Berlusconi and the rightwing lost this round of local elections. Berlusconi had put everything at stake in this election, and particularly in the results in Milan, on the grounds that a victory for the PDL (the party of Freedom, his own creation) there, would have strengthened his shaky national government.

Although we have seen massive general strikes and huge protest demonstrations in Italy in recent years, the overall level of strikes dropped significantly, in some years hitting all time lows. But now we are witnessing a reawakening of working class militancy, starting with the metalworkers and in particular the FIAT car workers.

The government of Silvio Berlusconi could well fall soon. Although it is a right-wing conservative government, the serious bourgeoisie are of the opinion that – in the face of workers’ and students’ mobilisations   it is not capable of implementing sufficiently harsh austerity measures that they feel the crisis of capitalism requires. The process leading to the possible collapse of the right-wing government elected in 2008 started more than one year ago.

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