Anger fuels Five Star victory in Italy's poverty-hit south

Here in Bagnoli, like the rest of southern Italy, residents plagued by economic woes and disillusioned with traditional politics turned to the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) in Italy's general election.

Anger fuels Five Star victory in Italy's poverty-hit south

World Bulletin / News Desk

In a run-down suburb of Naples, dilapidated buildings lie sprawled across a vast waste land. 

In this grim hinterland, close to the hometown of charismatic M5S leader Luigi Di Maio, over 57 percent of the population voted for the populist mavericks.

"It was a protest vote," says 29-year old waiter Antonio Luongo.

"People want change, new faces. At this point people in the south feel too let down by our politicians. Five Stars have never governed, why not give them a try?"

Bagnoli was once the lifeblood of the region’s economy thanks to its booming steel industry. But in the 1990s the factories were shut down and thousands of workers laid off.

The high chimneys of the old steel mill still dominate the landscape, a constant reminder of what corruption and ineffective politics have done to the town.

"We’re still waiting for the promised reconversion," says Vittorio Di Capua, a former trade union representative, referring to the numerous plans proposed over the years to transform the defunct site that were never brought to fruition.

"The politicians had other things on their minds... they made so many promises... those in charge of the reconversion stole all the money," said Di Capua.

Last Mod: 09 Mart 2018, 11:29
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