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Can Italy Expect a Revolting Autumn?

Roberto Casaleggio, Beppe Grillo’s number two in the 5 Star Movement, seems to think Italians are on the point of rising up and revolting.

Italy’s regional affairs minister agrees with Casaleggio and thinks Italians may be angry enough to take to the streets this autumn.

Certainly, the current non-government is not inspiring much confidence as it gropes around in the dark while bickering constantly and pandering to the whims of legally entangled Silvio Berlusconi. But are Italians really on the point of taking to the streets and demanding genuine change? Or is Casaleggio’s opinion merely an attempt to incite Italians into taking matters into their own hands?

Beppe Grillo has himself claimed that without the 5 Star Movement, violence would have erupted on the streets of Italy. He may be right. Those who belong to the 5 Star Movement, some of whom I have spoken to, do see its activities as being a last ditch attempt to rid Italy of its widely detested political class. If the 5 Star Movement fails in this task, and so far it is not getting what it wants, then what next? Will disgruntled Italians march on Rome and drag all the dodgy MPs onto the streets and give them all a good kicking? Maybe a few guillotines will appear? A latter-day French revolution?

Italians at Boiling Point

According to Casaleggio, Italians are at boiling point now and the pot may well overflow into street violence this coming Autumn. Well, Italians are unlikely to consider revolting in the midst of the summer heat and revolting now would probably mean foregoing one’s trips to the beach.

Really, if Italians where that unhappy, they’d take advantage of sleepy August to occupy Italy’s parliament buildings. There would not be anyone to stop them really either. If, on the other hand, Italians do become angry enough to forgo their summer breaks, the world will know Italy has well and truly passed boiling point.

Reading the comments of 5 Star Movement MPs on Facebook, the impression one gets is that they are not at all happy with what is going on in Italy’s parliament. The complicity between the so-called Italian left and Berlusconi’s pseudo right is open and obvious to Grillo’s 5 Star Movement people and this has just served to confirm, first hand, that the situation is as bad as they have always suspected and as Beppe Grillo has being claiming.

The Crisis Deepens

Today, it was announced that another 250,000 jobs will go in Italy in 2013. Prospects are not high. The crisis is really starting to bite. Meanwhile, constructive legislation has yet to emerge from Italy’s parliament and probably will not until after the summer.

Come to Milan in Italy’s north

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Wander the streets of Milan in the balmy summer evenings and see all the people out drinking and enjoying themselves and you probably won’t think Italy is on the verge of a revolution. I was in Bergamo last Friday, and there too, everything looked perfectly normal.

Milan’s residents do seem to be a little more paranoid than usual about burglaries and chit chat about houses being broken into is commonplace. But Milan and Bergamo are in Italy’s wealthy north, and even if shops are closing and the housing market is as flat as an Italian piadina, there are no clears signs of an angry population. Not to this Italy resident, anyway.

Chat to Italians in Milan and you will be told that they are not happy with the way things are going. Italians are worried, but not, perhaps, worried enough to take to rioting. Not so far.

Will Italians react to Casaleggio’s provocation? Or will they just sit tight and hope all the problems will quietly iron themselves out?

Italy’s population has put up with the antics of its politicians for decades. The same dodgy politicians are still there. Italians have not revolted so far, and there have been very few incidents of rioting.

Will this change shortly? Will a revolt break out?

If you live in Italy, what do you think? It would also be interesting to hear from a few Italians too.


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