Liberal-Popular Union

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The Liberal-Popular Union (Unione Liberal-Popolare) was a short-lived Christian-democratic faction within Forza Italia.

It was founded on 27 October 2007 by Ferdinando Adornato (ex-PCI, ex-AD). Since the foundation of Forza Italia in 1994, it was the first time that supporters of Christian democracy, which is by far the largest ideological tendency within the party, set up a nationally-organized faction. That was the result of the growing influence of liberals (some of them gathered in Popular Liberalism) and social democrats (organized in four groups: We Blue Reformers, Young Italy, Free Foundation and the Circles of Reformist Initiative) in party ranks over Christian democrats, who constitute an overwhelmingly although not organized majority.[1]

The faction, composed of both former Christian Democrats (Roberto Formigoni, Giuseppe Pisanu, Enrico La Loggia, Giuseppe Gargani, Angelo Sanza, Raffaele Fitto) and former Liberals (Isabella Bertolini, Antonio Tajani), was very keen on the formation of a new of a Freedom Party uniting the three main parties of the centre-right: Forza Italia, National Alliance (AN) and the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats (UDC). In their perspective, this party should be the synthesis of Christian democrats and liberals, and they consider themselves as an embryo of this project.[2]

The "Manifesto for a Good Politics" (Manifesto per una buona politica) was signed by most Christian democrats of Forza Italia, including Claudio Azzolini, Maria Burani, Cesare Campa, Giuseppe Cossiga, Maurizio Lupi, Adriano Paroli, Roberto Rosso and Gustavo Selva, and also by Maurizio Sacconi, a former Socialist.[3]

Adornato proposed also another "Liberals and Populars Manifesto" (Manifesto Liberali e Popolari), which was signed by Alfredo Biondi (leading liberal and member of Popular Liberalism), Mario Pescante (ex-PRI) Gennaro Malgieri (AN), Sandro Fontana (UDC), Ortensio Zecchino (UDC) and Renzo Foa (editorialist of Il Giornale),[4] and transformed his "Liberal Circles" in "Liberals and Populars Circles". At the head of these there is a President (Adornato himself), a Coordinator (Angelo Sanza) and a Board (composed of the people who signed the Manifesto).[5]

When Berlusconi decided to launch the People of Freedom party on 18 November, both Adornato and Sanza suddenly refused to join it because they felt it was too personality-driven.[6] On 1 February 2008 they finally switched to the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats.[7] After this move, the faction was disbanded, as most of the members decided to follow Berlusconi's line. It seems that the idea of a united Christian-democratic faction within Forza Italia has failed again and that the group around Formigoni, Network Italy, might take this role.

Adornato later transformed its circles in a faction within UDC, the Liberals and Christians.

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