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Italy election symbols: from garbage to impotence
March 3, 2008 / 2:15 PM / 10 years ago

Italy election symbols: from garbage to impotence

ROME (Reuters) - From the “No Garbage” party, to the “Don’t row against the tide” party, to “Dr. Cirillo’s party of existentialist impotents”, there will be something for everyone in Italy’s general election in April.

<p>A policeman looks at logos of political parties, which have registered for Italy's upcoming general elections, at the Interior Ministry in Rome, March 2, 2008. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi</p>

Nearly 180 symbols of political parties, movements, lists, sub-lists, sub-parties and a myriad of other groupings were presented to the Interior Ministry by Sunday’s deadline.

Amid the usual forest of symbols with shields and crosses, flags, hammers and sickles, doves, suns, trees and seas, there are some symbols that raise eyebrows more than normal.

The symbol of the “No Monnezza” list takes its name from the Neapolitan slang for “no garbage,” and is a sub list of an “animal rights” party of the southern Campania region.

The region has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately. Its governor will stand trial in May in connection with the garbage crisis around the city of Naples, where tens of thousands of tonnes of rubbish have piled up in the streets.

There is the “Holy Roman Empire” list, which describes itself as “Liberal-Catholic”. The symbol sports the picture of its founder, Mirella Cece, who started the group 21 years ago.

The symbol for “Dr. Cirillo’s party of existentialist impotents” -- black lettering on a plain white background -- gives no hint of whether the good doctor is referring to political or sexual impotence. It is symbol number 132.

Dr. Cirillo appears to be a budding political mover and shaker in constant evolution. In past elections, he led the “Good Manners Party” and the “Free Condoms Party”.

<p>Logos of political parties, which have registered for Italy's upcoming general elections, are displayed at the Interior Ministry in Rome, March 2, 2008. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi</p>

The hammer and sickle may be disappearing in Russia but no fewer than eight symbols sport it. The one with the longest name is “The Italian Communist Marxist Leninist Party”.

Nearly 25 parties made it into the outgoing parliament, where small splinter groupings can often have a disproportionate influence on Italy’s coalition politics.

<p>An Italian interior ministry employee puts up logos of political parties, which have registered for Italy's upcoming general elections, in Rome, March 2, 2008. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi</p>

Three parties descended from the now defunct Christian Democrats have symbols with a shield and cross, five far-right parties have a tri-colored flame that was once the symbol of neo-fascists.

There is a florist’s shop of roses, carnations, and ivy decorating various symbols.

Those who feel that Italy is in dire economic straits and mired in social stagnation may be drawn to the “S.O.S. Italy Party,” which has aligned itself with the centre right headed by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

The name of Beppe Grillo, a popular comic-cum-crusader who has urged Italians to say “Fuck off” to traditional politics, appears on six symbols, including one saying he should be prime minister and not frontrunners Berlusconi and Walter Veltroni.

Amid all the noise and haste of large parties, tiny parties, Sicilian and Sardinian separatists, rightists, leftists, and middle-of-the-roaders, perhaps one party will sound seductive to many.

Its symbol merely says: “I don’t vote”.

Editing by Keith Weir

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