- Rule by two anti-establishment parties makes Italy unique among major EU members
- This new configuration could become a template for other countries
- Italy has avoided immediate financial crisis, but business as usual has its own risks
- The EU could face disruption, but also a convergence of populists and bureaucrats
Is Italy a weak link in Europe? Such fears have been often expressed in the past – witness Italy’s many changes of government and strong communist party in the Cold War era – yet nothing approaching a collapse occurred. Far from being a Trojan horse, Italy was one of the more solid members of the Western alliance, for all the surface turbulence of its political scene.
Today the Italian experiment with a left-right populist government, formed from an unlikely alliance between the leftist Five Star Movement (M5S) and the anti-immigrant, nationalist Lega (formerly the Northern League), is raising similar concerns, sending “ripples throughout the European Union and financial markets,” as GIS expert Enrico Colombatto wrote in an October 2018 report.