The right wing in Italy suffered a devastating defeat in last weekend’s regional elections. Berlusconi’s party, Forza Italia suffered the most, losing 1.8 million votes compared to the regional elections in 2000 and 4.5 million compared to the 2001 general elections. This marks the beginning of the end for Berlusconi.

On the weekend of 28-29 May, the picturesque town of Cortona in Tuscany was the scene of a very successful national meeting of the supporters of the Fifth Motion, the platform organised by the Italian Marxist tendency, Falce Martello. The rally was attended by over 140 comrades from about forty different federations of the Italian Communist Party.

In the run up to the referendum on the EU constitution in France, a very popular intellectual, Toni Negri, decided to weigh in for the debate. Negri has now put himself on the same side as Chirac and Raffarin, the French bosses and the worst social democratic reformists, and come out in favour of a “yes” vote.

In an earlier article we reported on the tremendous struggle of the FIAT Melfi workers. Since then the workers have gone back, having gained some important victories, but nowhere near to what they could have won had the trade union leadership reflected the same level of militancy as the workers.

Last Saturday once again the streets of the Italian capital were flooded by demonstrators. It is really hard to give an exact figure when demonstrations reach such numbers but clearly more than one million workers and youth marched through the streets of Rome, in one of the biggest demos against the occupation of Iraq anywhere in the world.