Libya and the Franco-Italian rivalry
In North Africa, France and Italy share vital national interests on migration, terrorism and energy. Yet profound differences on tackling these issues – rooted in history and leadership styles – has put them in direct competition, and even led to a diplomatic crisis earlier this year. Nowhere is the rivalry more visible than in Libya, where it is delaying a resolution to that country’s civil war.
Will Italy make it?
Italy’s public finance situation is worrying global markets, just as the newly-elected populist coalition is plotting its economic course. The coalition made dramatic promises to voters that could blow past deficit targets and push Italy toward default, bailout or an exit from the euro. But despite their recklessness, the Five Star Movement and the League are more likely to moderate their economic programs — that is, if they can manage to keep their alliance together.
Opinion: Where is Italy headed?
For two months, Italy’s Five Star Movement and its leader Luigi Di Maio have tried to assemble a cabinet with the mainstream parties of the center-right (Silvio Berlusconi) or center-left (Matteo Renzi). So far, they have failed. But those who assume Italy is doomed to return to the polls underestimate the capacity of Italian politicians for compromise – especially since a weak government suits nearly everybody.
Opinion: Regional disparities strike back in northern Italy
Two northern Italian regions have voted overwhelmingly in support of more autonomy from Rome. They are two of the country’s richest areas, frequently paying more in taxes than they receive in public spending, and the vote laid bare the dissatisfaction over this disparity. Worse, the money being transferred to poorer parts of Italy has not lifted them out of poverty. Italy can no longer sweep these issues under the rug. Federalism is now back on the table.
Could the right make a comeback in Italy?
Local elections in Italy had a surprise result – a surge from the center right. Both former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s allies on the left and the upstart Five Star Movement led by Beppe Grillo seem to be losing traction. Is this part of a larger European trend away from populists and back toward known political quantities? And could this mean a return of Silvio Berlusconi?
Italy pushes for early elections that would make matters worse
Matteo Renzi, Silvio Berlusconi and Beppe Grillo may be poles apart politically, but the leaders of Italy’s center, right and left parties are jointly toying with a plan to offer disgruntled voters another make-believe reform scheme.
Italy’s referendum and the specter of instability
On December 4, Italians will go to the polls in a referendum on amending their constitution. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has said he will resign if the changes are rejected. A win for the opposition could be seen as a populist turn for this highly indebted country, bringing instability domestically and uncertainty about the fate of the eurozone.
Italian voters deliver wake-up call to their politicians
Italy’s voters stayed away from the polls in huge numbers in May’s regional elections. They are fed up with the promises they are given and a lack of reforms which leaves their economy stagnant and youth unemployment at 42 per cent. All political parties were given a lesson to sharpen their delivery if they want to win support. ...
Matteo Renzi ignores Italy’s economic realities
Italian politics is dominated by the party in power as its rivals fail to make any impression on national politics. But Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has failed to capitalise on his strength and introduce much-needed economic reforms. As he enjoys his power, Italy continues to drift and could be in deep trouble if the days of cheap money end in Europe. ...
Matteo Renzi fails to grasp Italy’s economic woes
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is losing popularity as he fails to understand how to tackle Italy’s growing economic problems. His promises of a new reform every month have been forgotten as he decides whether to cut a deal with other politicians or bet on winning a general election. Italy faces default or swingeing tax rises. ...