Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Italy Leads the Way in the Revival of the Right in Europe

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Italy Leads the Way in the Revival of the Right in Europe

Article excerpt

People talk about a revival of the right in Europe, but there is no European right, as such. There are a number of rightist movements, and they are individually different. Some are nationalist, some racist, some fascist, some populist, some entirely reasonable.

Italy now has a government resulting from wholesale rejection of the corrupt system previously in power, following an electoral campaign of television-driven populism, northern separatism and a neo-fascism that prefers to be called post-fascism.

France has a structured and clearly defined right-wing movement whose issues are nationalism and hostility to immigration and immigrants. It is stuck at something like 10 percent of the national vote.

Germany has an all but completely unstructured racialist "skinhead" Right that is violent, even murderous, together with a legal nationalist Republican Party, which wins some 7 percent to 13 percent of votes locally but has failed completely to take off nationally.

In eastern Germany, the social crisis experienced since unification has produced a dangerous alienation among a part of the younger population, for whom "fascism" sometimes seems a salutary response to the sterility and oppression of the communist system.

The German Republican Party of Franz Schoenhuber won 7 percent of the last vote for European Parliament deputies - an election that is not taken very seriously anywhere in Europe, even in Germany, since the European Parliament has few powers.

Italy is the only place today that has a modern right.

The rightist coalition led by Silvio Berlusconi won an overwhelming victory in Italy's parliamentary election this spring, making the argument that as a successful business entrepreneur and manager, Berlusconi can create an uncorrupt and dynamic Italy. His allies in the separatist Northern League said that the north of Italy makes the wealth that the politicians of southern Italy dissipate, and that this must end.

Berlusconi's other ally, the neo-fascist party called the National Alliance, also ran against the corruption in past governments, but its electorate was distinguishable from those of Berlusconi and the Northern League by its interest in authoritarian and nationalist themes. …

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