New Italy (faction)
Its president is Gianni Alemanno, a post-fascist politician who had been minister of Agriculture (2001–2006) and mayor of Rome (2008–2013). New Italy was affiliated to The People of Freedom (PdL), a broad centre-right party led by Silvio Berlusconi, until October 2013, when Alemanno left the party to launch Italy First.
Alemanno was one of the two main leaders of Social Right, a faction within National Alliance (AN), along with Francesco Storace. They represented the party's nostalgic right-wing. In 2007 Alemanno divorced from Storace because of the latter's opposition of Gianfranco Fini's leaderhip within the party, the party's application to become a member of the European People's Party and its proposed merged with Forza Italia to form the PdL. While Storace chose to leave the party to form The Right to the right of AN, Alemanno threw his weight behind Fini and launched New Italy as a cultural association instead.
Since its foundation, the cornerstones of New Italy had been those of the late Social Right: a strong Italian identity (with a clear reference to the tradition of the Italian Social Movement), disillusionment with globalization, social market economy, a "social" view of welfare and pacifism. Despite his post-fascist past, Alemanno tended to be a moderate figure within the PdL, thanks to his converging views with the party's Christian democrats on moral and social issues.
Within the PdL, New Italy organized the so-called New Italy Circles, which were the political/factional arm of the association. In 2010 they staunchly supported the leadership of Silvio Berlusconi and opposed the moves of Generation Italy, the minority faction around Gianfranco Fini. In this respect the faction was in collaboration with the two other main groups coming from National Alliance which were loyal to Berlusconi, Protagonist Italy (leaders: Maurizio Gasparri, Ignazio La Russa) and Foundation of Freedom (leader: Altero Matteoli), along with some minor groups (Christian Reformists, Movement for Italy, etc.).
In 2011 Alemanno became more critical of Berlusconi. In September New Italy organized a three-day convention during which Alemanno outlined its plan for Italy and the PdL. At the top of his agenda, there were the introduction of primaries at all levels in the PdL and the reduction of Lega Nord's role within the coalition.
In October 2013 Alemanno, who was defeated in his mayoral re-election bid, left the PdL. A few days later, he launched a new political party called Italy First. In doing this, he was actively supported by New Italy, which contributed to the draft of the party's founding manifesto.
- Official website of New Italy Foundation
- Official website of New Italy Circles
- Official website of Italy First
- Official website of Gianni Alemanno