Between 2007 and 2013, real per capita income and net wealth of Italian households fell by 13 and 10 percent, respectively. Unprecedented in the country's post-war record by size and duration, this deterioration of household finances was accompanied by more muted changes in inequality and relative poverty. Only absolute measures of consumption and income insufficiency surged. The more serious worsening of personal economic conditions for the young than for adults and, especially, the elderly is a disturbing legacy of the recessions of 2008–2009 and 2011–2013.
The Italian general elections held in February 2013 ended up in stalemate. The center-left coalition won the absolute majority of seats in the Chamber of Deputies but not in the Senate, making it impossible to form any homogeneous governing majority. In the end, the only available opstion to support the new cabinet was a “grand coalition” of parties from different political sides. This chapter analyzes this destabilizing outcome, taking into account a number of factors: the success of a new anti-establishment party, the Five Star Movement, which has become the largest party in the country; the significant loss of votes by the center-left and especially by the center-right, compared to the previous elections of 2008; the peculiar nature and functioning of the electoral system; the extraordinary level of vote shifts; the “new” electoral geography; the crisis of the bipolar setting; and the transformation of the party system.
The Appendix delineates the economic, social, and political picture
that stands behind the events analyzed in this volume. It contains
three sections. The first, which includes Tables A1-A7, presents
historical data regarding the population: gender; age category;
labor-force, examined according to occupations and conflict; births
and marriages; various forms of criminality; important indicators
of the economy and public finance, such as domestic product and
debt. The second section is dedicated to the various electoral contests
that occurred during the year; regional, provincial, communal,
and referenda. Tables B1-B5 contain absolute numbers of votes
and the percentages obtained by the political parties in the regional
elections and the composition of the electoral coalitions in the
regions. Tables B6-B8 report the data on turnout for mayoral elections
as well as for contests for control of the capital seats of communes.
Tables B9 and B10 report the same data for elections for
provincial presidents. Finally, B11 presents the results of referenda.
The last section is dedicated to institutional data: Table C1 includes
the ministers in the Amato government.
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