Italian politics are, as usual, a mind blowing mess, in which opinions are so variable and incosistent that citizens are often confused or, worst case scenario, attracted by extreme and close-minded positions (such as the one suggested by populist and racist movements like Lega Nord and Movimento 5 Stelle). When an economic crisis is grafted in this confused and confusing environment, one can only pray to be spared the fate of Argentina. This is why the whole country (or the biggest part of it) has been seeing in the former President, Giorgio Napolitano, a reassuring figure, a trustworthy granpa capable of handling the unrepentant rascals who lead italian politics. As everyone knows, the downside of being a granpa is the old age, and that is exactly why, with utter discouragement of both socialdemocrats and conservatives (these latter ones pretending to forget his past miltancy in the yet moderate wing of the old P.C.I., the Communist Party), mr. Napolitano had to resign.
But hey! We have now a new President, the 12th of hour glorious history! His name is Sergio Mattarella, and actually no commoner had ever heard about him until one week ago. His profile: sicilian, former democristiano (Democrazia Cristiana was the name of Italy’s majority party from the postwar period to the 80s, the christian conservative party), jurist, strongly opposed to any kind of mafia (his brother Piersanti was killed in an ambush in 1980) and any kind of humour (no wonder comedian Maurizio Crozza nicknamed him “the man in grey”).
It is good to finally have a President from Sicily, even though the guy doesn’t seem to incarnate the best features of the southern attitude. Nevertheless his severity and earnestness, especially when it comes to opposing organized crime, seem to be an encouraging sign.
And yet, as a man coming from the so called First Republic, his election (which by the way caused an earthquake among the forces composing the current government), other than being revolutionary, seems to follow the old motto of Prince Fabrizio Corbera, main carachter of Il Gattopardo by Tomasi di Lampedusa (set, what a coincidence, in Sicily): “Se vogliamo che tutto rimanga come è, bisogna che tutto cambi“. Anyway, at least we have been spared Giuliano Amato…
Want to learn more about italian politics and Italian Language in politics? Check out our Italian Language Lessons, free to download! 😉