Though the media focuses on unresolved issues, the Italian Right won a substantial victory.
Donald Trump’s presidential victory continues to be part of an international movement, demonstrated again yesterday by the victories of the Italian right. The populace in Italy is growing tired of corruption and submitting to the E.U., and that sentiment is reflected in the voting booth. While there are challenges faced by the more conservative and populist parties in forming a coalition government, they should not distract us from this momentous shift in politics.
The Wall Street Journal reports, “Italy Faces Political Paralysis After Populist Jolt.”
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Sunday’s two big winners—the 5 Star Movement and a center-right coalition including former premier Silvio Berlusconi and the anti-immigrant League—each claimed Monday to have won enough support to earn the right to try to form a government. But with neither group having won an outright majority, Italy is likely to face weeks or months of consultations among the parties.
With virtually all votes counted early Monday, the antiestablishment 5 Star Movement won just over 32% of the vote, exceeding expectations and emerging as Italy’s largest party.
The 5 Star Movement, which has won a large following by denouncing Italy’s conventional politicians as corrupt, has long been hostile to the idea of forming governing pacts with other parties. Despite some signs of greater flexibility recently, many observers believe a government led by the movement would be difficult to assemble.
“Nobody can govern without 5 Star,” Riccardo Fraccaro, a leading party member, told a news conference said after the vote.
On paper, 5 Star could form a government with the League. Such a populist coalition, which would shock Italy’s and Europe’s establishment and possibly challenge European Union rules on economic policy, faces political hurdles, however, given major differences between the parties’ ideology and political strategies up to now.
5 Star’s growth, and the fact that antiestablishment parties won just over half of all votes, are likely to raise concerns in the EU about the strength of anti-incumbency sentiment in one of the bloc’s founder members.
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