Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini is facing pressure to force an early election this year from lieutenants frustrated by dealing with an unruly coalition partner. Several senior members of Salvini’s League are urging their chief to capitalize on a growing lead in opinion polls to ditch the anti-establishment Five Star Movement which is hampering their efforts to deliver on election promises, according to a League government member and a senior party official who asked not to be named discussing confidential deliberations. Cabinet Undersecretary Giancarlo Giorgetti, a party strategist who is close to Salvini, has repeatedly voiced his frustration, the party official said.Full Article: Italy's Salvini Is Said to Face Pressure to Force Early Vote - Bloomberg.
Articles about voting issues in the Italian Republic.
A standoff over Italy’s future in the eurozone has forced the resignation of the populist prime minister-in-waiting, Giuseppe Conte, after the country’s president refused to accept Conte’s controversial choice for finance minister. Sergio Mattarella, the Italian president who was installed by a previous pro-EU government, refused to accept the nomination for finance minister of Paolo Savona, an 81-year-old former industry minister who has called Italy’s entry into the euro a “historic mistake”. “I have given up my mandate to form the government of change,” Conte told reporters after leaving failed talks with Mattarella. Italy has been without a government since elections on 4 March ended in a hung parliament.Full Article: New elections loom in Italy amid calls for Mattarella to be impeached | World news | The Guardian.
Italy’s president is likely on Wednesday to appoint a mediator to try to break a deadlock that has prevented the formation of a government since inconclusive elections six weeks ago, a source said, although no quick breakthrough is expected. President Sergio Mattarella will probably ask Maria Casellati, the speaker of the Senate, to hold more flexible, less formal talks than those he has already led, a source close to the president told Reuters. The European Union’s third-largest economy has been under a caretaker government since the March 4 polls, when anti-establishment and far-right parties were the big winners at the expense of more mainstream groups.Full Article: Italy president likely to ask mediator to tackle post-vote stalemate.
The leader of Italy’s anti-establishment Five Star Movement has ruled out joining a coalition with Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, a day before formal government consultations begin. Until now, Five Star had said it was ready to talk to all parties after the 4 March national election ended in a hung parliament. In an interview recorded by the La7 TV channel and not yet broadcast, Luigi Di Maio said Five Star was open to talks with the centre-left Democratic party (PD) – though not to its former secretary Matteo Renzi – and the far-right League, but not with Forza Italia, two Five Star sources said.Full Article: Italy's Five Star Movement rejects Berlusconi on eve of formal talks | World news | The Guardian.
Italy: We still don’t know who will lead Italy. But one clear winner is the Kremlin. | The Washington Post
Italy’s Parliament convened Friday for the first time since anti-establishment forces shattered the old-line political system, and it remains unclear who will lead the country. But one victor is certain: the Kremlin. The populist Five Star Movement and the far-right League — the two parties most likely to bring together a ruling coalition — have called for a swift end to European sanctions against Russia. Both want to reorient the NATO defense alliance away from its increasingly robust stance in Eastern Europe, where it has stationed troops and tanks to defend against a possible conflict with the Kremlin. And both say Russia is a valuable partner in the global fight against terrorism in Syria and elsewhere.Full Article: We still don’t know who will lead Italy. But one clear winner is the Kremlin. - The Washington Post.
Within Italy, the big winners in the March 4 elections were the two populist parties, who between them pulled in roughly 50 percent of the vote. The 5 Star Movement, which emphasizes the “drain the swamp” part of the populist message, was the leading party, with 32 percent of the vote for both chambers of the Italian parliament. The League, more akin to the anti-immigrant policies Marine Le Pen’s National Front in France, pulled about 17 percent, easily topping the center-right Let’s Go Italy (Forza Italia) of Silvio Berlusconi, disappointed in his hopes of returning to the forefront of Italian politics. Outside Italy, though, the undisputed winner was Vladimir Putin. Steve Bannon, who was in Italy for the election, may spin Italian events, not without reason, as confirmation of a populist wave that hit the U.S. as well in 2016. But the strong and public Russian connections of Italy’s populist parties could have very concrete impacts on Italian policy going forward.Full Article: Putin is the real winner of the Italian elections | TheHill.
In Italy’s national elections on Sunday, Marco Minniti, Italy’s interior minister, a long-time spy chief and a member of the center-left Democratic Party, was soundly defeated in his parliamentary race by a candidate without a party. The winner was a man who had been kicked out of the anti-establishment Five-Star Movement because he admitted he’d broken a party rule and not tithed part of his salary back to the movement. The majority of the other ministers in the current government, a grand coalition of center-left and center-right led by the Democratic Party, also lost in direct contests, although they’ll enter parliament through a proportional system.Full Article: Five Star's Victory in Italy Signals a New Order - The Atlantic.
After voters from the snowy peaks of the Alps to the sunny shores of Sicily delivered a verdict so fractured and mysterious it could take months to sort out, the banner headline Monday in the venerable daily La Stampa captured the state of a nation that’s left no one in charge: “Ungovernable Italy.” The same can increasingly be said for vast stretches of Europe. Across the continent, a once-durable dichotomy is dissolving. Fueled by anger over immigration, a backlash against the European Union and resentment of an out-of-touch elite, anti-establishment parties are taking votes left, right and center from the traditional power players.Full Article: Italian election results suggest Europe is becoming too fragmented to govern - The Washington Post.
Italians registered their dismay with the European political establishment on Sunday, handing a majority of votes in a national election to hard-right and populist forces that ran a campaign fueled by anti-immigrant anger. The election, the first in five years, was widely seen as a bellwether of the strength of populists on the continent and how far they might advance into the mainstream. The answer was far, very far. After Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and President Emmanuel Macron of France beat back populist and far-right insurgencies in the past year, Europe had seemed to be enjoying a reprieve from the forces threatening its unity and values. That turned out to be short lived.Full Article: Italy Election Gives Big Lift to Far Right and Populists - The New York Times.
Like millions of young Italians, Elio Vagali confronts career options that range from minimal to nonexistent. At 29, he has cleaned homes, picked tangerines and lifted rocks — nearly always off the books, without the protections of a full-time contract. In a measure of his desperation, his dream employer is the dilapidated steel mill that dominates life in this fading city on the Ionian Sea. The complex has been blamed for a cancer cluster in the surrounding community. Yet to Mr. Vagali, it beckons like a portal to another life, one that means moving out of his parents’ apartment. Except the plant isn’t hiring. “You either know somebody, or you don’t get in,” he said bitterly. “There’s nothing here for me.” All of which helps explain why Mr. Vagali and much of the Italian electorate is either indifferent or contemptuous of the national election campaign that, on March 4, will determine who runs Europe’s fourth-largest economy.Full Article: Italy Is Having an Election. Most Italians Are Too Depressed to Care. - The New York Times.
He may potentially be the most powerful man in Italy, yet few people know who he is. Foreign ambassadors seek him out, even though he holds no public office. He claims to be but a simple member of a political movement, volunteering free technical assistance, but critics say he and his small Milan company control the votes, the candidates and the policies of the country’s leading party. As Italy faces critical national elections on Sunday, the media-shy internet entrepreneur, Davide Casaleggio, is the Wizard of Oz-like figure behind the tightly drawn curtain of the country’s front-running Five Star Movement as it approaches real political power.Full Article: The Mystery Man Who Runs Italy’s ‘Five Star’ From the Shadows - The New York Times.
Political violence ais increasing in Italy in the final weeks before the country votes in national elections, with skirmishes between fascists and leftwing activists, and racially motivated attacks on migrants reported. The incidents, including an attack on one of the leaders of the far-right group Forza Nuova in Palermo on Wednesday morning, are reminiscent of a far more violent era in Italy – the so-called Years of Lead that began in the late 1960s when the country suffered a wave of domestic terrorism by forces on the extreme left and right.Full Article: Italy election: violence and harassment rise in echo of 1970s unrest | World news | The Guardian.
Italian government officials are warning of possible foreign interference in the March 4 general election, sounding the alarm following the U.S. indictment of Russian trolls and evidence of Russian-sourced fake news on popular Italian platforms. Premier Paolo Gentiloni on Tuesday released Italy’s annual security report, which aside from highlighting the threat of Islamic extremism, warned about online “influence campaigns” that aim to “condition both the sentiment and political orientation of public opinion, especially at election time.” The report didn’t mention Russia by name. But for months, U.S. and Italian analysts have warned that European elections are prime targets for Russian meddling, with the Italian contest particularly ripe because two key opposition parties — the nationalist League and the anti-establishment, populist 5-Star Movement — have cultivated ties with Moscow.Full Article: Italy warns of election threat as rival parties court Russia - The Washington Post.
The 37-page indictment issued by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s team last Friday may have revealed the details of Russia’s efforts to interfere in U.S. elections. But to some, what appeared even more striking were the details about just how vulnerable the United States had become to such — sometimes barely disguised — attempts to sway public opinion. On page 24 of the indictment, one of the defendants, Irina Viktorovna Kaverzina, is quoted with a worrisome assertion, made in September 2017: “I created all these pictures and posts, and the Americans believed that it was written by their people.” … While some in the U.S. government still appear unwilling to fully confront the problem, other countries are now leading the way in developing possible solutions. With elections coming up in March, Italy has emerged on the forefront of European efforts to stop interference.Full Article: Robert Mueller indictment: As U.S. still debates whether Russia interfered, Europe is several steps ahead - The Washington Post.
Shortly after midnight on Jan. 24, the home-made device David Puente built to catch fake Twitter accounts in the act started rumbling. In just over a minute, more than 150 users sent out the same tweet extolling Italian anti-euro populist Matteo Salvini, a contender in next month’s presidential election. It was obvious to Puente, a computer programmer, that they were bots, or automated accounts that masquerade as real people and are used increasingly as a tool to sway political opinion. “Monitoring the accounts of all the candidates is a civic duty for me,” said Puente, 35, who often stays up until 3 a.m. tracking social-media activity from his home in northern Italy while his family sleeps.Full Article: Now Bots Are Trying to Help Populists Win Italy's Election - Bloomberg.
“This is a non-election,” a professor of philosophy tells me in a bar in Milan. “I will not vote.” “Meaning?” “Whoever wins, they will not govern. All will go on just the same. Most key policies will be decided outside Italy.” The Italians go to the polls on March 4, and from outside, it might look as though there are major, exciting, and, above all, dangerous developments in the offing: the return of the octogenarian Silvio Berlusconi, the rapid rise of anti-establishment Five Star Movement, the ever more aggressive rhetoric of the xenophobic Northern League. Yet the perception among most Italians is that the political system is simply too dysfunctional and blocked for much to happen at all.Full Article: Italy: ‘Whoever Wins Won’t Govern’ | by Tim Parks | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books.
Italy will vote on March 4 in an election expected to produce a hung parliament, instability and possible market turbulence in the eurozone’s third largest economy. Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni’s cabinet set the date of the vote after the president dissolved parliament on 28 December, formally opening an election campaign which in practice has already been raging bitterly for weeks. With opinion polls suggesting no one will win a parliamentary majority, Gentiloni said he would remain in office and ensure continuity until a new administration was in place. As things stand, a centre-right alliance around Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (Go Italy) looks set to take the largest number of seats – potentially catapulting the 81-year-old four-times premier back to centre stage, even though he cannot become prime minister due to a tax fraud conviction.Full Article: Italy: Election Expected To Produce Hung Parliament – Eurasia Review.
The countdown to Europe’s next pivotal election began on Thursday, when Italy’s president dissolved the Parliament and effectively opened the campaign for the first national elections in five years, scheduled for March 4. The move by President Sergio Mattarella now places Italy’s always tumultuous politics in the spotlight after a year in which populist forces, while beaten back in elections in several other countries, continued to reshape the political landscape across Europe. The general election will be Italy’s first since 2013, when the government led by the center-left Democratic Party succeeded the caretaker administration of Mario Monti, a technocratic who stepped in after Silvio Berlusconi, then prime minister, resigned in the midst of Italy’s debt crisis.Full Article: Italy’s President Dissolves Parliament and Officially Opens Election Season - The New York Times.
Italian President Sergio Mattarella signaled he would soon pave the way for national elections early next year, telling political leaders that the parliamentary term was drawing to an end. “Our voice will be the stronger if we create the image of a country which is united, stable, determined, capable of respecting commitments,” the head of state said at a year-end ceremony with government ministers, party leaders and senior officials at the presidential palace in Rome. He referred to “the electoral process which is about to begin.” Mattarella is likely to sign a decree to dissolve parliament between Dec. 27 and Dec. 29, according to a state official who could not be named discussing confidential matters. A general election would take place most likely on March 4 or March 11, the official added, with the date to be decided by the government of Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.Full Article: Italy's President Paves Way for National Elections in Early 2018 - Bloomberg.
Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement is calling on international observers to help prevent “fake news” in the run-up to the country’s 2018 general election. Party leader Luigi Di Maio made the plea yesterday following allegations by the ruling Democratic Party (PD) that 5-Star supporters were using interlinked internet accounts to spread misinformation and smear the center-left government, says Reuters. Di Maio, whose party is leading the polls, wrote in a Facebook message: “The problem of fake news exists and we think it is necessary to have the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] monitor news and political debate during the election campaign.”Full Article: Facebook to help Italy prevent fake news ahead of 2018 election | The Week UK.