Background information

The wall went down in Berlin but, a quarter of century past, the political wreckage is still touchable in Italy. The once powerful Communist party tried to turn itself into a western-style social democrat grouping too late and too little, while the Christian Democrats who run the country with their allies since WWII surrendered to prosecutors amid the Tangentopoli (Bribesville) scandal without even fighting for survival. After a few months of technocrats ruling with former Bank of Italy governor Ciampi as PM, the outcome was Berlusconi, the television tycoon turned politician, against Prodi, the centre left leader who managed to defeat twice his opponent but failed to deliver stability. A two decades long contest which saw the economy sinking, the debt rising and ended up as twenty years earlier with a technocrats government led by former EU commissioner Mario Monti. Now Italy is at a turning point again. Is Grillo, the comic turned politician capable to gather tens of  thousands of enthusiastic people both in the physical cities across Italy and in the virtual world of the Internet, the new Berlusconi? His promise, the firing of the entire old guard, including Monti, is quite tempting for the many who suffered the pain of the crisis and were outraged for the scandals. Just like the initial political offer of Berlusconi, who promised in 1994 less taxes for everybody and won a landslide election victory. The Italian politics are in a far worst shape then when the so-called first Republic fell in 1992. Very little of a traditional, western-like party system has survived. The only traditional political grouping let is the PD, the Democratic Party built on the wreckage of the former Communist party and part of the remains of the Christian Democrats. But Matteo Renzi, the young man of the PD, widely believed of being capable to attract votes even from the adverse conservative camp, failed to win the internal primary elections of the centre-left alliance late in 2012, leaving the party heading towards the general elections in the hands of the old guard personified in the party secretary Bersani, now running for the PM post. On the centre-right side, everybody knows that Berlusconi is on his sunset boulevard but nobody knows what is next after him as there is just no trace of a Renzi-like personality in their camp.

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