Even if the final count varies somewhat, this is shows that a left party alliance (Pier Luigi Bersani's group) couldn't pull a third of the votes during a depression with Italy suffering from German-imposed austerity; it surely doesn't help that Bersani's group buys into the "respectable" support for German Chancellor Angela "Frau Fritz" Merkel's austerity dogma.
Silvio Berlusconi, who is a jerk even by the standards of jerk-y politicians and who was backed by the rightwing-radical Lega Nord, pulled nearly as many votes as Bersani's alliance. Berlusconi struck a more anti-EU posture. And a comedian, Beppe Grillo, running on a vague protest basis, got a quarter or more of the votes.
Frau Fritz' satrap Mario Monti, who dutifully imposed the German austerity plan on Italy, barely topped 10% of the vote. He may want to emigrate to a country where he won't be hated by the vast majority of his country for the rest of his life.
Pablo Ordaz in Las urnas conducen Italia al atolladero El País 26.02.2013 isn't very cheerful about the election results in Italy. The piece opens with, "Italia no se deja gobernar." ("Italy will not allow itself to be governed.") If they weren't allowing themselves to be governed by Frau Fritz, that would be good news.
The Italian voting system awards bonus seats in Parliament to the party that leads the popular vote, so Bersani will have a majority in the lower house, the Chamber of Deputies. But Berlusconi's alliance will control the Senate, the upper house, assuming Grillo's bloc votes with Berlusconi, which is likely since both are EU-critical.
Ordaz also profiles Bersani in Un político profesional, con pasado comunista y experto en el cristianismo El País 20.02.2013. Bersani heads the center-left Democratic Party (PD), which ran in an alliance with three smaller left-leaning parties.
The European media, at least, are already chattering about new elections in Italy relatively soon, e.g.: Hans-Jürgen Schlamp, Die blockierte Republik Spiegel Online 26.02.2013. Schlamp paints the EU-friendly and pro-austerity Bersani as a leftie: "Bersani entstammt dem kommunistischen Lager, das sich zur sozialdemokratischen Reformpartei wandelte. Seine Freunde sind Gewerkschafter, nicht Global Player der Finanzwelt." ("Bersani comes from the Communist camp, which has transformed itself into a social-democratic reform party. His friends are unionists, not global players of the finance world.") Go figure.
Tags: angela merkel, austerity economics, eu, euro, european union, italy