Great Autonomies and Freedom
|Founded||20 March 2013|
|Chamber of Deputies||
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Great Autonomies and Freedom (Italian: Grandi Autonomie e Libertà, GAL) is a miscellaneous and highly heterogeneous, mainly centre-right, regionalist and Christian-democratic, parliamentary group active in the Italian Senate.
The group was formed in March 2013 by senators elected with The People of Freedom (PdL) and Lega Nord (LN) to counterbalance the For the Autonomies group, a centre-left outfit allied with the Democratic Party (PD).
In the following years, the group changed its scope, as several of its members started to support the Renzi Cabinet, and, almost completely, its composition: the LN members returned to their home group, most PdL/Forza Italia members switched to other parties and groups (in July 2015, in particular, five senators left to join a fully pro-Renzi group, the Liberal Popular Alliance – Autonomies), and senators of different ideological and electoral backgrounds joined (including, for some time, members of the Federation of the Greens and Italy of Values, both left-leaning). As a result, after several changes in its denomination, as of February 2016, the group's full name is Great Autonomies and Freedom (Great South, Populars for Italy, Moderates, Italy Base Movement, IdeA, Alternative for Italy, Euro-Exit, Libertas Political Movement).
- three senators (Antonio Caridi, Mario Ferrara, Giovanni Mauro) of Forza Italia (FI), two of whom (Ferrara and Mauro) affiliated to Great South (GS);
- two senators (Carlo Giovanardi and Gaetano Quagliariello) of Identity and Action (IdeA), both elected with The People of Freedom (PdL)—two more IdeA senators, Andrea Auguello and Luigi Compagna, are affiliated to the group of Conservatives and Reformists (CR) for technical reasons;
- one senator (former minister of Defense Mario Mauro) of the Populars for Italy (PpI), elected with Civic Choice (SC);
- one senator (Michelino Davico) of the Moderates (Mod), elected with the LN and passed through Italy of Values (IdV);
- seven non-party independents, including:
- former minister Giulio Tremonti and former undersecretary Paolo Naccarato, both elected with the LN (see Labour and Freedom List);
- Angela D'Onghia, current undersecretary of Education in Renzi Cabinet, elected with Civic Choice (SC) and passed through the PpI;
- a senator (Bartolomeo Pepe) loosely affiliated to the Italy Base Movement, a senator (Paola De Pin) to Alternative for Italy and a senator (Monica Casaletto) to Euro-Exit, all three elected with the Five Star Movement (M5S) and two of them (Pepe and De Pin) passed through the Federation of the Greens (FdV);
- a senator (Riccardo Villari) loosely affiliated to the Libertas Political Movement, elected with FI and, formerly, with the Democratic Party (PD).