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Questo articolo è stato pubblicato il 02 febbraio 2013 alle ore 12:07.


Lombardy is the Ohio of the Italian elections. This large region of Northern Italy, the door to Europe, will decide who gets the majority in the Senate, the upper house of the Italian Parliament. Lombardy in fact will account for 49 seats, the highest number in all Italian regions, and with the winning coalition receiving as many as 27 seats.

This "booty" can be decisive for the center-left, currently ahead in opinion polls, in order to come through with an absolute majority in the Senate (in the Camera victory would be taken for granted) thus enabling the winning party to govern.
In this region there will also be a vote for the election of the President and the Regional Council, the two elections being closely connected to each other. For this reason Pier Luigi Bersani asked Mario Monti to think about withdrawing his candidate from the Region, which is a moderate leader who could help boost the center-right candidate. The answer, however, was negative: Gabriele Albertini, MEP and former mayor of Milan, said that he would not step down.

Lombardy is the most populated (9.7 million inhabitants) and one of the richest (per capita GDP of € 30,342) and most productive (71 companies for every thousand inhabitants, compared to a national average of 63) regions in the country: traditionally it is something of a stronghold of the center-right, which has governed without a break for 18 years (with Roberto Formigoni). In 2011, the left managed a surprise win in Milan, the capital of the region, with Giuliano Pisapia, a famous criminal lawyer close to the far left. Now the left is attempting a "coup" in the region, in the hope that victory here can also create votes in the Senate.
According to forecasts, in the Senate there is something of head to head between the two main coalitions with the center-right ahead by only one percentage point. The battle will continue right up until the final vote is cast, as demonstrated by the fact that Berlusconi has done everything in his power to confirm his alliance with Lega, a party with strong roots in the north and with which he governed in tandem at national level. This is the reason why he left in place the centre-right candidate Roberto Maroni, secretary of Northern League.

The center-left, however, sees victory as a possibility but judicial investigations, which we have all heard about in the last few days, could damage his route to both the Region and the Senate: his councillors were investigated over a story that covers irregular expenses (a similar story to that involving members of the center-right council). Bad news that forced Bersani to show all his cards, along with the request to Monti to "withdraw" his candidate from the Region's election campaign, even if Monti at the same time is a likely future ally of the government once the vote is in. But to see how it all finally turns out we will have to wait until 24 February.
(Traduzione di James Tierney)

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