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Italy of Values (Italia dei Valori, IdV) is a centrist, populist and anti-corruption political party in Italy.

The party, that is affiliated to the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (ELDR), is headed by former Mani pulite prosecutor Antonio Di Pietro, who entered politics in 1996.


Early years

Antonio Di Pietro was Minister of Public Works in the Prodi I Cabinet from 1996 to 1997. In 1998 he was elected Senator in a by-election in Mugello, a Democrats of the Left stronghold in Tuscany, and set up his own Italy of Values (IdV) party, alongside with Willer Bordon of the Democratic Union. The next year Di Pietro led IdV into The Democrats, a new party founded by Romano Prodi with the goal of transforming the The Olive Tree coalition in a single "Democratic" party.

In the 1999 European Parliament election The Democrats scored 7.7% and Di Pietro was elected MEP. After having been organizational secretary and speaker in the Senate for the party, Di Pietro left it in April 2000 because of his opposition to the nomination of Giuliano Amato, a long-time member of the Italian Socialist Party (which was the principal subject of investigation of Di Pietro when magistrate) at the time close to the Democrats of the Left. Shortly afterwards Di Pietro set up again Italy of Values.

IdV fought the 2001 general election alone on a populist platform, comprising tough management of illegal immigration and protest against waste of public money. Anyway, the campaign focused principally against Silvio Berlusconi, who was Prime Minister candidate for the centre-right House of Freedoms. The party scored 3.9% in the election for the Chamber of Deputies and obtained no seats, while electing one Senator, Valerio Carrara, who soon left the party and switched to Forza Italia, Berlusconi's party.

The centre-left

In the 2004 European Parliament election he teamed up with one-time Communist leader Achille Occhetto to run as Società Civile Di Pietro–Occhetto. The list gained 2.1% of the popular vote, and both men were elected MEPs; Occhetto immediately renounced to his seat in favour of the communist journalist Giulietto Chiesa.

In early 2006 Leoluca Orlando, former mayor of Palermomarker, some splinters from the UDEUR Populars, including Pino Pisicchio and Egidio Pedrini, and former Democrats of the Left, such as Fabio Evangelisti, joined the party. In the 2006 general elections, IdV, this time member of the winning centre-left The Union, scored 2.1% and Di Pietro was sworn in as Minister for Infrastructures in Prodi II Cabinet.

After the fall of Prodi's government, Di Pietro formed an alliance with the Democratic Party for the 2008 general election. IdV made major gains but its coalition partner did not and they were driven into opposition. With its 4.4% of the vote, 29 deputies and 14 senators, IdV became the fourth largest party in Parliament.

Following the election, IdV formed its own groups in the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, instead of joining the Democrats in a joint group as promised, and started a competition with its main ally. In October 2008 Veltroni, who distanced from Di Pietro many times, declared that "on some issues he [Di Pietro] is distant from the democratic language of the centre-left", but anyway the PD decided to support Carlo Costantini (IdV) in the 2008 Abruzzo regional election. Costantini was defeated, but IdV came close to the PD (15.0% versus 19.6%).

In the 2009 European Parliament election the list received 8.0% of the national vote, quadrupling the votes obtained five years before and gaining 7 seats. In the run-up for the election Di Pietro recruited Pino Arlacchi, a former senator for the Democrats of the Left, Luigi De Magistris, a left-wing former prosecutor of Catanzaromarker who inquired Romano Prodi, Gianni Vattimo, a leftist philosopher, and Maurizio Zipponi, a former trade unionist and deputy of the Communist Refoundation Party (PRC), to run in IdV lists. Arlacchi, De Magistris and Vattimo were elected to the European Parliament.

Ideology and factions

Members, issues, EU affiliation

While the party is currently member of the centre-left coalition, its members had been very diverse ideologically, ranging from the far left (i.e. Franca Rame, a former member of Soccorso Rosso, and Pancho Pardi, a former activist of Potere Operaio) to the right-wing, thanks to the populist message of the party. The party includes former Communists and former Leghisti, as well as former Missini and several former Christian Democrats. According to a study by Pino Pisicchio, a political scientist who was MP for IdV until his departure in late 2009, a 57.1% of the MPs of the party are former Christian Democrats or members of post-Christian Democratic parties (including a 11.9% from the UDEUR Populars), a 9.5% are former Communists, a 4.8% from far left parties and movements, a 2.4% former Missini and a 2.4% former Leghisti.

The party is a supporter of legality, law and order, the police forces, first-past-the-post, federalism, corporate reform, lowering the costs of politics, improving the efficiency of public services, fighting corruption, simplifying trials bureaucracy to achieve faster verdicts and regulating conflict of interest.

During the Prodi II Cabinet IdV was the most centrist party in the centre-left coalition and sometimes, despite its harsh criticism of Berlusconi, it switched sides in Parliament on some key issues. Di Pietro, after he was refused entry the Democratic Party, and before several clashes with Clemente Mastella, even proposed an electoral list between its party, the UDEUR Populars and the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats, ruling out any future alliance with the far left (Federation of the Greens, Party of Italian Communists and Communist Refoundation Party). Also during the Berlusconi IV Cabinet IdV supported some plans of the government, notably the introduction of fiscal federalism.

The fact that IdV is member of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (ELDR) does not mean that it is a liberal party. It can better be seen as a centrist-populist party. In fact, notwithstanding its European affiliation, the party is rarely regarded as liberal in Italy, due to its justicialist and populist tendencies. On the left Di Pietro is described as a right-wing populist by Fausto Bertinotti, as well as by some political commentators. The reason of these bitter comments by Bertinotti is that Di Pietro is very able to steal votes to the parties of the far left, as well of the right, and this could prevent a resurgence of those parties which were driven out of Parliament in the 2008 general election.

New recruits, factions and splits

This shift to the left represented by people such as De Magistris was criticized by Pisicchio because, in his view, it was endangering the centrist nature of the party. In November 2009 the party was joined by Franco Grillini, honorary president of Arcigay and former member of the Democrats of the Left, Democratic Left and the Socialist Party. However the party continues to recruit people also on the right, such as Alessandro Cè, a social-conservative former member of Lega Nord with whom Grillini clashed in the past.

As the party is getting bigger, it is possible to outilne some factional clevages. Since De Magistris's strong showing in the 2009 European election (when he got more personal votes than Di Pietro) there were rumors about an underground row between him and Di Pietro for the leaderhip of the party, even if both denied there was any divergence between them. Moreover some members of the party were entalied with corruption charges, some members, notably Francesco Barbato, urged Di Pietro to be more earnest in cleaning up the party. While the grassroots of the party supported a change of leadership and De Magistris initially did not rule out that he may be an alternative candidate to Di Pietro, the party's old guard (Silvana Mura, Massimo Donadi, Felice Belisario, Luigi Li Gotti and Leoluca Orlando) staunchly defended the current leader. Finally an agreement was reached between the two contenders: in the 5–7 February 2010 party congress De Magistris will support Di Pietro in exchange of a leading role in the party. Subsequently Barbato announced his bid for party leadership at the head of the party's internal minority.

The populist course taken by the party, that enforced its cooperation with the Communists of the PRC, and the emergence of more "extreme" figures like De Magistris led Pisicchio and his centrist faction to leave the party in order to join Francesco Rutelli's Alliance for Italy in November 2009. While leaving the party along with other three MPs, Pisicchio told the press that the choice of Di Pietro to line up IdV in the "antagonist camp" was a departure from its would-be nature of a "centrist party of liberal-democratic inspiration". A centrist senator elected in Di Pietro's Molise, Giuseppe Astore, left the party making similar remarks: "De Magistris is too far on the left for me [...]. I want a reformist not an extremist party".

Popular support

The electoral results of Italy of Values in the 10 most populated Regions of Italy plus Abruzzo and Molise (party strongholds) are shown in the table below. IdV is particularly strong in Abruzzo and Molise because Antonio Di Pietro hails from Molise and Abruzzo is a neighbouring region.

2001 general 2004 European 2005 regional 2006 general 2008 general 2009 European
Piedmont 4.1 2.4 1.5 2.6 5.0 8.7
Lombardy 3.9 1.7 1.4 2.0 4.0 6.5
Veneto 4.6 2.1 1.3 2.2 4.3 7.2
Emilia-Romagna 3.5 1.9 1.4 1.7 4.2 7.2
Tuscany 2.5 1.8 0.9 1.4 3.5 6.8
Lazio 2.8 2.1 1.0 1.9 4.1 8.3
Abruzzo 6.3 3.9 2.4 4.1 7.0 13.8
Molise 14.3 7.8 8.8 (2006) 8.1 27.7 28.0
Campania 3.8 2.1 2.4 2.6 4.7 8.9
Apulia 5.1 2.8 2.4 1.8 4.6 8.9
Calabria 3.6 2.3 - 2.2 3.6 9.1
Sicily 3.9 2.7 - (2006) 4.4 3.4 7.1
ITALY 3.9 2.1 - 2.3 4.4 8.0



  3. Pino Pisicchio, Italia dei Valori. Il post partito, Rubbettino, Soveria Mannelli (CZ) 2009.

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