The Italian elections might be the most important elections for Europe in 2018 and here is why.
Currently the 3 big players in the upcoming elections are the 5 Stars Movement, PD (Partito Democratico) and the center-right coalition made of 3 parties: FI (Forza Italia, Berlusconi’s Party), FDI (Fratelli D’Italia, lead by Giorgia Meloni) and Lega (Ex Lega Nord, led by Matteo Salvini).
5 Stars Movement
The 5 Stars Movement is a party founded in 2009 by comedian Beppe Grillo and Gianroberto Casaleggio (who died in 2016), the movement was born as some kind of opposition towards politics and targeted disappointed Italians. The founders and current leaders always claimed the party was neither on the left or the right, but a combination of elements from across the conventional left and right spectrum. The party strongly advocates for direct democracy and holds a strong enviro-friendly position. The Movement has been often marked as populist, anti-euro and Euro-Skeptic and all of this was true for a while but recently the Movement under Di Maio’s lead has taken a U-turn and has become quite supportive of EU and basically abandoned talks about the €, decisions that were highly praised by many pro-EU people and also by Italian ex-premier Monti who stated that he appreciated the moderate take of Di Maio. The Movement is currently the party leading the election surveys with 26.8%, the official position of the party at the moment is NO allies or coalitions and this will likely not change and the party will run alone.
PD: Partito Democratico
PD has somehow been leading Italy since 2011 when the last elected government fell apart and has been the party supporting mass immigration and austerity. PD is the classic modern liberal party fighting battles meaningless to the working class like gay rights and pro-immigration laws, pro-Euro and pro-EU. Most Italians left to right are extremely disappointed about PD’s performance and the party Leader, Matteo Renzi, doesn’t have many allies among the Italian left and could risk running alone losing precious points. Currently, PD is at 23.8%.
Berlusconi once again is trying to get back into politics after his suspension. Berlusconi’s party is part of the center-right coalition with Salvini’s Lega and Meloni’s FDI and currently holds around 15.7% of the total 37% of the coalition. Berlusconi has recently been talking in a positive way towards the EU and the possible future application of the Ius Soli law (which would grant hundreds of thousands of migrants Italian Citizenship) which shocked and angered many of his supporters and allies; apparently Berlusconi chose the most centrist and moderate positions in order to gain some support from the major European leaders in hopes to regain the possibility to hold a political position. Many supporters of the coalition are worried about Berlusconi’s role and fear he could prevent Lega and FDI from doing what the majority of the right-wing voters want.
FDI: Fratelli D’Italia
Giorgia Meloni used to be part of Berlusconi’s supporters and party members and is now leading Fratelli D’Italia, a center-right Euro-Skeptic party. Meloni’s positions on immigration are very close to Lega’s and she has recently talked a lot about the Identity issue and how important it is to defend it. Meloni’s party currently holds 5.5% points in the most recent surveys.
Matteo Salvini recently revolutionized the party changing its name, the word “Nord” was removed in order to solidify the new position of the Party which is no longer regionalist/separatist but Nationalist. Lega is the most Euroskeptic party which openly talks about leaving the common currency and has promised fierce opposition against the Bruxelles “Tyrants”. Salvini also denounced Soros actions, stating that his meddling in European affairs in support of mass immigration must be stopped. Salvini is also openly denouncing the process of Islamization ongoing in Europe and promotes the idea of deportations of illegals and migrant criminals. Recently Lega came under fire because of the statements about race from Attilio Fontana, Lega’s candidate for the region of Lombardy. Salvini’s party currently holds 13.8% of the 37% held by the coalition.
What if the coalition succeeds and wins the elections
In the ideal scenario, Lega would get the majority of the votes among the coalition members and lead it. A Euroskeptic government led by Salvini would likely join arms with the VISEGRAD countries (Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic) in the fight against the Bruxelles elite. Salvini recently released an interview in which he said that he will try to reason with the EU in order to change the Union and save it from itself, he also added that if the EU refuses to cooperate with him that will mean that Italy will start preparations to go its way. A Lega’s victory would be great news for all Euroskeptics in Europe and could shake the European Union by strengthening the anti-mass migration block.