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LA STAMPA

After Brexit And Trump, Wave Of Rebellion Triumphs In Italy

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his constitutional reform referendum are victims of a massive movement of popular discontent, now more global than ever.

'No' supporters protesting in Rome on Nov. 27
"No" supporters protesting in Rome on Nov. 27
Maurizio Molinari*

-Editorial-

TURIN — With massive voter turnout and runaway victory of the "No" camp, Sunday's referendum has revealed the existence in Italy of a kind of popular rebellion that has rejected Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, his proposed constitutional reforms, and the establishment government. The referendum proposal became a touchstone for this protest movement, which had first appeared during last spring's municipal elections that, among other results, saw political outsiders win the mayor offices of Rome and Turin.

Still, any attempt to reduce the expression of this collective discontent — which was registered in every geographic region — as a sign of support for this or that political force would be a serious error.

The "No" votes came from struggling middle-class families, victims of the economic crisis, without hopes of prosperity and well-being for their children and grandchildren. They were the young people unable to find jobs, the working-class who feel threatened by migrants and employees whose salaries simply no longer suffice.

Such a popular uprising is the expression of the same discomfort that produced the Brexit vote in Britain and sent Donald Trump toward the White House. Now it has raised its voice for the first time on the continent, and in a founding country of the European Union.

The immediate resignation of Renzi makes it clear that his successors must come with definite answers to the crisis at the origin of the middle-class protest. Italy needs a new welfare for families facing hardships, a it needs a recipe to reignite economic growth and a formula for integrating migrants. The longer these questions are left unanswered, the wider the protest movement will grow, which could trigger a domino effect of unpredictable consequences. To relaunch Italy, a new government is simply not enough: The popular rebellion must be respected, and its demands must be met.


*Maurizio Molinari is La Stampa"s editor-in-chief

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Society

Jehovah's Witnesses Translate The Bible In Indigenous Language — Is This Colonialism?

The Jehovah's Witnesses in Chile have launched a Bible version translated into the native Mapudungun language, evidently indifferent to the concerns of a nation striving to save its identity from the Western cultural juggernaut.

A Mapuche family awaits for Chilean President Gabriel Boric to arrive at the traditional Te Deum in the Cathedral of Santiago, on Chile's Independence Day.

Claudia Andrade

NEUQUÉN — The Bible can now be read in Mapuzugun, the language of the Mapuche, an ancestral nation living across Chile and Argentina. It took the Chilean branch of the Jehovah's Witnesses, a latter-day Protestant church often associated with door-to-door proselytizing and cold calling, three years to translate it into "21st-century Mapuzugun".

The church's Mapuche members in Chile welcomed the book when it was launched in Santiago last June, but some of their brethren see it rather as a cultural imposition. The Mapuche were historically a fighting nation, and fiercely resisted both the Spanish conquerors and subsequent waves of European settlers. They are still fighting for land rights in Chile.

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