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Tuesday 20th March 2018

A Eurosceptic Government is Coming to Italy

Politics

Roberto Tumbarello

Mon, 14 May 2018 15:36 GMT

Given the impossibility of reaching agreement between political parties, the Head of State President Mattarella was about to appoint a technical government to oversee fresh elections. It would have been the first time in the history of the Republic - founded in June 1948 - that a term ended before it even began. Right at the last moment the League (17% of the votes) and the 5 Star Movement or M5S (32%) decided to remove the obstacle that prevented them forming a joint government. The agreement concerns only the League, not the whole right wing.

The obstacle was the presence of Forza Italia (14%) in the centre-right coalition. The 5 Star Movement did not want Forza in government as it was held responsible for all the problems of the country, created during the long years of government, from 1994 onwards, with some brief interruptions.

Fearing that a return to the polls would further penalise his party (Forza Italia) Silvio Berlusconi decided to step back and allow the League to detach itself from the centre right coalition and form a government with M5S.

Neither of the two leaders will lead the government. Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio have decided to choose a third figure acceptable to both parties. Unfortunately, both of them are Eurosceptic. The League is against the Euro, wants radical reforms in the European Union and even threatens Italy's exit from the Eurozone in the mistaken belief that Italy’s economic problems are caused by the currency, which is actually just a tool in the hands of politicians.

However, Italy, one of the six founding countries of Europe, will certainly have problems dealing with other countries in the EU. The European establishment is worried about the change of Italy's policy on migration, which is a huge problem that has already prompted eastern European countries to close their borders to migrants - including asylum seekers fleeing war.

Moreover, as Italy becomes more detached, the Franco-German axis has been strengthened, altering the equilibrium of the EU. The agreement between France and Germany, who have always wanted to assert hegemony in Europe, has already been established before the formation of the new Italian government, which – if no further obstacles arise – should see the light of day next week.

The agreement between the League and M5S, whose programmes are different, is based on a contract concerning some urgent issues. The first is pension reform to overcome rules set by current legislation. The second is poverty affecting five million citizens or 8% of the population. In the last ten years, poverty has doubled. 

Economic measures include benefits for those who do not have jobs and investments to increase the number of jobs, especially for young people. There is also a proposed cut in tax rates to kickstart the economy and reduce tax evasion, which is very high in Italy.

The shared sympathy of the two parties forming the new government for Russia is a cause for concern while the rest of Europe is highly critical of President Putin as he starts his fourth term at the helm of the country. The new Italian government, which will probably be sworn in this week, will be markedly Islamophobic compared to all those who preceded it.

Italy has always been welcoming to immigrants for good economic reasons. Now it will close its borders and severely curtail relations with other countries bordering the Mediterranean. It will no longer be the Italy that everyone knows and loves.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of 7Dnews.

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