back to home  
Home Blog Profiles Press Contact Archive Photogallery Students
The Acton Collection, Villa La Pietra  
La Pietra Dialogues On the World On-Line
The Candidates: 2013
Scott Cairns
La Pietra Dialogues
February 26, 2013

Here is a quick look at the four frontrunners in the 2013 Italian General Elections:

Pier Luigi Bersani, Age 61


Leader of the Centre-Left Coalition

Education: Pier Luigi Bersani is a graduate of the University of Bologna with a degree in philosophy

Political Career: Mr. Bersani was a member of the Italian Communist Party and later the Democratic Party of the Left. He has served in several cabinets as Minster of Industry, Commerce and Craftsmanship from 1996 to 1999, Minster of Transports from 1999-2001, and Minister of Economic Development from 2006-2008. Mr. Bersani served in the European Parliament from 2004 to 2006.  He currently is the Secretary of the Democratic Party of Italy.

Platform in the 2013 Elections: Pier Luigi Bersani has campaigned on a platform of higher taxes on the wealthy, as well as large scale investment in schools and hospitals. He has largely avoided any talk of cutting spending, opting instead to promise an end to the recent austerity policies.

Parties Represented in the Centre-Left Coalition:

Democratic Party

Left Ecology Freedom

Democratic Centre

Italian Socialist Party

South Tyrolean People’s Party

Moderates for Piedmont

The Megaphone


Silvio Berlusconi, Age 76

Leader of the Centre-Right Coalition

Photo by: Agencia Brasil, License Creative CommonsAttribution 3.0 Brazil
Photo by: Agencia Brasil, License Creative CommonsAttribution 3.0 Brazil

Education: Silvio Berlusconi graduated with honors and a degree in law from the Università Statale in Milan.

Political Career: Silvio Berlusconi has been involved in Italian politics since his victory in the 1994 general election. His first term as prime minister was cut short when his coalition of nationalist and regionalist parties were found to be incompatible. He returned to office again in 2001, when he won a decisive victory after his “Contratto con gli Italiani” (Contract with the Italians) promise. Here, he made a number of promises including cutting the unemployment rate in half and stifling the crime wave across the nation.  He was largely unable to keep these promises, and lost the 2006 elections to Romano Prodi and his centre-left coalition. The fall of this cabinet in 2008 allowed for Berlusconi, now leading the new “People of Freedom” party list, to return to the post for the third time. The global economic crisis in 2011, coupled with numerous scandals, led Berlusconi to tender his resignation. Mario Monti and his technocratic government took up the post on November 16th, 2011.

Platform in the 2013 Elections: Accompanying his heavily covered promise of offering a repeal and refund on the hated primary residence tax instituted during the Monti cabinet, Berlusconi has campaigned for heavy tax breaks. He has promised huge financial support for young entrepreneurs, an alluring suggestion with high youth unemployment numbers in Italy.

Parties Represented in the Centre-Right Coalition:

The People of Freedom

The Northern League

The Brothers of Italy

The Right


Beppe Grillo, Age 64

grillo foto

Leader of the Five Star Movement

Education: Beppe Grillo received a degree in accounting before beginning a career as a comedian.

Political Career: Beppe Grillo has no formal career as a politician. The extent of his involvement in politics up until the 2013 general election is that of organizer of rallies and maintenance of a blog in which he often expresses his political viewpoints.

Platform in the 2013 Elections: Campaigning on a platform of "anti-establishmentarianism," Mr. Grillo strongly advocates the end of ´business as usual´ politics. His entire campaign has been run through the internet, largely through his blog. The Five Star Movement campaigns for direct democracy and expresses a desire to remove all politicians with a criminal record of any kind from office.


Mario Monti, Age 69

Leader of the Centre Coalition

Photo byGiuseppe Lillo, used under GNU Free Documentation License
Photo by Giuseppe Lillo, used under GNU Free Documentation License

Education: Mario Monti received a degree in economics from Bocconi University in Milan. He has also studied in the United States at Yale University. Mr. Monti has been a professor and staff member at the Universities of Trento and Turin, as well as his alma mater Bocconi University.

Political Career: Mr. Monti has served as a European Commissioner on three separate commissions from 1994 to 2004. When Silvio Berlusconi resigned from the post of Prime Minister in November 2011, Mario Monti was appointed to lead a group of unelected technocrats to tackle Italy’s financial crisis.  During his time as Prime Minister, he introduced a series of austerity measures including increased taxes and pension reforms. When Silvio Berlusconi’s party withdrew its support for his cabinet, Mario Monti stepped down from his post in December 2012. He has since entered the political fray as leader of a centrist coalition in the 2013 elections.

Platform in the 2013 Elections: Mario Monti has campaigned on a platform based on his writings in his manifesto, “Change Italy, Reform Europe.” He has called for continued structural reforms and prudence in spending. Labor market reforms that he was unable to pass during his time as prime minister are high on his agenda, and he has attacked trade unions for being the cause of this impasse. He is a strong proponent of increased integration with Europe.

Parties Represented in the 2013 Elections:

Civic Choice

Union of the Centre

Future and Freedom

    share print
twitter linkedin facebook facebook


NYU Florence
NYU Global
NYU Wagner




Villa La Pietra
Via Bolognese, 120
50139 Florence - Italy




Phone +39 055 5007 557
Fax +39 055 5007 576