Martedì, 23 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Gap widens between Italy's rising left, sagging right

English
© ANSA

Rome, November 9 - New polls ahead of spring
general elections in Italy showed the gap widen between the
first place centre-left Democratic Party (PD) and the
anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) of comic Beppe
Grillo, while former premier Silvio Berlusconi's center-right
People of Freedom (PdL) party continued its slide amid a raft of
scandals.
According to pollster SWG Srl-Trieste, the PD gained 0.6%
with 26% of the populace likely to vote in their favor, followed
by the M5S at 21%, which lost a point, and the PdL, which
slipped 0.3% to 14.7%.
The anti-graft Italy of Values (IdV) party held on to 3.3%
of voters, down 0.8%, amid widespread speculation that its
leader, former Clean Hands magistrate Antonio Di Pietro, misused
party funds to build a sizeable property portfolio, which he
categorically denies.
The accusations, which became national news after an
exposee by the respected investigative television program
Report, prompted two high-ranking party members to leave the
party Thursday, one of whom was Massimo Donadi, who stepped down
as IdV House whip on Monday.
Berlusconi's party has also showed signs of fraying since a
raft of scandals were exposed this summer, culminating in the
October arrest of Franco Fiorito, PdL caucus leader in the Lazio
region, for allegedly skimming off millions of euros of public
money for personal use.
The case caused the PdL's Renata Polverini to step down as
governor.
Voters were further disaffected by a guilty verdict two
weeks ago against the ex-premier and media mogul for tax fraud
at his Mediaset empire.
Meanwhile the center-left PD has reaped the benefits,
rising in opinion polls across the country while its party
leader Pier Luigi Bersani faces off with the upstart mayor of
Florence, Matteo Renzi, in primaries later this month.
According to poll numbers Friday, 49% of Italians think
Renzi is capable of leading the center left back to the helm of
the government, which as of last November has been led by
economist and former European commissioner Mario Monti, a
technocrat brought in to fix the debt-ridden country's finances
amid an alarming peak in the euro crisis, forcing Berlusconi to
resign.
For his part, the embattled 76-year-old ex-premier - amid
the flagging poll numbers for his party, an appeals case against
his four-year tax-fraud conviction and an ongoing trial for
allegedly paying for sex with an underage Morroccan prostitute -
says he will sit out April elections and act as "a resource" for
younger members of his party.

© Riproduzione riservata

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