Liberal Democrats (Italy)
|Founded||18 September 2007|
|Headquarters||via di Ripetta, 142
|Ideology||Social liberalism, Centrism|
|European Parliament group||no MEPs|
|Chamber of Deputies|
The party was founded on 18 September 2007 as a split of the right-wing of Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy (DL). Liberal Democrats broke because of their opposition over the formation of the Democratic Party. The new party was a sort of continuation of the late Italian Renewal party. The party was joined by three senators (Natale D'Amico, Giuseppe Scalera and Dini himself), a deputy (Italo Tanoni), a under-secretary (Daniela Melchiorre) and two regional deputies (Rosario Monteleone in Liguria and Antonio Verini in Abruzzo). Dini was elected party president, Tanoni coordinator and Scalera leader in the Senate, where Liberal Democrats were able to form a component in the Mixed Group.
Dini, who was minister of the Treasury in the Berlusconi I Cabinet, announced that the party remained a "critical member" of The Union and that it will "support the Democratic Party from the outside". The party also continued to support Prodi II Cabinet, but distanced itself from the government on some issues, notably foreign policy and social security reform. One of the goals of Liberal Democrats was that of challenging the "statist illusion which survives in DS and DL" and what they describe the hegemony of the far left over the centre-left and the government itself. Dini's move was heavily criticized by some far left exponents of the coalition, who accused him of helping Berlusconi's return in office.
On 24 January 2008 the Liberal Democrats voted against Prodi's government in a vote of confidence, along with UDEUR Populars, Domenico Fisichella and the parties of the House of Freedoms, causing its fall. Willer Bordon's Democratic Union voted in favour, as also Natale D'Amico did, dissenting from his leader Lamberto Dini.
On 8 February 2008 the party joined the The People of Freedom (PdL) led by Berlusconi. This led to the exit from the party of D'Amico who joined the Democratic Party and Rosario Monteleone who joined the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats. In the following general election, four Liberal Democrats were elected in the lists of PdL: Dini to the Senate, Tanoni, Scalera and Melchiorre to the Chamber of Deputies.
On 30 May 2008 Dini, who was re-elected President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Senate, along with Scalera, decided to leave his party and to join directly to PdL, while Tanoni, Melchiorre and others decided to hold on and to organize the Liberal Democrats as an independent centrist party allied to PdL. Melchiorre was elected president of the party some days later.
On 21 2008 July the two remaining deputies of the party, Melchiorre and Tanoni, formed a joint-group within the Mixed Group in the Chamber along with Francesco Nucara of the Italian Republican Party. Some months later the Liberal Democrats started to be very critical of Berlusconi IV Cabinet and joined the opposition in several key votes.
In January 2010 the party signed an electoral pact with the Union of the Centre (UdC). On 15 December 2010 LD was a founding member of the centrist New Pole for Italy along with the UdC, Future and Freedom, Alliance for Italy and the Movement for Autonomies. In a few months the party returned to support Berlusconi and Melchiorre was appointed under-secretary at the Ministry of Economic Development. However, less than a month after her appointment, Melchiorre left the government.
In October 2012, the balance of accounts of the People of Freedom showed that the Liberal Democrats had received one million Euros of financial support from PdL.
- President: Lamberto Dini (2007–2008), Daniela Melchiorre (2008–present)
- Coordinator: Italo Tanoni (2007–present)
- http://www.repubblica.it/news/ired/ultimora/2006/rep_nazionale_n_2529880.html?ref=hpsbdx1[dead link]
- "Dini: "Non entro nel Partito democratico"" (in Italian). Corriere della Sera. 2007-09-17.
- "Il "no" di Dini al Pd e il monito a Prodi:Lo attendiamo al varco" (in Italian). il Velino. 2007-10-19.
- "La Banca di Zoellick alla prova dei fatti" (in Italian). Aprileonline.info. 2007-10-18.
- "ELEZIONI: DINI ADERISCE AL PDL" (in Italian). la Repubblica.
- "Noi, veri liberaldemocratici, seguiamo Dini" (in Italian). il Giornale. 2008-05-31.
- "DINI: LASCIO I LIBERALDEMOCRATICI ED ADERISCO AL PROGETTO PDL" (in Italian). ASCA. 2008-05-30.
- ALICE Notizie[dead link]
- "Ld, Tanoni e Melchiorre in gruppo misto: "Nessuna spaccatura"" (in Italian). il Velino. 2008-06-10.
- "Camera dei Deputati - XVI legislatura - Organi Parlamentari - MISTO" (in Italian). Italian Chamber of Deputies.
- Cuzzocrea, Annalisa (31 October 2012), "Spuntano i fondi ai transfughi così il partito ha finanziato Scilipoti", La Repubblica