“A New Era” for Italy
As with much of the world, Italy is finding itself in the middle of a political divergence from the norm.
“A new era is about to start,” proclaimed hard-right-wing 5 Star Movement leader Luigi Di Maio.
Two anti-establishment right-wing parties, the 5 Star Movement and League Party, have joined forces to govern Italy, and they are ready to shake things up.
There first target is the Euro.
With Italy’s economy limping by, the two-party pact has established goals of implementing massive tax cuts while simultaneously boosting funding to pension and poverty funds. The coalition wishes to cut income tax to just two brackets of 15% and 20% and to institute a universal income of €780 per month for all impoverished citizens. They also have a more extreme goal: Pulling Italy out of the Euro.
Di Maio announced that the coalition will propose a path for Italy to quit the Euro and adopt its own currency and that Italy will demand that the European Union forgive the €250 million debt that Italy owes. A draft of this plan was leaked and European markets took a hit because of it.
Italy’s economy has shrunk 5.5% since 2011, when the economic crisis began, and Italians are desperate for change. They are putting their faith in the right-wing populist candidates to make this happen with their radical economic plan and their promise to limit immigration to the Mediterranean Nation. Concerning immigration, they promise to, “speed up expulsions, break up Roma camps, and seal Italy’s borders.”
Reading between the lines a little bit here, but one thing I find particularly interesting is this coalition’s fondness of Russia. Multiple times in the past, leaders from these parties have called for the end of sanctions against Russia and have openly supported Russian President Vladimir Putin. In an increasingly divided world, I am not too happy to see a European alley aligning itself closely with Russia and thus potentially with the friends of Russia. This will only lead to political turmoil, if not worse, in Europe, and this is not something I want to see.