The Italian Almanac

Dario Fo

Italian News - January 31

Mr Dario Fo, Nobel Prize-winning author and 80-year-old subversive, has always loved to shock. And now, after years of deriding politicians for their corruption and lack of integrity, it is he who is fighting to become a candidate for the Left in the forthcoming Italian election.

Promising a radical package of policies designed to combat escalating crime rates and wage war on gas-guzzling cars, Fo faced the first major test of his bid to become the Milanese candidate of the centre-left coalition when he squared up to four other hopefuls in a primary vote.

“I am no moderate,” the grand old man of Italian political theatre proclaimed flamboyantly at a final rally, repeating his slogan designed to attract voters with a promise of innovative solutions to the city’s ills of smog, traffic pollution and rising crime. “I am fighting to win.”

About 20,000 centre-left voters in Milan were estimated to have cast their ballots in the contest between Mr Fo and three other candidates, Mr Bruno Ferrante, Miss Milly Moratti, sister of the president of Milan’s Internazionale soccer club, and Mr Davide Corritore, an independent.

Unsurprisingly, given his enormous popularity in Italy and especially in Milan, where Mr Fo has spent the bigger part of his adult life, the political neophyte certainly has his supporters. Tremendously appealing to those who want to see a breath of fresh air blown into Italian politics, he is seen as having brought honour on his nation with his unexpected 1997 Nobel Prize for literature.