Rajoy Steps Down as Party Leader. Here Are His Possible Successors
Mariano Rajoy has stepped down as leader of Spain’s center-right People’s Party.
Resignation was inevitable after Rajoy became the first prime minister in Spanish democratic history to be removed from office last week. The opposition Socialists cobbled together a majority consisting of left-wing and regionalist parties to end the conservative’s six-and-a-half year tenure. Read more
Given the timing over the political turmoil in Italy and Spain, it’s tempting to lump the two together and see one big threat to Europe’s political stability emanating from the south. (One example here.)
That’s not the wrong interpretation for Italy. The new government, of the populist Five Star Movement and far-right League, really is opposed to EU principles of liberal democracy and shared sovereignty.
In Spain, though, the change in government could work out in Europe’s favor, as I explain in my latest contribution to the Atlantic Council’s New Atlanticist blog. Read more
Five Star, League Reach Deal to Form Government in Italy After All
The leaders of Italy’s Five Star Movement and League have reached a deal to stave off early elections.
Luigi Di Maio and Matteo Salvini still want Giuseppe Conte, an academic, as prime minister. But they are willing to relent on the selection of finance minister.
Paolo Savona, whose nomination sparked a constitutional crisis, would still join the cabinet, but as European affairs — not finance — minister. That post would go to Giovanni Tria, an economics lecturer. Read more