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Lessons of the Italian election

March 7th, 2018

A right-wing and a left-wing columnist agree that it will be difficult to govern Italy after the election resulted in stalemate between the Five Star Movement and a right-wing alliance. But they offer diametrically opposed interpretations of the vote.

In Magyar Hírlap, Mariann Őry interprets the Italian election as a proof of growing anti-immigration and anti-Brussels sentiments in Europe. The conservative commentator thinks that the voters of the right-wing parties wanted to express their discontent with liberal immigration policies and mandatory migrant redistribution quotas in the EU. She adds that the Five Star Movement also opposes EU integration. She suspects that regardless of who governs Italy, it is unlikely that the new government will support further centralization within the EU and the creation of a United States of Europe.

Népszava’s Tamás Rónay dismisses the interpretation that migration was the decisive issue in the Italian election. The left-wing columnist acknowledges that Eurosceptic parties have become stronger, but he explains their success in terms of a growing discontent with the disappointing performance of the left-wing government rather than growing anti-EU feeling. Rónay hopes that the Five Star Movement will change its mind and agree to govern in coalition with the pro-EU Leftist forces, in order to avoid chaos.

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