Italy in the 1990’s Part 2

By | February 20, 2022

According to itypetravel, the elections on 27 – 28 March 1994 (v. Tabb. 10, 11, 12) decreed the success of forces led by Berlusconi, who obtained the Chamber 302 of the 475 seats allocated by the single-member constituencies. The center-right won the absolute majority in the Chamber by a large margin, narrowly missing it in the Senate. The electoral system, which distributed 25 % of the seats proportionally, nevertheless allowed the PPI and the PDS to recover. Despite the fact that Berlusconi’s movement had obtained the highest number of votes in percentage terms in all of Italy (21% measured on the proportional share of the Chamber) and had exceeded the League even in Lombardy, the deputies of the League were more numerous than those of Forza Italia: the already defined presence of Lega candidacies in the numerous colleges of northern Italy poured on them, by virtue of the alliance in the pole of liberties, even the votes of Forza Italia. Always according to the proportional share, the only able to ascertain the balance of power between the parties, the PDS obtained the second position (20, 3 %), followed by the National Alliance (13, 5) and the PPI (11, 1). In the geographical distribution of seats, the Progressives prevailed in Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria, Marche, but also in less predictable regional realities, such as Abruzzo, Campania and Calabria. In the other northern and southern regions the victory of the center-right was very clear. The success of Berlusconi’s success is confirmed and even increased in the June European elections (when Forza Italy reached 30, 6 %), was attributed not only to the support of its television, but above all the ability in the present itself as the only one able to replace the political class swept away by the Tangentopoli scandals (for a more detailed analysis of the 1994 elections, see political parties, App. V).

From the elections of March 1994, the first test of the majority and of the confrontation between two opposing sides, some results of great importance for the party system followed: the disappearance of a hegemonic party such as the DC, the almost disappearance of the socialists and parties secular minors, the crumbling of the center and the Catholic party, the legitimacy of the far right represented by the MSI-National Alliance, but above all the concrete possibility of establishing a mechanism of alternation between majority and opposition, if institutional reforms had been carried out and to introduce some corrections to the electoral mechanism.

In the aftermath of the elections, the negotiations initiated by Berlusconi, prime minister in charge, to reach the formation of the new executive highlighted how difficult it was to translate the electoral agreements promoted by Forza Italia into a coherent government program. The profound differences between the National Alliance and the Northern League, which had already emerged during the electoral campaign, remained substantially unresolved, while the Northern League leader U. Bossi bound the permanence of his party within the majority to the implementation of a reform of the state in the sense federalist and showed that he shared the reservations of the center and the left on Berlusconi’s dual role as prime minister and holder of broad economic interests, particularly in the field of information.1994 Berlusconi formed a center-right government which, alongside Forza Italia, the National Alliance, the Northern League, the Christian Democratic Center and the Union of the Center, joined with the external support of the Pannella List.

The results of the European elections in June comforted the ruling coalition (it won the 49, 7 % of the votes), but the new government was soon undermined by serious internal disputes, made evident when the Minister of Justice A. Biondi introduced (July) a decree that provided for severe restrictions on the powers of arrest by the judges and effectively abolished the pre-trial detention for the crimes of corruption and extortion. The clear opposition of the Northern League, which had also initially approved the text presented by Biondi, led to the withdrawal of the decree after the threat of resignation of the magistrates of the Milan pool and hostile reactions from public opinion.

Judicial issues and procedures remained at the center of the political debate, while Berlusconi had taken increasingly critical positions towards the work of the Milanese investigating magistracy, especially after the involvement of his companies Fininvest and Publitalia in investigations for false accounting and fraud tax (March). The issue of conflict of interest also limited the ability of the Prime Minister to act, who on this issue charged a committee of wise men to identify a solution that can be traced back to that of the blind trust. present in the US system. On the economic level, within a few months, the fragility of the government emerged, which had presented a program aimed at pursuing the recovery of production and the reorganization of public finances through a drastic reduction in social spending, a series of tax reliefs for businesses, a ‘extensive deregulation of the labor market and the acceleration of the privatization process of public enterprises.

Italy in the 1990's 2