Some claims in this article need to be corrected.
The centre right did not win in Genova ( Genoa) in May 2012 and that the city in question is not "a vile redoubt of reaction" now and was not one ten years ago either.
The second round run off of the mayoral contest in Genoa gave Marco Doria, the centre left candidate, close to Sinistra Ecologia e Liberta ( Vendola’s party) no less than 59.7% against 40.3% for Enrico Musso, a centrist candidate, who although once a member of Berlusconi’s PdL had stood against the more right wing PdL candidate in the first round.
Admittedly, there was a 61% abstention rate in the second round but not all the abstainers were necessarily on the right. Moreover, the city’s past gives it at least as great claim to be a redoubt of revolution, rather than reaction, as Turin. Genoa played a glorious role in the Italian Resistance, was the most insurrectionary city in July 1948, was the scene of massive violent anti-fascist demonstrations in July 1960 and, as more of your readers are likely to remember, the vast majority of its population sided with the anti globalisation protesters against the repressive apparatus of Berlusconi and Fini’ s state in events of July 2001.
I suspect that somewhere along the way, a confusion arose, for reasons I can not comprehend as the cities’ names and geographical locations are so different, with Verona, a city where an appalling former fascist Leghista mayor, Tosi, was triumphantly re-elected in the first round.
Nonetheless, I felt I should come to Genoa’s defence, given that the city has the misfortune to be the birth place of Beppe Grillo, an increasingly dangerous demagogue and charlatan who has not only expressed racist sentiments about emigrants and made Europhobic statements about returning to the lira as Hugh has pointed but also trivialised the Mafia on a recent visit to Palermo, saying it only asked for a little bit of protection money ( pizzo) whilst the politicians strangled people, a tasteless joke at best, given that the Mafia ‘s methods of killing people have shown great variety over the years and are not confined to guns and bombs.
Toby Abse 24.5.12