Forza Italia

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Template:Infobox Italy Political Party

Forza Italia is an Italian political party. It is headed by Silvio Berlusconi, who also is Prime Minister of Italy.

It was formed in 1993 by Berlusconi, a successful businessman and owner of all the main private television stations in Italy. A few months after its creation, Forza Italia came to national power in the 1994 elections as the head of a political coalition called Polo delle Libert, but fell when the northern separatist Lega Nord left the coalition. It regained power in the 2001 elections, with the League's support in a new coalition called Casa delle libert. Occasionally, Forza Italia has surpassed 30% of votes (as in the 1994 elections for the European parliament), but presently (as of 2005) its base of support consists of about one-fifth of the electorate. In the regional elections of April 2005, it received 18.5% of the vote.


1 External links

Football rhetorics

"Forza Italia" used to be shouted at football matches as an encouragement for the national team ("Go on Italy"), but has since been dropped because of the obvious political implications of using the name of a major political party. It should be noted that founder Silvio Berlusconi is also the owner of Serie A team AC Milan, and has used its many successes in football as a propaganda subject. In 1994, talking about his direct rival in his electoral college, economist Luciano Spaventa, Berlusconi said "He should return when he's won a Champion's League". Forza Italia supporters call themselves "Azzurri", another clear reference to the national football team, but this is rarely used by others. Names as "forzista" or sometimes "forzitaliano" are considered neutral, while opponents sometime use the pejorative "forzitaliota".

Internal structure

Forza Italia has a president (actually Silvio Berlusconi), a vice-president, a Presidential Committee (Comitato di Presidenza) and a National Council. Moreover it has thematic departments and regional, provincial or metropolitan coordination boards plus a lot of affiliate clubs (Club Azzurro) all over Italy. In at least one occasion, Berlusconi used his own financial means to pay debts accumulated by the party, drawing criticism from other political forces about the party being too closely related to one person only.

It is claimed that Forza Italia has no internal democracy, because there is no way of changing the leader of the party from below. Instead, key posts in the party structure are appointed by Berlusconi or his delegates. Party conventions normally do not have elections to choose the party leadership, but are more like events arranged for propaganda purposes. However, Berlusconi is highly popular among his party fellows, and it is unlikely he could be overthrown if such an election were to occur.

Distinctive traits

Since its birth, Forza Italia has been using means unconventional for Italian politics. It is heavily dependent on Berlusconi's image, the party anthem is sung in karaoke fashion at congresses, there is nominally no internal opposition, and TV advertisement is extensive, especially on Berlusconi's own TV networks; Forza Italia and Berlusconi deny this is a relevant conflict of interest.

External links

fr:Forza Italia it:Forza Italia ja:フォルツァ・イタリア no:Forza Italia sv:Forza Italia


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