The Irish Times

The Irish Times online. Latest news including sport, analysis, business, weather and more from the definitive brand of quality news in Ireland.

https://www.irishtimes.com/

Centre-left takes control of key Italian cities in blow to Five Star.

Italy’s Democratic Party has taken control of the cities of Rome and Turin in a revival of the fortunes of the country’s centre-left and a blow to both the populist right and the struggling Five Star Movement.

After the final votes were counted in elections held this month in multiple Italian cities, former economy minister Roberto Gualtieri won the contest to become mayor of Rome, seizing the capital from Five Star, which also lost Turin to the Democratic Party.

Five Star’s losses are a symbolic blow for the one-time radical group, which stunned Italy’s political establishment by winning the cities in 2016. Five Star later became Italy’s largest party on a campaign to root out corruption and improve public services.

The local polls, which were delayed from the summer due to the pandemic, mark the first indication of voter sentiment following prime minister Mario Draghi’s unexpected entrance into national politics last year.

The Democratic Party, Five Star and Matteo Salvini’s League are part of a national unity coalition backing the former European Central Bank president, who has embarked on a multiyear reform and investment plan intended to relaunch Italy’s economy following the pandemic.

Control

The centre-left also took control or kept hold of Milan, Naples and Bologna this month, leaving the Italian right with only a victory in the north eastern city of Trieste in spite of previously having had hopes to win multiple cities.

The success of the Democratic Party, now under the leadership of former prime minister Enrico Letta, comes as Matteo Salvini’s League has suffered from a loss of momentum within Draghi’s unity government.

Three years ago, after the League and Five Star took first and second place in national elections, the pair formed a coalition government that repeatedly clashed with Brussels over spending limits.

But the 2018 general election, in which it won almost a third of the total vote, marked a high point for the Five Star Movement. Likewise the League, which won more than 30 per cent of the national vote in 2019’s European elections, has since been narrowly overtaken by Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy as the country’s most popular party.

Polls

The right’s poor results in the local elections are not currently reflected in national voting intentions, with recent polls showing that the Brothers of Italy and League remained the country’s largest two parties and would be expected to form a coalition government.

The defeated centre-right candidate for Rome, Enrico Michetti, had won the largest share of the vote in the first round but suffered from a string of scandals and gaffs in the run-up to the run off against Mr Gualtieri.

This included an article written by Mr Michetti last year that came to light where he claimed victims of other genocides did not get as much attention as Jewish holocaust victims because they “did not own banks”. Although he apologised for the remarks, he caused further controversy by defending the fascist-associated “Roman salute” arm gesture. – Financial Times

Kurdish Family Laments Young Migrant Daughter Drowned in English Channel.

Kurdish Family Laments Young Migrant Daughter Drowned in English Channel.

VOA speaks to the family of a 24-year-old Kurdish woman Baran Nuri Hamadamin is among 27 people who drowned in English Channel last week as they tried to cross from France to the UK via an inflatable boat Originally published at -

Justice Sotomayor wonders if protecting life is 'a religious view'.

Justice Sotomayor wonders if protecting life is 'a religious view'.

Sen. Cruz tells 'The Ingraham Angle' today's Democratic Party supports unlimited abortion on demand. Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service d...

DC Mayor's spokesman switches to GOP over Biden presidency, illegal immigration crisis.

DC Mayor's spokesman switches to GOP over Biden presidency, illegal immigration crisis.

Former PIO for Latino Affairs Victor Jimenez joins 'Tucker Carlson Tonight' #FoxNews #Tucker Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service deliverin...

CNN Town Hall: Dr. Fauci answers questions on Omicron variant

CNN Town Hall: Dr. Fauci answers questions on Omicron variant

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, joins Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta in CNN’s Global Townhall on viewers' questions regarding the emerging Omicron coronavirus variant. #CNN #News

1 1

Democrats hell-bent on authoritarian power: Missouri attorney general.

Democrats hell-bent on authoritarian power: Missouri attorney general.

Missouri Attorney General tells 'Tucker Carlson Tonight' how he's fighting the left's 'vision for America.' #FoxNews #Tucker Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-enc...

Alleged Fake Rideshare Driver Accused Of Sexual Assaults.

Alleged Fake Rideshare Driver Accused Of Sexual Assaults.

A New York man is suspected of posing as a ride share driver and sexually assaulting multiple women over the course of nearly three years. NBC News’ Vaughn Hillyard explains police are now trying to identify how many victims are out there. » Subsc...