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People Power: Italy’s Election Hands Power Back to Electorate, to Dismay of Eurocrats
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People Power: Italy’s Election Hands Power Back to Electorate, to Dismay of Eurocrats

Source: express.co.uk

Eurosceptic parties who take a dim view of the EU, admire Brexit, and demand the real concerns of the voters are listened to are in a commanding position as the last ballot papers in the Italian Election are counted.

The Five Star Movement and the Northern League made significant gains in the Italian general election, with a hung parliament now on the cards, political analysts have said.

In a poll which is already being compared to the Brexit referendum and the 2016 election of Donald Trump in the United States, Five Star scooped 31 per cent of the vote.

This means it will be the largest single party in both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, the two chambers which together make up the Italian Parliament.

Furthermore, in a development which surely rankles former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, his Forza Italia Party was outshone by controversial right-winger Matteo Salvini’s Northern League.

Together with two other parties, Brothers of Italy and Us with Italy, both Forza and the League are members of the Centre-right coalition which won a combined total of just over 37 per cent.

However, the League took more than 18 per cent of the overall vote, compared with less than 14 per cent for Forza Italia.

The election comes as a significant blow to Europhile parties, with the Centre-left coalition’s share of the vote collapsing to less than 24 per cent, and the Democratic Party which is by far the largest partner in this grouping securing barely 19 per cent.

A hung Parliament may extend current Prime Minister Paolo Gentolini’s time in office as Sergio Mattarella, the country’s president, attempts to forge some kind of deal – but the country is told to brace itself for protracted and difficult talks.

Roberto D’Alimonie, a professor of political science at Luiss University in Rome, warned: “The negotiations will take weeks and weeks, if not months. They will be slow.”

Meanwhile Wolfango Piccoli, an analyst at Teneo Intelligence in London, said the most likely outcome was “a badly hung parliament”.

The result has Five Star contemplating options for forming a coalition government.

Riccardo Fraccaro, a senior member of the party, said: “Nobody will be able to govern without the 5-Star Movement.

“We will assume the responsibility to build this government, but in a different way, talking with all the parties about what this country needs.”

Options include a deal with the left-wing Free & United party, made up of Democratic Party dissidents, but also teaming up with outspoken Trump admirer Mr Salvini in a populist coalition which would alarm European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and colleagues greatly.

Lorenzo Codogno, of LC Macro Advisers in London, said: “Italy is far from having sorted its longstanding problems, and now it will have new ones.”

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