Conservatives and Reformists (Italy)

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Conservatives and Reformists
Conservatori e Riformisti
President Raffaele Fitto
Founded May 2015 (launch)
3 June 2015 (foundation)
Dissolved 28 January 2017
Split from Forza Italia
Succeeded by Direction Italy
Headquarters Via Torre dell'Astrologo 44, Manfredonia
Ideology Conservatism
Soft euroscepticism
Liberal conservatism
Christian democracy
Liberalism
Political position Centre-right
European affiliation Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe
European Parliament group European Conservatives and Reformists
Colours      Blue
Website
conservatorieriformisti.it

The Conservatives and Reformists (Italian: Conservatori e Riformisti, CR or CoR) were a broadly conservative[1][2] and, to some extent,[3][4] Christian-democratic and liberal[3][4] political party in Italy, led by Raffaele Fitto.

The CR emerged in May 2015 from a split from Forza Italia (FI), and is modelled on the British Conservative Party and David Cameron's brand of liberal conservatism, vision and leadership (in the run-up to the 2015 UK general election Fitto, Capezzone and other 28 MPs of their faction within FI had publicly endorsed Cameron in a letter to The Telegraph)[5] and named after the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), the group in the European Parliament in which the Conservatives and Fitto sit. The CR joined the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists (AECR) on 13 November 2015.[6]

Since January 2017 the CR have been part of a new party named Direction Italy (DI), also led by Fitto.

History[edit]

Forza Italia's Rebuilders[edit]

In November 2013 The People of Freedom, the centre-right party led by Silvio Berlusconi, was transformed into Forza Italia (FI), a reference to a defunct party with the same name.[7] Among the strongest supporters of the return to FI, the so-called "hawks"[8] and self-proclaimed "loyalists",[9] a leading role was played by Raffaele Fitto.[10][11] At the 2014 European Parliament election Fitto was FI's most voted candidate and was elected to the European Parliament in the South.[12]

Fitto, the strongest backer of Berlusconi's leadership in late 2013, became his main internal challenger by mid 2014. After months of bickering with Berlusconi over the so-called "Nazareno pact" with Matteo Renzi, leader of the Democratic Party and Prime Minister, in February 2015 Fitto launched his own faction, named "Rebuilders".[13] Fitto's allies included Capezzone, Maurizio Bianconi, Rocco Palese, Saverio Romano, Cinzia Bonfrisco, Augusto Minzolini and most Apulian MPs.[14]

Split from Forza Italia[edit]

In the run-up of the 2015 regional elections Berlusconi and Fitto did not find an agreement on the composition of the slates in Apulia, where the party's two wings fielded two opposing candidates for president.[15][16][17] At the 2015 Apulian regional election a list named after Fitto ("Beyond with Fitto") won 9.3% of the vote and its candidate for president, Francesco Schittulli (Schittulli Political Movement), won 18.3% of the president's vote (won by Michele Emiliano, a Democrat), compared to 10.8% for FI and 14.4% for FI's official candidate and former member of the Brothers of Italy (FdI), Adriana Poli Bortone.[18]

Two weeks before the regional elections, Fitto left the European People's Party Group in the European Parliament in order to join the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR).[19] He also left FI altogether and launched the Conservatives and Reformists (CR).[20]

At its launch, the CR included nine deputies (eight sitting with FI and one with the FdI)[21][22] and twelve senators (ten from FI and two from Great Autonomies and Freedom, GAL), organised in an official group;[23] two senators later defected to the Liberal Popular Alliance (ALA),[24][25] but the remaining ten senators were enough to keep the senatorial group alive. In early July the CR were joined by an additional MEP, Remo Sernagiotto, who had defected from FI and the EPP to ECR.[26]

The CR were established as a full-fledged political party on 16 July 2015.[27][28]

European and Italian alliances[edit]

In November the CR joined the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists (AECR),[6] and started a sub-group within the Mixed Group in the Chamber of Deputies with eleven deputies, ten from FI and one from FdI.[29][30] CR's deputies and senators may soon join forces with the group of splinters Gaetano Quagliariello led out from the New Centre-Right, an earlier FI's spin-off, and Flavio Tosi's Act! (split from Lega Nord); such an alliance could boast more than 20 deputies and 15 senators.[31]

In January 2016 another CR senator switched to ALA,[32] leaving the party with only nine senators. Being ten the minimum required number to form a group in the Senate, the party risked losing that privilege,[33] but Luigi Compagna, a senator from Quagliariello's Identity and Action (IdeA) and the Great Autonomies and Freedom group, joined the CR group in order to keep it alive, in a move that might be a prelude for a broader alliance between the two parties.[34][35][36] In May history repeated itself: after one more senator had switched to ALA, another IdeA senator, Andrea Augello, joined forces with the CR group in order to keep it alive.

In the 2016 local elections the CR ran its lists especially in Apulia: the party won 6.2% in Brindisi and had its candidate for mayor (Angela Carluccio) elected in the run-off,[37] 7.2% in Fasano,[38] 5.6% in Gallipoli,[39] 13.2% in Nardò,[40] 11.6% in Ruvo di Puglia,[41] and 7.2% in San Giovanni Rotondo.[42]

Dissolution into Direction Italy[edit]

In December 2016 Cinzia Bonfrisco left the party and joined the Italian Liberal Party (PLI), giving it representation in the Senate.[43] In January 2017 Fitto launched a new party, named Direction Italy (DI), including the CR and other minor parties.[44][45] After the dissolution of the CR group for lack of members, in May the seven senators of CR–DI joined the GAL group,[46] composed primarily of minor centre-right parties, while the CR sub-group in the Chamber maintained its name for some time.

Leadership[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bruno Guarini (July 16, 2015). "Abbasso Le Pen, Merkel e Putin, evviva Cameron. Ecco il manifesto di Fitto e Capezzone". Le Formiche. Retrieved July 20, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Fitto si ispira a Cameron e "ruba" il leone dei Tories per il nuovo partito". Secolo d'Italia. July 10, 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Due cose al Foglio sui (veri) conservatori - L'intraprendente | L'intraprendente
  4. ^ a b Conservatori e Riformisti | Raffaele Fitto | Nuovo partito | Simbolo | Programma | Chi ne fa parte
  5. ^ Letters: Voters want politicians to stop hiding the facts about debt - Telegraph
  6. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-12-23. Retrieved 2015-11-19. 
  7. ^ "Berlusconi breaks away from Italian government after party splits". Reuters. 16 November 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2013. 
  8. ^ "Nel Pdl colombe pronte alla battaglia E il partito ora rischia la scissione". Archiviostorico.corriere.it. Retrieved 2014-07-10. 
  9. ^ "Fitto: noi lealisti non vogliamo posti Azzerare tutto e poi congresso". Archiviostorico.corriere.it. Retrieved 2014-07-10. 
  10. ^ "Pdl, tanti no all?ipotesi del congresso". Archiviostorico.corriere.it. Retrieved 2014-07-10. 
  11. ^ "Il Pdl e la sfida sugli incarichi Si affacciano i mediatori". Archiviostorico.corriere.it. Retrieved 2014-07-10. 
  12. ^ "::: Ministero dell'Interno ::: Archivio Storico delle Elezioni - Europee del 25 Maggio 2014". Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  13. ^ "Fi, Fitto lancia i "ricostruttori" "Stiamo e saremo nel partito"". Corriere della Sera. Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  14. ^ "Dall?ex tesoriere ai pugliesi: chi sta con Fitto E Verdini prova ad assottigliare la pattuglia". Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  15. ^ "Berlusconi-Alfano, intesa in Campania È rottura con Fitto". Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  16. ^ "In Puglia Berlusconi lancia Poli Bortone: è caos". Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  17. ^ ""Poli Bortone dice sì". Toti: ora Fitto si allinei". Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  18. ^ Puglia - Elezioni Regionali - 31 maggio 2015 - la Repubblica.it
  19. ^ Archivio Corriere della Sera
  20. ^ "Fitto, nasce associazione Conservatori e Riformisti". ANSA.it. Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-11-07. Retrieved 2015-08-18. 
  22. ^ Fi: gruppo Camera fa i conti, ipotesi scissione Fitto 'vale' 1 mln euro
  23. ^ senato.it - Composizione del Gruppo Conservatori e Riformisti nella XVII Legislatura
  24. ^ Archivio Corriere della Sera
  25. ^ "Raffaele Fitto, con lui dodici senatori: ecco i nomi". Affaritaliani (in Italian). 26 May 2015. 
  26. ^ Remo Sernagiotto MEP joins the ECR Group : European Conservatives and Reformists Group
  27. ^ Conservatori, Fitto lancia il simbolo: «Siamo nel centrodestra, ma no ad accordi poco chiari» - Il Sole 24 ORE
  28. ^ Ecco il Leone Blu dei Conservatori e Riformisti. Fitto: "Noi alternativi a Renzi" - Rai News
  29. ^ Nasce la componente Conservatori e Riformisti anche alla Camera | Corriere Salentino
  30. ^ Camera, Alfano perde pezzi: i deputati di Quagliariello emigrano nel gruppo Misto - Il Fatto Quotidiano
  31. ^ Diaspora Ncd, Quagliariello "cerca" Tosi e Fitto. Verdini sogna l'Opa sugli alfaniani. E Ala cresce ancora | Giornalettismo
  32. ^ Pagnoncelli con Verdini. Ala arriva a quota 19 senatori - Affaritaliani.it
  33. ^ Senato: si scioglie gruppo fittiani - Politica - ANSA.it
  34. ^ Quagliariello aiuta Fitto, i senatori di Cor tornano a dieci: salvo il gruppo
  35. ^ Fitto ha un’«Idea»: si rivolge a Quagliariello e si fa prestare il senatore Luigi Compagna | Corriere Salentino
  36. ^ Senatore di “Idea” si iscriverà a gruppo Conservatori e Riformisti a Palazzo Madama. Quagliariello e Fitto sempre più vicini | Lecce ed il Salento online
  37. ^ http://www.repubblica.it/static/speciale/2016/elezioni/comunali/brindisi.html#risultati
  38. ^ http://www.repubblica.it/static/speciale/2016/elezioni/comunali/fasano.html#risultati
  39. ^ http://www.repubblica.it/static/speciale/2016/elezioni/comunali/gallipoli.html#risultati
  40. ^ http://www.repubblica.it/static/speciale/2016/elezioni/comunali/nardo.html#risultati
  41. ^ http://www.repubblica.it/static/speciale/2016/elezioni/comunali/ruvo_di_puglia.html#risultati
  42. ^ http://www.repubblica.it/static/speciale/2016/elezioni/comunali/san_giovanni_rotondo.html#risultati
  43. ^ http://www.partitoliberale.it/13515/comunicati/liberali-ritornano-al-senato.html
  44. ^ http://www.opinione.it/politica/2017/01/31/sola_politica-31-01.aspx
  45. ^ http://formiche.net/2017/01/29/direzione-italia-ecco-idee-e-alleati-del-nuovo-partito-thatcheriano-di-raffaele-fitto/
  46. ^ http://www.senato.it/Leg17/4244