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La Repubblica - Italy | Sunday, December 1, 2013

Marc Lazar on the conservatives' loss of identity

The division of the conservative party in Italy is symptomatic of an identity crisis that reaches beyond the country's borders, political analyst Marc Lazar writes in the left-liberal daily La Repubblica: "This fragmentation of the conservatives, who are wavering between radicalism and moderation, can be seen in other countries too. ... For decades there has been well-founded talk of a crisis of the left in Europe, which lacks a project, an identity, a strategy and sometimes even a leadership. Now there are clear signs of crumbling bonds among the conservatives too. ... From both the populist movements and groups within the parties, a siren call can be heard, and the conservatives don't know whether to heed it or dismiss it. In this respect the European elections in May 2014 will be a major touchstone, both for the left and the conservatives. The latter must quickly make their decision and above all be frank with the voters regarding their orientation - not just in their own interest but also in the interest of our European democracies."

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