Italy Bucks the EU, Tries on Populism, Approaches Political Deadlock

The results are in. The establishment lost.

|March 6, 2018

By Antonia Colibasanu

Italy held parliamentary elections over the weekend, and although no single party won enough seats to form a government, there was a clear victor: anti-establishment parties. The populist Five Star Movement won the biggest single share of the votes – roughly 32 percent – and the center-right coalition, led by the anti-EU Northern League party, won the greatest combined share of the votes – roughly 37 percent. The results have set the country on a course of political deadlock, but an election in Europe’s fourth-largest economy may well have implications for the EU as a whole. No matter who will govern the country, one thing is certain: relations between Rome and Brussels will become more frayed.

Coalition Building

As a result of reforms to the electoral system introduced in 2017, parties in Italy now need more than 40 percent of the seats in parliament to form a government. This system strongly encourages coalition building, and with no single

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