Well, by 1630 CET today, the Milan stock market had made a very clear judgment on the outcome of the Italian elections – the MIBTEL index being up just under 1 per cent intraday, despite a pasting for Berlusconi’s own Mediaset..down 1.98 per cent at â‚¬9.68 a share. Berlusconi’s departure seems welcome indeed.
More exit poll results are spilling out all the time, showing the Left with a working majority in both houses. So far, the only weirdness has been the rather idiosyncratic kerfuffle in the town of Amelia (German link), where a protest led to the removal of crosses from all polling stations on the grounds of constitutionally guaranteed secularism, and predictable moaning from the ex/post/neo/whatever-fascists. A small outbreak of laicisme.
Oh yes, and this…sorry, more German linkage. Seems JÃ¶rg Haider, fun-lovin’ pseudofascist scandal monkey and governor of the Austrian province of KÃ¤rnten, is going to stand for election in 2009…in Italy, as a candidate for a party advocating Venetian independence. Not just Northern independence as per routine Liga Nord stupidity, but independence for the Most Serene Republic herself.
Strange really. I’ve always thought of Haider as a man out of place, a Mediterranean politician stuck on the wrong side of the Alps with the Germans. His demagoguery, rocambolesque coalition whoring and-to be brutally frank-corruption and barely concealed racism would have fitted beautifully into Silvio Berlusconi’s recent campaign, the municipal authorities of Marbella, or perhaps the intrigues of southern French Gaullism. Carinthia produced far more than its fair share of Nazis, as did many similarly debatable provinces on the edges of the German linguistic sphere, and in a sense his pumped-up nationalism fits the pattern.
Until you remember that he’s not actually from there at all (not far from Linz, actually), and in fact is putting on the overcompensated border nationalism to ingratiate himself with the overcompensated border nationalists. Which fits, too.
But it’s going to be fun to watch.