- Alliance for Italy
Alliance for Italy
Alleanza per l'Italia
President Francesco Rutelli Vice Presidents Pino Pisicchio
Coordinator Lorenzo Dellai Founded 11 November 2009 Split from Democratic Party Headquarters via Sant'Andrea delle Fratte, 16
Ideology Centrism, Liberalism, Christian democracy National affiliation New Pole for Italy International affiliation Alliance of Democrats,
Liberal International (observer)
European affiliation European Democratic Party European Parliament Group Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Chamber of Deputies Senate European Parliament Website http://www.alleanzaperlitalia.it Politics of Italy
The party, which is described in its manifesto as "democratic, liberal, popular" as opposed both to "right-wing populism" and the "social-democratic left, an experience with high and memorable value, yet by now run out", was launched on 11 November 2009 by Francesco Rutelli, senator for the Democratic Party (PD) and former leader of Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy (DL). The core of the party is composed by the Free Democrats, the faction Rutelli launched some months before leaving the PD.
After that he was instrumental in its foundation, Rutelli early became uncomfortable with the PD which he saw as too stretched on the left. In September 2009, when he was a guest at a party convention of the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats (UDC) of Pier Ferdinando Casini, he told the press that he was interested in an alliance with the new party Casini was organizing through the Union of the Centre (UdC). Rutelli's critical view of the PD was reinforced by the election of Pier Luigi Bersani as party leader in a primary election on 25 October 2009.
On 27 October, after months of speculation, Rutelli hinted that was leaving the PD. The core idea of Rutelli was that Italy needed a new "political proposal" in a time when the country is on the verge of splitting in two, with Lega Nord more than ever confident in the North and a the possible emergence of the Party of the South: a scenario that could mean complete marginalization for the centre-left and its failure as a national political force.
On 28 October Rutelli presented a "Manifesto for Change and Good Government" (Manifesto per il Cambiamento e il Buongoverno) along with other ten founding members. These included, among others, Lorenzo Dellai (President of the Province of Trento and leader of the Union for Trentino), Massimo Cacciari, (Mayor of Venice), Linda Lanzillotta (former Minister of Regional Affairs), Bruno Tabacci and Elvio Ubaldi. While Cacciari and Lanzillotta have been members of DL and then of the PD, Tabacci and Ubaldi are members of White Rose, a small outfit that was part of the Union of the Centre (UdC), led by Pier Ferdinando Casini, along with the much larger Union of Christian and Centre Democrats (UDC).
For some days Rutelli lingered on whether he was leaving the PD or not, maybe because the strategic goal of his initiative was that of forging a stable alliance between UDC/UdC and the Democrats, with Tabacci instrumental in that, so his departure was not to be traumatic. However on 31 October, through an interview to Corriere della Sera, Rutelli announced that it was his intention to leave the PD immediately. In the interview he remarked how in his view social democracy was "a historical experience that has no chance to speak to present-day people" and that his goal was to "unite democratic, liberal and popular forces" in order to "build, in some years time, the largest [political] force of the country".
On 8 December Tabacci left the UdC after that Casini had met with Berlusconi to discuss of justice reform and of an alliance between The People of Freedom and UDC/UdC in some regions. Tabacci, who said he was going to assemble his fellow members of the White Rose, explained that the new party would be "distant and alternative to the populism of Berlusconi and of the League" but open to centre-right voters. For his part, Casini agreed with the move of Tabacci by saying that Rutelli needed to be reinforced and that their ways would meet one day.
On 11 November 2010, along with many others, Rutelli presented the name and the provisional logo of the party.
On 11–12 December ApI organized its first assembly in Parma. During the convention, which was attended by François Bayrou, Guy Verhofstadt and Will Marshall, Rutelli confirmed that the new party is headed to merge with UDC some day and opened to an alliance with Gianfranco Fini, the President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies who is increasingly uncomfortable with his party, The People of Freedom, and Silvio Berlusconi.
On 22 December the logo of the party was presented by Rutelli, Tabacci and tho other ApI leading members during a press conference.
In March Rutelli announced for April a national convention, in which the party would have been enlarged to greens and liberals. Between March and April Christian Democratic Refoundation party of Publio Fiori, a group of liberals led by Valerio Zanone, a former leader of the Italian Liberal Party, Democratic senator and leader of Liberal PD, and a group of greens led by Camillo Piazza, a former Green deputy, joined the Alliance.
In late March regional elections the party run joint lists with the UDC/UdC in most regions and run its own lists in only four regions: Marche (where it gained 2.0% of the vote and one regional councillor), Campania (3.0% and no councillors), Basilicata (4.2% and one councillor) and Calabria (2.2% and no councillors). The result was a little bit disappointing and the party had no real presence in the North.
This situation came into criticism by the Northern branches of the party and especially by Union for Trentino (UpT) and Alliance for Veneto (ApV), launched by Massimo Calearo as a centrist competitor of Liga Veneta–Lega Nord. Giorgio Lunelli, leading member of UpT, spoke for many Northern party members when he criticized the party's lack of interest for the North, called for Rutelli's resignation and proposed a confederal structure for the party. In September 2010 Calearo left ApI and ApV was thus disbanded.
New Pole for Italy
On 15 December 2010 ApI was a founding member of the centrist New Pole for Italy along with the Union of the Centre, Future and Freedom and some minor parties. Also in December Enrico Boselli, long-time leader of the Italian Democratic Socialists and founder of the Socialist Party, who had left active politics after his 2008 defeat, joined ApI and was soon appointed vice president of the party.
Most party members are liberals or Christian democrats coming from the Democratic Party, including Linda Lanzillotta, Gianni Vernetti and Donato Mosella, but also a group of disgruntled centrists from Italy of Values led by Pino Pisicchio and Giacinto Russo joined.
The party currently includes six deputies (Linda Lanzillotta, Donato Mosella, Pino Pisicchio, Bruno Tabacci, Gianni Vernetti, Santo Versace), six senators (Emanuela Baio, Franco Bruno, Giacinto Russo, Riccardo Milana, Claudio Molinari, Francesco Rutelli) and one MEP (Vincenzo Iovine, ex-Italy of Values).
- President: Francesco Rutelli (2009–present)
- Vice President: Pino Pisicchio (2010–present), Enrico Boselli (2010–present)
- Coordinator: Lorenzo Dellai (2009–present)
- President of the National Council: Bruno Tabacci (2010–present)
- Spokesperson: Bruno Tabacci (2009–2010), Linda Lanzillotta (2010–present)
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- Alliance for Italy
- Official website of Francesco Rutelli
- Official website of Bruno Tabacci
- Union for Trentino
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