There have been several disturbing reports in the Italian press recently.
First, there was an incident down in Rome in which a gay radio DJ was attacked for, well, being gay. Then, there was the Indian shopkeeper who was threatened and then attacked by, even if reports in the press deny this, what could well have been a racially motivated incident which was inspired by extreme right wing politics.
Next, there was the recent fight at the University of Rome, which, news reports indicate, was provoked by the placement of posters promoting right wing politics.
The above incidents are not all. I keep hearing comments, mainly from those from the south of Italy, that Berlusconi’s cronies are likely to come down hard on those from the south, who are regarded by the likes of Northern League leader Umberto Bossi as being a lazy bunch of wasters.
Yes, there do appear to be those in Italy who are fearful that Italy’s fresh new right-wing government may be showing signs that it leans rather closer to the extreme right than is good for comfort. Those who believe this may well have reason for concern.
In addition to Bossi who has been labelled as being openly xenophobic, Fini, one of Berlusco’s allies, heads a party with fascist origins. Then we have personalities such as Alessandra Mussolini. No prizes for guessing what her political leanings are. I wrote about this lady in my Cashing in on a Brand Name? Not. post way back in March 2005.
The evidence would suggest that Italy’s strongest government in 60 years, may well be its most extreme too.
Italy, it has to be said, has had extreme right wingers in power before, and many times, but this government is different. It has the power to act, whereas similar governments in the past have simply collapsed before they could really become established, and display their true colours.
The thing is, I can understand why those with a potentially heavy hand have been voted into power. Italy and its population do need something of a shake-up, and aside from Berlusconi and co, there was nobody else who was up to the job, with the possible exception of Di Pietro, that is.
However, while the shake-up may well take place, it could well be rather more than many Italian’s bargained for. And certain elements of Italian society are probably justified in feeling rather disconcerted at the moment.
I’ll be keeping an eye on developments, and writing about them, as and when they occur, here. Personally, I hope I won’t have too much to write about….but I have my doubts.
By the way, in northern Italy, summer has yet to really arrive, whereas it has down south. How does the saying go: ‘The sun always shines on the righteous.’.