Northern League ahead of March 4 national elections.

TURIN — A social media operation to influence the Italian general election on March 4 is well underway, according to a report obtained by La Stampa from an international expert on Russian interference in elections around the world. The report links this campaign to Russian operatives and identifies five Twitter accounts used to spread political propaganda ahead of the elections: @DoctorWho744, @CorryLoddo, @lucamedico, @Outis2000, and @Franco SuSarellu.

All five accounts shared pro-Russian content, as well as posts that strongly backed the anti-establishment Five-Star Movement and the right-wing Northern League, two Italian parties previously suspected of having links to the Kremlin. The accounts stand out because they do not behave like those of real Twitter users. They send tweets at all times of the day, posting constantly from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. One account went from an average of 15 tweets a day in 2015 to 105 in 2016, reaching a high of 125 a day last year.

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