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This year’s first Monday Briefing comes in a pretty convoluted time period. We start from the results of the Italian elections, which were clearly won by the right-wing parties, with Meloni set to become the first female Prime Minister of the country. In other news, partial mobilization in Russia, referenda in Ukraine, protests in Iran and a cholera outbreak in Syria. Find it all in this week’s #MondayBriefing 

Spotlight 

Italy will be led by a right-wing government. The general election that was held yesterday, September 25th, delivered a clear winner, and while the last votes are being counted and as of right now we cannot be sure of how the next Parliament will be composed exactly, the figures clearly indicate that right-wing will have a 50%+1 majority in both chambers. That means that they have the numbers needed to take office. They will not, however, be able to obtain a 2/3 majority in either chamber, which means that it will not be possible for them to unilaterally modify the Constitution. In the weeks that preceded the election, the left-wing had expressed fear that the right-wing could obtain such a majority. 

The coalition will be led by the Brothers of Italy, which obtained around 26% of the votes, in line with expectations from the last few weeks but an astonishing result for a party that was born as quite extremist and that until just a few years ago was polling at 4-5%. Its leader Giorgia Meloni is therefore set to be the first female Prime Minister of the country’s history. Other members of the coalition include Matteo Salvini’s League, which obtained less than 9% of preferences and – even if it will undoubtedly be part of the government coalition – is considered one of the major losers of this election. At the 2018 election, the League had in fact obtained almost 19% of votes, which became 34% at the European election of 2019. The coalition is completed by Forza Italia, led by Silvio Berlusconi, which obtained about 8% of the votes, in line with expectations.  

The left-wing coalition, which as a whole obtained about 25% of preferences, is led by the other main loser of this election, the Democratic Party (Pd). On paper, Pd had a pretty good performance, as it gained about 19% of preferences and is the uncontested second political force of the country. However, 19% is also the second-worst result in any election in the party’s 15-year-old history, and many expect that the leader of the party, Enrico Letta, will have to step down. 

The other real winner of this election is undoubtedly the 5-Star Movement, led by former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, which obtained about 15% of the vote. Of course, compared to the 30+% of 2018, it may seem like a failure, but until no more than a month ago the party was polling below 10% but it managed to gain momentum over the last couple of weeks.  

Related:  Monday Briefing 14/02/2022

A bit of disappointment is also there for the so-called “third pole”, which is actually the fourth pole. The movement introduced by Carlo Calenda and Matteo Renzi as an “alternative to the mainstream parties” obtained about 7% of votes, which is in line with opinion polls and impressive for a movement born a little over a month ago, but below the double-digit result that the leader of the coalition Carlo Calenda has repeatedly said he was aiming for. 

Around the World 

Putin announces partial mobilization. Following the recapture of over 600 km by the Ukranian forces in the north-east and south of the country, the Kremlin has ordered partial mobilization of over 300 thousand reservists. The announcement was met with protests in large Russian cities, which were however tackled down by police forces. During the official announcement address, Putin also reiterated the threat of using nuclear weapons: “When the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people. It’s not a bluff,” the Russian leader declared.  

The Fed intensifies its battle against inflation. On Wednesday, the Fed raised its policy rate by 75 basis points for the third time since June, moving it up to the 3-3.25% range. Jerome H. Powell, the chair of the Fed, communicated in the post-meeting news conference that the Federal Reserve was determined to curb inflation despite the projected negative consequences on growth and the labor market. “We have got to get inflation behind us,” Mr. Powell said. “I wish there were a painless way to do that; there isn’t.” 

Biden Condemns Russia as Threat to the World in U.N. Speech. During his first speech at the United Nations since Russia’s attack on Ukraine, Biden condemned Putin’s violation of the U.N. Charter by emphasizing that, in February, “a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council invaded its neighbor”. Hours after Putin had issued new nuclear threats and had called for the mobilization of military reservists, Biden reiterated his solidarity with Ukraine and renewed warnings that “a nuclear war cannot be won”. Both Putin and Xi Jinping skipped the event. 

Myanmar junta attack on school condemned as child death toll rises to 11. In the deadliest attack on children since Myanmar’s ruling military junta seized power, at least 13 people, among which 11 schoolchildren, were killed after an airstrike took place on a school in Let Yet Kone, a village in central Myanmar. The junta maintains that the strike was targeting rebels hiding in the area.    

Catholics Outnumber Protestants in Northern Ireland for the First Time. For the first time, Catholics outnumber Protestants in Northern Ireland, census figures released on Thursday show — confirmation of a long-anticipated but still striking shift with implications for the region’s future. The result could intensify debate, at an already politically fraught moment, about the region seceding from the United Kingdom and reunifying Ireland, but experts have also cautioned against equating religion with political affiliation. 

Related:  Monday Briefing 18/04/2022

Flood-hit Pakistan should suspend debt repayments, says UN policy paper. A UN policy memorandum proposes Pakistan’s should negotiate a form of debt relief in order to “stem the climate-change-fueled crisis”, after the country’s recent catastrophic floods. 

Water Problems in Syria Give Rise to Deadly Cholera Outbreak. A deadly cholera outbreak has been spreading in northern Syria over the past two weeks in areas where millions of people displaced by the country’s long civil war are suffering from a lack of clean water and health care, according to aid organizations that have warned of another potential humanitarian crisis. 

Russia Begins Orchestrating Staged Voting in Occupied Territories. In Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhya, Kremlin authorities are staging referendums in order to validate the annexation of the territories by the Russian state. Residents have reported the presence of groups with Kalashnikov rifles and portable ballot boxes coming to people’s houses to make them vote. Ukraine and its European allies have deemed the referendums as illegal under international law.   

Thousands of Iranians are taking the streets against the country’s Islamic government. Demonstrations have swept Iran after the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman detained by the Iranian morality police for stepping upon the country’s strict dress code rule.  At least 41 people have been killed by security forces since the start of the protests, according to Iranian officials. Nonetheless, human rights activists claim the death toll to be much higher.  In an attempt to prevent protesters from coordinating, authorities have cut access to social media outlets, such as Instagram or WhatsApp.  

Philippines begins evacuation process as massive typhoon nears. The East-Asian country is on high alert as super typhoon Noru approaches its coast. Weather forecasters have warned the storm could cause landslides and flash flooding, which would lead to severe damages to people’s homes and local infrastructure. The Philippine President has canceled classes in school and closed down non-emergency government buildings in order to keep people indoors, his office declared.  

Italian News 

Elezioni, Ft: “L’Italia non può essere governata per sempre da tecnocrati”. Guardian: “Se vince la Meloni conseguenze terribili”. In un editoriale dal titolo “I tanti volti del probabile nuovo premier italiano“ edito dal Financial Times, il famoso quotidiano della City si domanda se Giorgia Meloni sia effettivamente ciò di cui l’Italia necessita, in un momento storico-politico così critico come quello attuale. L’articolo continua dicendo che “l’Italia non può essere sempre governata da tecnocrati”, nonostante la competenza di Draghi e che la Meloni sembra essere la “meno peggio” tra tutti i terribili personaggi della destra italiana. Nonostante la posizione sfumata del giornale che si limita a concludere lo scritto con uno sfumato “lo scopriremo presto”, il giornate The Guardian rimarca con forza che  “Le conseguenze economiche e sociali di un’amministrazione Meloni sarebbero probabilmente terribili” in un pezzo firmato da Jamie Mackay.  

Related:  Monday Briefing 28/11/2022

Draghi: “Evitare le ambiguità, autocrazie sfruttano le esitazioni”. Draghi riceve a New York il premio di “statista dell’anno” durante la 57ma edizione dell’Annual Awards Dinner della ‘Appeal of Conscience Foundation’. Draghi sostiene che sarà il modo in cui “trattiamo con le autocrazie” che “definirà la nostra capacità di plasmare il futuro” e continua sottolineando l’importanza di costanza, franchezza e impegno per ottenere risultati concreti.  

“Aiutare l’Ucraina a proteggersi non è stata soltanto la scelta corretta da compiere. È stata l’unica scelta coerente con gli ideali di giustizia e fratellanza che sono alla base della Carta delle Nazioni Unite” sono le parole di Draghi mentre parla davanti all’Assemblea generale delle Nazioni Unite. Allo stesso tempo, il discorso di Putin con la minaccia di una guerra nucleare arriva in un momento assolutamente delicato per la politica italiana, date le imminenti elezioni. Alcuni politici italiani come Conte e Letta hanno rimarcato il loro sostegno per l’Ucraina e anche il leader leghista Matteo Salvini ha dichiarato che questa “non è una bella notizia” e che spera che “la guerra finisca presto”.  

Salvini risponde a von der Leyen: «Si deve dimettere o chiedere scusa». La Presidente della Commissione UE si esprime così sugli eventuali risultati delle elezioni italiane: “La situazione sarà difficile, abbiamo gli strumenti per intervenire”. La reazione di Matteo Salvini non si è fatta attendere, dicendo: “Che cos’è? Un ricatto, una minaccia, bullismo istituzionale? O chiede scusa o si dimette, a tre giorni dal voto è istituzionalmente scorretto minacciare gli italiani”.  

Bocconi News 

  • On Monday, there was a meeting between representatives of the students and the University about lowering prices of the canteen in Via Bocconi 12, which have increased by more than 20% compared to last year. An agreement was however not found 
  • Today is the last day to vote for your class representatives. Make sure to vote in the ad hoc section of You@b 
  • On Friday, Bocconi hosted in Roentgen the Missoni Spring Summer 2023 Fashion Show as part of the Milano Fashion Week. A lot of VIP were spotted in campus, including Valentina Ferragni and Asia Argento 

In Case You Missed it: 

On the Arts and Culture column, Chiara Agnoli wrote about Bruce Nauman, a collection of whose works will be displayed in the art exhibition “BRUCE NAUMAN. Neons Corridors Rooms.” at Hangar Biccocca in Milan from September 5, 2022 to February 26, 2023. 

On the TiL Rundown column, François Praum investigated how politicians employ science communication as a source of legitimacy for their decisions especially during crises. 

Lorenzo Garbarino wrote about Villa Necchi Campiglio, one of the hidden gems in the city of Milan. 

Author profile

Every week, your TiL Monday Briefing 🗞: you better read it with a cup of coffee! ☕️

Current members of the team are Bojan Zeric, Elisa Latora, Dragos Ile, Olimpia Vitali, Marco Visentin, Federica Di Chiara, Chiara Binello and Chiara Todesco

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