The President has now handed the populists more evidence that the elites don’t trust the Italian people. Mr. Mattarella has asked former International Monetary Fund official Carlo Cottarelli to form a government, but he’s unlikely to win a parliamentary vote of confidence. The likeliest way forward is another election, probably in the autumn, and the populists will now make elitist contempt for democracy the center of their argument.
Five Star leader Luigi Di Maio called Sunday for Mr. Mattarella’s impeachment, while the League’s Matteo Salvini is whipping up nationalist sentiment against Brussels and Germany’s euro-dominance. “It won’t be an election,” said the 45-year-old Mr. Salvini. “It will be a referendum between Italy and those on the outside who want us to be a servile, enslaved nation on our knees.” The League has won several regional elections since the March parliamentary vote, and polls show rising popular support for both parties.
The left-right coalition was a risk but one the Italian people chose to take. The political result after this latest display of elitist disdain may be worse for Italy and the euro.
Meanwhile, someone has made a map of the recent Italian election result by relevant jurisdiction, showing in green the areas where the populist left-right parties gained a majority of the vote:
Hmmm, that pattern looks familiar. Kind of like. . .
Hint: Trump counties are the ones in red. In case you hadn’t heard.
P.S. The stock markets fell hard today on the Italian news.