Meloni Ascendant

Featured image When Giorgia Meloni became Italy’s Prime Minister last fall, we hailed her election. Of course, that was not a unanimous reaction: the usual suspects denounced her as a crypto-fascist and predicted her regime would be short-lived. Of course, in Italy that prediction is never a long shot. Nevertheless, so far, at least, Meloni has thrived, as the London Times grudgingly admits: “Called a danger, now Giorgia Meloni is EU’s most »

Macron vs. Meloni

Featured image France’s Emmanuel Macron, like a number of other world leaders, has denounced Italy and its incoming Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni. I will chalk that up as a mistake. I don’t think a lot of people have seen this amateurishly-filmed response by Meloni, but it is scorching. It is not hard to understand why colorless leftist leaders fear Meloni and denounce her as a “fascist.” I think that means she gives »

Freaking Out Over Italy

Featured image We’re getting another confirmation today of a key definition in Power Line’s Lexicon of Leftist Terms: ‘”Populism” is when the wrong person or cause wins a free election”.’ The corollary is that every Republican candidate for president is Hitler, and now we learn that every Italian conservative is Mussolini. On the other hand, I can see why the authoritarian elites of the European Union, who have made vague threats against »

In Italy, the Eve of Victory

Featured image We wrote here about today’s election in Italy, and the likelihood that it will be won by a conservative coalition led by Giorgia Meloni and the Brothers of Italy party. Meloni is “far right,” which means she is skeptical of the benefits of endless illegal immigration, and a “firebrand,” which means she gives speeches that voters like. The election is going on right now, and Meloni is favored to emerge »

“Far Right” Favored to Win Italian Election

Featured image An election is coming up in Italy in September, and the Brothers of Italy party, led by co-founder Giorgia Meloni, is currently leading the polls. There has been scant attention to the election in the U.S., but European news coverage is interesting for what it tells us about the state of politics on that continent, which in some ways mirrors conditions here in America. France 24 headlines: “Brothers of Italy, »

Pelosi vita

Featured image The New York Post has done what a good tabloid is supposed to do in its coverage of Nancy Pelosi’s Italian vacation. The Post’s photo-laden story could run under a headline that recalls The Ugly American, but the Post strikes with a cinematic flourish in “Pelosi Vita: Speaker, DUI hubby cavort at Italian resort owned by Andrea Bocelli.” Warning and apology: I found the photo featuring Pelosi’s “ample bosom” somewhat »

Italy to begin reopening. What are the numbers behind that decision?

Featured image Readers probably recall that Italy was the first country to impose a nationwide lockdown in response to the Wuhan coronavirus. It did so on March 9. Now, finally, Italy is set gradually to reopen its economy. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Italian government has “announced a timetable for reopening its economy and daily life beginning on May 4.” ABC News says that reopening has already commenced on a »

When the curve flattens

Featured image The other day, I heard Deborah Birx, the Trump administration’s point person on the Wuhan coronavirus, say that the U.S. is about a week behind Italy in terms of its pandemic “curve.” I’ve seen it reported that the administration looks closely at the curves of certain other countries in trying to figure out what’s ahead for the U.S. Therefore, it might be worthwhile to take another look at what’s going »

Some Wuhan coronavirus numbers from yesterday

Featured image Yesterday, March 30, the number of reported deaths in the U.S. from the Wuhan coronavirus passed 3,000. The current total, 3,141, exceeds the number of Americans killed on 9/11. No one knows how many Americans will die from this virus. However, the death toll is likely to be somewhere between 10 and 100 times that of 9/11. In Italy, the daily death count ticked upwards after two days of decline. »

Update on the Wuhan coronavirus in Italy

Featured image A week ago, I reported the number of Wuhan coronavirus cases in Italy by region. Today, I’ll update these numbers, my main interest being in how regions that were slow to be hit by the virus — i.e. southern Italian regions — are doing. Let’s start with northern Italy, though. A week ago, the Lombardy region, where the virus first hit hard, had around 28,000 reported cases. As of yesterday, »

The Wuhan coronavirus in Italy

Featured image Italy is the western nation most hard hit by the Wuhan coronavirus so far. The outbreak began in the north, and the northern regions began locking down first. For example, in late February, soccer matches were cancelled in Milan and Bergamo but held in Rome and Naples. Information about the incidence of the virus in Italy, and deaths thought to be caused by it, is widely available. However, I haven’t »

The coronavirus in Italy

Featured image Some of the alarm in the U.S. over the Wuhan coronavirus stems from what’s happening in Italy. I don’t know whether we are making way too much of the Italian experience (I suspect we are), but the situation in Italy is rather alarming. Here are the latest numbers from Italy (sources available at the link, along with a footnote about the reliability of Italian media reporting of the numbers): March »

Will soccer cause the coronavirus to spread to central France?

Featured image Italy is the European nation most affected by the coronavirus, so far. As of two days ago, more than 2,000 cases and seven deaths had been confirmed. Reportedly, a dozen towns, including Milan and Venice, have been placed on lockdown. Travel is permitted neither in nor out. Last Sunday, the two top-league soccer matches scheduled in northern Italy — one in Milan, the other in Bergamo — were postponed. Matches »

Europe on a Knife Edge

Featured image A few hours from now British Prime Minister Theresa May will face a no confidence vote from her own party, and as of this moment I’d bet she will lose the vote and be ousted. Whether this will lead to a general No Confidence vote of the entire House of Commons, which would result in an immediate general election, is harder to forecast. Much will depend on whether the Tory »

Getting Italy wrong

Featured image “The real challenge that the populist coalition in Italy poses to the EU is one of policy, not of democracy.” So writes Angelos Chryssogelos of Chatham House. I think the same can be said of populism in most Western democracies, but let’s keep the focus on Italy. What are the policy challenges that the populist coalition there poses to the EU? There are two: the economy and migration. Chryssogelos explains: »