At the same time that Letta was telling the Swiss socialists that “a period of wandering through the desert begins for us, which I hope will be the shortest possible, thanks to our opposition activity,” in Rome, hundreds of under-35 PD members were calling for a wholesale scrapping of the party’s elites, demanding that the entire leadership group, not just Letta, should leave the upper echelons of the party.
“What is needed is a clear identity and a radical renewal of the leadership group, which doesn’t have credibility anymore,” said the PD MEP group leader, Brando Benifei, 36, organizer of the “Coraggio PD” event. “Whether that’s right or not, this is a reality. There is a discredited ruling class that keeps comes back again and again, and after 10 years of being in government, it still claims to dictate the agenda for the discussion. If there is no change, the constituent Congress could end up as just a farce.”
“The picture of us who are here today is very different from that of the national leadership: white hair and almost all men,” said Caterina Cerroni, secretary of the young Dems, a candidate but who didn’t win election to the Chamber. “The parliamentary group is mostly made up of the same people who voted for the Rosatellum and the Jobs Act,” Cerroni attacked. She was not the only one.
“Can we finally say that it was shameful to not know how to respond to Meloni in two days of debate in Parliament, and that the way Serracchiani does opposition makes you die inside?” accused Tommaso Bori, of the Umbria PD, who called on the rank and file to “take over this party.” Jacopo Scandella, regional councilor in Lombardy, said: “How can you lead the opposition to Meloni when you’ve been in government for the last 10 years, and whatever you say, they’ll answer back: ‘Why didn’t you do it when you were in government?’“
There was a lot of criticism, about the PD’s communications but above all the substance, the choices made in recent years, especially on labor issues. But also about the selection of its ruling classes: “Enough with the party of brown-nosers, of bureaucrats,” said Lorenzo Pacini of Milan. And Massimo Iovane, 22, of Venice, added: “I’m not going to leave the leadership of the left to those who made the Security Decree, to Conte the chameleon. It’s degrading.”
One could read between the lines the possibility of launching an under-40 candidate for secretary, perhaps Benifei himself. Marco Meloni, Letta’s right-hand man, was also at the event: “This is a first positive proof that the constituent path of the new PD will be able to benefit from the active participation of a community that is alive and proud, that has the ideas, the energy and the will to change,” he said. There were also praises from Pesaro Mayor Matteo Ricci.
Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Your weekly briefing of progressive news.