Far-Right League Gains Most from Governing in Italy
Italy’s far-right League is benefiting the most from the government deal it struck with the populist Five Star Movement earlier this month.
In municipal elections on Sunday, the League captured the former left-wing strongholds of Massa, Pisa and Siena in the region of Tuscany.
Nationally, the League is tied with the Five Star Movement in the polls. Both get 27-29 percent support. In the last election, the Five Stars got 33 percent support against 17 percent for the League. 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
Italy Government Deal: What’s In It and What’s Next
Italy’s populist Five Star Movement and (formerly Northern) League have finalized a coalition agreement.
Among their policies are:
Reducing personal and business taxes to two rates: 15 and 20 percent.
A €780 monthly basic income for poor families.
Repealing 2011 pension reforms that raised the retirement age and made the system financially sustainable.
Withdrawal of EU sanctions on Moscow.
Speeding up the deportation of around 500,000 immigrants.
The final version of the text does not call for a pathway for countries to leave the euro, nor does it call on the European Central Bank to cancel €250 billion in Italian debt. These proposals had been in leaked drafts.
However, the planned fiscal measures will almost certainly cause Italy to break the EU’s 3-percent deficit ceiling. Read more
Nobody Is Happy in Germany, League Calls for Italian Euro Exit
Nobody in Germany is happy with the deal Angela Merkel struck with the Social Democrats this week.
Politico reports that conservatives are upset she gave the Finance Ministry to the left. The party’s youth wing is openly calling for Merkel’s replacement.
The Financial Times reports that Martin Schulz is testing his Social Democratic Party’s (SPD) unity by joining the new government as foreign minister.
Tilman Pradt argued here the other day that Schulz has wasted away his credibility by reneging on his promise never to serve under Merkel. “Given the fate of its sister parties in Europe,” Pradt wrote, “the SPD should have been aware of the dangers of putting personal ambitions over party politics.” Read more
Italy’s Salvini Commits to Right-Wing Pact, Asks Same of Berlusconi
Matteo Salvini, the leader of Italy’s anti-immigrant Northern League, has ruled out reneging on a right-wing pact and asked Silvio Berlusconi, the leader of the mainstream conservatives, to do the same.
Both parties get around 15 percent support in recent surveys. In combination with smaller right-wing parties, they might just reach the 40 percent needed to form a government.
If they fall short, Salvini could theoretically team up with the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, which is polling at 26-28 percent.
Salvini and the Five Stars share views on Europe and political reform, but they come at it from opposite ends of the political spectrum.