Both left-wing opponents and supporters of the former Italian prime minister, Matteo Renzi, are strengthening their ties ahead of parliamentary elections.
Dissidents from Renzi’s Democratic Party are due to join the far left in new party, led by Senate speaker Pietro Grasso.
Grasso has ruled out an alliance with the Democrats. He left the party in October.
The Progressive Camp, led by the former mayor of Milan, Giuliano Pisapia, is willing to do a deal with the Democrats provided they support a bill that would give citizenship to the children of immigrants who have spent at least five years in Italian schools. Read more
Londoners overwhelmingly voted to remain in the EU and a similar deal here could protect tens of thousands of jobs.
Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister of Scotland, agrees:
If one part of UK can retain regulatory alignment with EU and effectively stay in the single market (which is the right solution for Northern Ireland) there is surely no good practical reason why others can’t.
A majority of Scots also to stay in the EU last year. Like Londoners, they were overruled by majorities in favor of Brexit in England and Wales. Read more
Brexit and Fear of Populism Inform Rutte’s Opposition to Macron
Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte is leading the opposition to Emmanuel Macron’s proposals for closer European integration, warning a liberal conference in Amsterdam this weekend that “integration for integration’s sake” will undermine public support for the EU.
“The EU needs to solve problems that we, as individual member states, cannot solve alone,” he said. “A federal Europe is not the answer to those problems and neither is a politics based on symbolism.”
There are two reasons Rutte is skeptical of Macron’s ideas, which range from creating a common eurozone budget to harmonizing tax rates and social security fees: fear of anti-EU populism and Brexit. Read more
Schulz In No Rush, Makes Demands on Europe, Health Insurance
German Social Democratic Party leader Martin Schulz has made clear he is in no rush to form another grand coalition with Angela Merkel’s conservatives, telling reporters in Berlin, “We are under no time pressure.”
This is partly theater. Schulz ruled out another left-right pact after losing the election in September, but now it may be the only way to form a majority government. His base is skeptical, so he must take it slow.
Schulz is also signaling to Merkel that she better give the Social Democrats enough concessions for them to justify four more years of coalition government. Read more