Historic result, due to Renzi. The south promotes our proposal
(photo ¬© European Union 2014 – EP)
interview by Adolfo Pappalardo for “Il Mattino” – 26 May, 2014
After midnight, Gianni Pittella, outgoing Pd parliamentary member, now appears at ease. The nightmare of the evening probably won’t materialise: Grillo’s movement, according to the exit polls, is behind the Pd party by more than 10 points. Therefore, there is no feared overtaking of the democrats, and the surveys carried out on the evening look positive for the party. Indeed: the democrats have never been in such a strong position.
But the turnout, even in the south, is dropping.
If we consider the other European Countries, there hasn’t been a dip. But compared to 5 years ago, there was a definite disaffectation at the polls this year. And it’s impossible not to keep count. The low turnout rate in the south shouldn’t come as a surprise. For the last 10 years or so, the political classes have been all talk and no action as far as general and specific problems are concerned, which are weighing our regions down. This means, though, that the Pd’s potential, compared to the rest of the country, is huge. If Renzi, with the help of everyone in the south, manages to offer a new prospect for economic development, work and pride, we could finally say that Italian unity had been completed and fulfilled.
And the feared takeover from Grillo and his party didn’t happen.
It’s all about an extraordinary victory for the Pd and for Matteo Renzi. We need to thank him, because with his leadership and his government work, he allowed us to enjoy a landslide victory. If he had not been present, it would have been a very different result. And we would not have had this result. Even if more time is needed to analyse the result more fully or to see how the Pd has organised itself. The Renzi effect is a decisive factor in the European elections, but also for ensuring democracy still reigns in Italy. I wonder where the Pd would be today without this politician. I wonder what would have become of democracy in Italy without a government capable of dealing with populist and eurosceptic beliefs.
And Berlusconi’s party retreats.
Exactly. And the Pd becomes the main, reliable party of the Republic and of this government. Aside from Grillo’s movement, which, although not on top, nevertheless remains more than stable, when all the other parties find themselves in a crisis situation. And Beppe Grillo only gains protest votes, never managing to propose a serious alternative.
In the meantime, the right-wing is on the up: Marine Le Pen’s party stormed to victory in France. Are you worried?
More than worrying me, it confirmed for me that Europe is going to change: why can’t we take a leap forward? In Europe, all too often, bankers and bureaucrats make the decisions, and they don’t want to build a political Europe. And the movements on the right, eurosceptics in general, manage to bring discontentment on themselves.
And in the meantime, Le Pen will court them in order to create a united front.
I think that these movements are only capable of creating destruction. Even if in Europe these party-movements cannot cause as much trouble as they can do in their respective national parliaments.
Is it a right-wing wave in Europe that worries you?
Grillo’s result, just like that of the extremist and populist movements in the rest of Europe is the cause of the disaffection amongst citizens of Italian and European politics. I’m not surprised. The hold of the institutions in Italy and in Europe cannot withstand a shock wave this strong if radical reforms are not lined up. If Renzi will not change Italy, we will soon find ourselves with Grillo rejoicing over the destruction of this country. If the national States don’t abandon isolationist ambitions and don’t properly create a United States of Europe, there will soon no longer be European elections to celebrate.
What are the prospects of the Pd in Europe?
With this vote, Italy really does have all the potential to come back and to aspire to take a leading position in th European Parliament. Renzi’s Pd, has become a bastion of hope to those in Europe and will certainly know how to use its political weight within Italian delegation, as well as within the Party of European Socialists. From tomorrow, the prospect of a United States of Europe can start to become a reality.