The Italian Experiment

‘Government of change’: Euroskeptic coalition’s choice for Italian PM officially approved

23 May, 2018

Giuseppe Conte has vowed quick reforms after being confirmed as prime minister by Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella, following months of grueling talks that have put the Euroskeptic Five Star Movement-Lega coalition in charge.

“This will be the government of change,” said the former law professor and lawyer at the traditional maiden speech at the Quirinal Palace in Rome, where he was summoned on Wednesday afternoon after his compromise candidacy was announced last week.
Conte, 53, said he would immediately begin implementing stricter asylum requirements and negotiate a loosening Italy’s budget, away from Brussels’ spending requirements, describing himself as “defense lawyer for the Italian people.”

Lib-Pop Politics: Why Italy’s New Government Is More Neoliberal Than Populist

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French Jews Split Over Zemmour

Italy’s Populists Get a Green Light to Govern, in New Threat to Europe

By Jason Horowitz

ROME — The populist parties that won Italy’s elections two months ago by demonizing the political establishment, the European Union and illegal migrants in often vulgar terms were granted the go-ahead on Wednesday to form a government, crystallizing some of the biggest fears of Europe’s leaders, who were already bracing for turbulence.
The rapid ascent of populists in Italy — the birthplace of Fascism, a founding member of the European Union, and the bloc’s fourth-largest economy — shattered the nation’s decades-old party system.

Barbarians at the gate? End of democracy? Most hysterical establishment takes on new Italian govt

23 May, 2018

Mainstream political analysts have unleashed their doom-laden predictions about the impact of Italy’s Five Star-Lega coalition, though their hostility is tempered by new-found concern for the “desperate,” misguided electorate.
‘The Weimar Republic’

“It may be too late. The spiral of populism is: unhappy voters; irresponsible promises, bad outcomes; even unhappier voters; still more irresponsible promises; and worse outcomes. The story is not over. It may have just begun,” writes Martin Wolf in the Financial Times.

Italy, EU and Trump

Alexander Dugin: Greetings, Mr. Salvini.
Mr. Salvini: Thank you for your invitation.
Alexander Dugin: Welcome to Moscow.
Mr. Salvini: Thank you.
Alexander Dugin: At the beginning of our conversation, I would like to know what you think about the election of Trump as president of the US. We know that you met with him on the eve of the elections in New York. You were one of the few European politicians to have done so.
Mr. Salvini: Yes, this election is great news. A lesson in democracy. In Trump’s program, there are such theses as putting an end to wars and the export of democracy around the whole world, revising NATO and the UN’s roles, and pursuing friendly relations with Russia. Great attention is also paid to what is happening in the United States: the war against illegal immigration and the introduction of proportional taxation (a flat tax). Compared to Clinton’s line, which represented the interests of the banks, the financial elite and its policies, his policy is a breath of fresh air, which will benefit all of us.

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The EU crisis

Le nouveau gouvernement italien et l’agonie de l’Union européenne, par Jacques Sapir

22 May, 2018

La constitution d’un gouvernement de coalition entre le M5S et la Lega est désormais chose quasiment faite. Ceci constitue un véritable cauchemar que ce soit pour les dirigeants de l’Union européenne, les Juncker et les Tusk, ou que ce soit pour les dirigeants des autres pays de l’UE qui s’affichent comme des européistes, et en premier lieu le Président Emmanuel Macron. Ce gouvernement, même s’il a accepté de mettre un peu de San Pellegrino dans son Chianti, sera un gouvernement ouvertement eurosceptique. Sa volonté de s’affranchir des règles budgétaires et financières imposées par l’UE, ce carcan qui s’appelle l’euro-austérité, en témoigne. Le poids de deux économistes connus pour leur farouche opposition tant à l’Euro qu’aux politiques d’austérité qui en découlent, mes collègues Bagnai et Borghi qui ont été élus sénateurs, dans la politique de gouvernement ne sera pas mince. Il est cependant clair que cela entraînera un conflit avec le Président de la République italienne, M. Mattarella, dont le pouvoir de nuisance est plus important que ce que l’on imagine ici en France.