Though the Italian Democratic Party list is not yet finished, the new party logo is. After the solemn lifting of the veil bearing the European flag, the logo that Nicola Zingaretti and Carlo Calenda showed to the press is a masterpiece of formulaic predictability.
The upper three-fifths are the usual green, white and red of the Democratic Party logo, while the bottom part is the “Siamo Europei” (“We are Europeans”) logo with a blue background with 12 stars. The collage also includes, tucked in a corner, the small logo of the Party of European Socialists (PSE) parliamentary group: “That’s our family in Europe,” Zingaretti said. However, what that little logo actually represents is simply a placeholder for the logo of the MDP-Articolo 1 (“Article 1 – Democratic and Progressive Movement”), which is still in talks to join the alliance: negotiations with Roberto Speranza are still ongoing, although Bersani’s party would have preferred to make a deal before the presentation of the logo.
“We are not a cherry on top. The condition for an agreement is the equal status given to our point of view,” stressed Arturo Scotto.
Meanwhile, Carlo Calenda, the leader of Siamo Europei, seemed not entirely happy, despite his logo having taken up almost half the space, and was keen to point out that “the PES symbol is only in the upper part, and not in the one belonging to Siamo Europei, because we are also open towards the EPP and the Liberals [in the European Parliament].” Yet, the two are not as separate as they look at first glance: if one looks closely, one can see the Socialists sticking their proverbial tail into Calenda’s blue sky.
Later, Calenda took to Twitter to try to reassure his followers, who are accusing him of having given up a promising calling as a leader of the European Liberals for a safe seat in Brussels with the Socialists: “Siamo Europei will maintain its autonomy.” He attacked those from +Europa who preferred to go with Pizzarotti instead of him: “You go make a list with those who are much further to the left than the PD.” Still, he struck a magnanimous note: “+Europa chose to run alone, but in Parliament we will fight side by side”—that is, of course, if they get in.
As for the secretary of the Democratic Party, for his very first electoral fight—in which he aims “to win, or at worst finish second,” as he has also said about the administrative elections—he has had to take what was on offer to make up the supposed “wide front” of the alliance—which is only about as wide as needed to fit Calenda in. He has somewhat more material to work with when he talks about the “new forms of broad and pluralist alliances” for the administrative elections, and he listed them all, not without some repetition: “civic forces, Democrazia Solidale, which is a movement that arose from Catholic associationism, Associazione Futura [Laura Boldrini], the Campo Progressista [Giuliano Pisapia], civic organizations, Articolo 1.”
As for Paolo Gentiloni, the new president of the Democratic Party, he was more off-the-cuff, as usual: “It’s a beautiful symbol. This is the maximum possible level of unity that we have managed to achieve.” Pisapia will be the head of the alliance’s list for the country’s northwest, and Calenda for the northeast. The list, Gentiloni says, “remains open for those on the left, but also for those in the center.” The logo will have to be finalized within a week, but there is time to add others to the lists until April 17.
As for the content of the platform, Zingaretti summarized it as centered around three key concepts. First, “Unity”: “The Democratic Party calls on all European forces to come together to be stronger and stop a dangerous nationalist drift. Ours is the symbol of unity, not a set of initials, but a pluralism that we are making up together.” That, of course, will require a bit more elaboration.
Then, “Europe”: “Without Europe, there is no future. We believe in Europe as a bulwark for Europe’s citizens, but a Europe that fights against inequality, makes use of its influence, bets once again on growth.”
Finally, “Sustainability”: “Starting from sustainability, a new phase of smart development can arise in this century. All this to do one simple thing: create jobs, create jobs, create jobs in Italy and Europe. Millions of new jobs can be created.”