Former Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, announced this week via Facebook that he was leaving the Democratic Party, of which he had been a member for over ten years, to form a new centrist movement.
“I have decided to leave the PD and build, together with others, a new house to do politics in a different way,” Mr Renzi wrote in a Facebook post that referred to internal divisions in the party. “After seven years of friendly fire I think we should take note that our values, our ideas, our dreams cannot be the subject of daily internal quarrels.” (Financial Times, 17.09.19)
The current coalition government between his party, the PD, (the centre left Democratic Party, headed by Nicola Zingaretti) and the Five Star Movement (Movimento 5 Stelle) is only two weeks old. Renzi helped broker the talks that led to the formation of the coalition. This is, arguably, a better coalition than the previous agreement between Five Star and the far-right ‘League’ (Lega) party.
Renzi told the current PM, Giuseppe Conte, that he believed a new party would broaden the appeal of the government.
Some have criticised the move and said that it could lead to a weakening of the government and open up a gap for the more extreme right wing, like former Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini, and the League, to come back in.
The new party is to be called ‘Italia Viva’ which translates to ‘Italy Alive’.
Sources and Further Reading:
Italy’s former PM Matteo Renzi forms breakaway party
An introductory guide to the Italian political system
Matteo Renzi’s new centrist party Italia Viva faces a struggle for relevance
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