Few realise that Italy is a special case of malfunctioning and lack of synchronism with Europe. The end of the Cold War led to the death of the modern Italian political parties, which were created and fuelled by the Cold War: the Communist Party and the Christian Democratic Party.It's possible that we'll see new Italian elections again soon. And the election earlier this year gave strong indications that pro-austerity and anti-austerity could turn into more decisive dividing lines than pro- and anti-Berlusconi.
But in the creation of a new political system, an unparalleled event took place: Silvio Berlusconi, the richest man in Italy, with a powerful media empire, decided to enter politics to escape personal economic and judicial problems. He became a deft politician and ever since Italy has been split between pro-Berlusconians and anti-Berlusconians.
This latter camp has brought together the entire centre-left and left, and is unlike other European left-wing parties such as the Labour Party in England, the Social Democrats in Germany and the Socialist Party in France. Those parties predate the end of the Cold War, and were not built to counteract a one-person party like Berlusconi’s People of Freedom Party. Out of this anomaly has emerged a new Italian political “party”, the Five Star Movement, again led very personally by a comedian-turned-politician, Beppe Grillo, which is also totally asynchronous with Europe. Until Berlusconi retires, Italy will remain split over him, and all elections will be inconclusive and bring no real political agenda to the centre of debate.