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Italy

Yearbook 2007

2007 ItalyItaly. According to CountryAAH, Prime Minister Romano Prodi's sprawling government coalition, which took office after the April 2006 elections, had, as expected, immediately had trouble implementing its policy. His center – left alliance Union consisted of no less than nine parties and two support parties with widely differing programs and ideologies. In addition, the government alliance had an extremely small excess (a member) in the parliament's upper house, the Senate.

After struggling with difficult contradictions between the government parties for nine months, Prodi chose February 21 to submit his resignation application. It happened after two Communist Party senators had chosen to vote against two government proposals: new grants for the 1,800-man Italian troops in the NATO force in Afghanistan and the expansion of a US military base in Italy. About 70,000 people had earlier this month demonstrated against plans to expand the base in northeastern Italy.

2007 Italy

The right-wing leader, Silvio Berlusconi, demanded re-election, but President Giorgio Napolitano rejected Prodi's resignation and suggested that the government's policy be tested in a vote of confidence in both chambers of parliament. Before the vote was held, all the parties of the government coalition re-assembled around a program, which also agreed on foreign policy. The government survived the vote in confidence at the end of February/March in both the lower house and the Senate.

In March, Parliament adopted the government proposal for new appropriations for the troops in Afghanistan, but the Senate demanded the support of an opposition member, prompting political analysts to warn of the government's continued fragility. In order to stabilize the government, its two largest parties, the Left Democrats and La Margherita, joined Prodi's initiative in the Democratic Party in April.

On February 7, the government decided that a series of football matches in the Italian league would be played without crowds after a policeman was killed and up to 150 people injured in violent clashes between football hooligans and police after a match between Palermo and Catania in the Sicilian city of Catania on February 2. An investigation later in the year showed that only six of the Italian football arenas lived up to the security rules introduced by the government.

When local elections were held in May, the opposition right-wing Alliance House of Liberties, led by Berlusconi, won a clear victory. In 14 of 19 major cities, the right-wing opposition candidates won. The opposition's success was considered to depend on all the strife between the government parties.

On May 12, hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered in Rome in protest of the government's proposal to legalize partnerships between unmarried people, including people of the same sex. The mass demonstration was supported by the Vatican and the country's Catholic bishops.

In June, a grand trial of a Muslim Egyptian began, which according to the Italian government, was kidnapped by CIA agents in Milan in 2003. The Egyptian should then have flown to Egypt, where he was allegedly subjected to severe torture. The US suspected the man of being a terrorist. The trial in Italy concerns six Italians and 26 Americans, the majority of whom are CIA agents. However, the United States has refused to extradite some citizens, and the trial risked disrupting relations between the two countries.

The world-famous Italian film director Michelangelo Antonioni passed away in July at the age of 94. His many films, among which Blow up - The Magnification from 1966 can be mentioned, were characterized by sparse dialogues and a slow pace. On September 6, one of the country's biggest opera singers, Luciano Pavarotti, died at the age of 71.

In October, a vote was taken among Italian trade unionists on a number of pension reforms, which included raising the retirement age. 82 percent of the participants voted for the reforms, which means that the retirement age will be increased from 57 years to 58 years from 2008, then to 60 years from 2011. The vote was not binding, but could influence the government's decision on the issue. Pension reforms are supported by all parties in the government coalition except the two Communist parties. However, these could stop the proposal in the Senate. The proposal was adopted by the House of Representatives in October. Although the retirement age is raised, Italy will have one of the lowest retirement ages in Europe.

After being wanted for two decades, Mafia leader Salvatore Lo Piccolo was arrested in November outside Palermo in Sicily with his son. Lo Piccolo was believed to have taken over as the Sicilian mafia's supreme leader after the "bosses boss" Bernardo Provenzano was arrested the year before.

Austrian dominions

The trends of freedom in the Napoleonic era were now cured and Austria's empire in Italy restored. The free constitution in Sicily that Ferdinand 1 had to accept in 1812 was now replaced by monarchy, with support from church and police power. The pope restored the Jesuit order and the Inquisition, and in other parts of the country, the reaction became evident. As a counter to the repression, the friends of freedom formed secret federations, especially in Naples. The Christmas revolution in France also affected Italy. Although the rebellions in Modena and the Church State were crushed by the Austrians in 1831, liberation work continued illegally. Giuseppe Mazzini became an inspirational leader for the movement.

The February Revolution of 1848 had a ripple effect in Italy. Just before it broke out - in January - there was a revolt in Palermo and Naples, with the introduction of a liberal constitution as a result. The leaders of Sicily did not find this sufficient, and deposited the house of Bourbon.

The liberation movement spread again across Italy, both Sardinia, the Church State and Tuscany were given free constitutions. At the announcement of the Vienna revolution there was a revolt in Milan, and the Austrian troops had to withdraw. Venice followed the example and formed a republic with Daniele Manin at the head. To prevent Austrian reprisals, Karl Albert, king of Sardinia, advanced with the Sardinian army, but was beaten at Custoza. The defeat stimulated the reaction.

In 1848, Ferdinand attacked 2 Sicily and bombarded Messina; the pope was also driven in a reactionary direction. After the assassination of Minister Rossi, there was a revolution in Rome; a democratic republic was proclaimed, and Pope Pius 9 fled to Gaeta. In Tuscany, the Grand Duke left the country. On March 23, 1849, Sardinia suffered a new defeat at Novara. Karl Albert abdicated in favor of son Victor Emanuel 2, who made peace in Milan. After hard fighting, Rome and Venice had to surrender in April and May 1849. The pope returned, and his power was guaranteed by French troops.

The leaders of the liberation movement now hoped for the support of the Kingdom of Sardinia, where Prime Minister Camillo di Cavour undertook a series of economic reforms, while at the same time weakening the power of the church and abolishing religious orders. Cavour's goal was Italy's unity under the leadership of the Sardinian royal house. As a real politician, he argued that foreign, especially French help was needed. By participating in the Crimean War he achieved that Sardinia was represented at the Congress in Paris in 1856, where he attacked Austria's oppression policy in Italy. The relationship with Austria was steadily tightened, while the connection with Napoleon 3 became tighter. In the summer of 1858, he and Cavour met in Plombières, where the emperor promised help to liberate Lombardy against the incorporation of Savoia and Nice in France.

 

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