In this interview LA STAMPA sought my views on the outcome of the Italian elections. My original answers (in English) appear below. The gist? Italy’s election result is yet another example of the political centre’s implosion as a result of the establishment’s perseverance with failed, austerity-based policies, pretending that they were the solution to our continent’s systemic crisis. One thing is clear: A new political force needs to emerge from the debacle; a progressive, radical, Europeanist force. This is what we, at DiEM25 are working towards across Europe and with our Italian partners across Italy – beginning this weekend in Napoli.
What is your view of the outcome of the Italian elections?
The Italian election yielded a sad impasse. The only real beneficiaries are those who invested in xenophobia and fear. Like every other European country in which the establishment pressed on with failed, austerity-based policies, pretending that they were the solution to our continent’s systemic crisis, the ballot box reinforced the forces of European disintegration. One thing is clear: A new political force needs to emerge from the debacle; a progressive, radical, Europeanist force. This is what we, at DiEM25 are working towards across Europe and with our Italian partners across Italy.
Do you see any analogies with what happened in Greece in the elections that saw the victory of Syriza?
None at all. Syriza was a pro-European party that rode a wave of hope and positivity. The Lega, Berlusconi and the smaller parties of the Italian right received votes based on fear, pessimism and xenophobia. The only connection between our two countries is that we are both in the clasps of a systemic European crisis that the European establishment refuses to recognise as systemic.
What’s your view of the Five Star? Do you categorise them as a populist movement or as a new left?
No party that invests in fear of the migrant, of the ‘other’, the refugee can pose as left-wing. The term ‘populist’, in my mind, has been widely abused of recent. In terms of domestic economic policies, Five Star is clearly trying to re-position itself as a centrist party that can be trusted by the establishment. It tries to maintain its perceived radicalism by targeting the old political class and it corrupt ways while refraining from challenging the ‘system’ itself.