European perspective: Italian elections 2018

, by Juuso Järviniemi, Nico Amiri, Xesc Mainzer Cardell

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 European perspective: Italian elections 2018
Palazzo Montecitorio, the seat of the Italian Chamber of Deputies. CC Palickap // Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Italian general election resulted in a hung parliament, with no parliamentary majority won by any coalition. Matteo Renzi, the leader of the Democratic Party which suffered a loss, resigned as a result. Chief editors from different language editions of the JEF web magazine share their thoughts on the election.

Due to political instability, Italy will continue to punch below its weight

Juuso Järviniemi, Editor-in-Chief of The New Federalist

Italy is famous for its rapidly changing governments, and last Sunday’s election doesn’t seem to bring change to that pattern. As no coalition is large enough to win a majority in the parliament according to the preliminary results, complicated negotiations lie ahead.

Perhaps it is a relief that the right-wing coalition failed to obtain a parliamentary majority, given that it might otherwise be difficult to sideline the far-right leader Matteo Salvini in the race for the next Prime Minister. Meanwhile, however, it is difficult to see who else might become Prime Minister, if not a figure from the Eurosceptic Five-Star Movement. The upshot is that Eurozone reform, for which the window may just have opened with the conclusion of German coalition negotiations, will scarcely be viewed favourably by the incoming Italian government - if there is one.

Italy has historically punched below its weight in debates on the broad direction of European integration precisely because of its unstable internal politics. Perhaps the same will happen in 2018, too. A day after the election, it is already hard to believe that the current arrangement will last. If it’s doubtful how long the next Italian Prime Minister will be in office, for how much should others allow his voice to count?

Shaky Italy

Xesc Mainzer Cardell, Editor-in-Chief of El Europeísta

M5S, PD, Lega and Forza Italia: these are the four main political forces (and in that order) in Italy after yesterday’s election. And that’s all we know after an election in which the first party finished as the second list in votes after the coalition of the third and fourth parties (which, paradoxically, expected to be fourth and third respectively) and in which the government’s party has been shattered finishing as the second largest party but the third parliamentary list in votes. A chaos, indeed.

The slow vote counting under a new election system will not allow us to exactly know, for the moment, the definitive result of yesterday’s election. But what seems clear is that the European Union’s weakest spot has been shown to be Italy: the fourth country in the Union in population and richness (being itself an 11% of the EU’s GDP) will be at the edge of a government lead by the eurosceptic Five Star Movement or, even worse, the far-right europhobes of The League. Combined, these two parties gathered almost 50% of the votes altogether.

What is Europe failing at so that citizens are rejecting it, embracing political options filled with intolerance and hatred for what is different? Is it the austerity policies? Or is it the distance between the European institutions and the citizens? What’s clear is that the root of the problem must be found so that a solution can be delivered, but this incomplete Europe that we have won’t be able to do it by itself.

Italy joins and moves to the right

Nico Amiri, Editor-in-Chief of | Public Relations and Communications of

The drama belongs simply to the politics in Italy. The elections for both chambers were exciting but beforehand it became apparent that Italian votes will tilt to the right. Hence, the Southern European country joins a worrisome development and is chased by the fear and the hate of the extreme right.

Since a fascist has shot a migrant with a gun out of a car in the Italian city Macerata, the election debate was narrowed to a single topic: migration. The victims of brutal wars are now wrongly made to the object of a debate in spite of the fact that almost all European governments are blind on their right eye.

The right-wing alliance of Forza Italia is still member of the European People’s Party and the extremist Lega is currently ahead of Berlusconi’s party The European spring persisted only a year after the election of the Europhil Macron. Let’s see if the Italian parties can surmount the hung parliament and cooperate with the new stars in the sky - the Movimento Cinque Stelle.

For the Italian-language coverage about the election, visit our Italian edition at

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