I returned a few days ago from a conference in Italy where I spoke with some former economic advisers of the Five Star Movement (M5S), which is now in a coalition government with the hard right wing Lega, formerly the separatist Northern League, which has now gone national, appealing to southern Italy with a strong anti-immigrant push. While the not very exciting M5S leaders push for a minimum income guarantee, Lega’s Matteo Salvini as Interior Minister has been capturing all the public attention with direct actions to block African immigrants from arriving over the summer. With Steve Bannon showing up to support him, he is on a roll and obviously aiming to take full control and push the M5S coalition partner aside. One sign of the new era is that there are now heavily armed soldiers in camouflage pretty much everywhere patrolling, Interior troops, in contrast to the old local police and low key federally supported carabinieri. There is a very different atmosphere from even a few months ago.
The two share some positions. They both criticize the EU leadership and claim to support leaving the eurozone. However, that appears not to be too likely. What is more likely is that they will break rules on budget deficits that have long been in place, with both parties supporting this, which is not necessarily a bad thing. It also appears that Lega will go along with some sort of income guarantee, although M5S’s former support for a strong environmental policy of sustainable development seems to have largely gone by the wayside, aside from wacko opposition to vaccinations, this being a major reason one of my friends stopped supporting them. Unsurprisingly at the conference there was a presentation on how bad outcomes can arise from having too many people not getting vaccinated.
I note that last year Italy finally began to see some economic growth after a long time of just pure stagnation, although at about 1% per year not too much. But this was not enough to hold off this surge of creeping authoritarian populism. I do not think Italy will wither, as my post title hinted, it continues to have vast wells of creativity and innovation. But I fear Salvini could come to full power, and I fear where that might lead, not just for Italy, but all of Europe.
1.Those “African refugee” ships come every year and are processed and removed every year. There is nothing to tout there.
2.Illegal immigration has soared since the “new government came”
3.Italy has no economic future. Capital is played out there. Eventually there will be a great flight of immigrants from all the European countries(as well as the US). Capitalism’s story is ending in the “west”. What went up, must come down.
Not a single one of your posts is correct. Italy has been blocking boats from the med from landing. It did not do that before. Exact immigration numbers are not available since May, but there is no question they are blocking many from entering who would have been allowed to enter previously.
As for Italy having “no economic future,” I think you are way wrong. Italy was stagnant the whole last decade, but has been growing again since the beginning of 2017. tt has managed to keep the world’s oldest bank, Mongte de Paschi di Siena, going despite a near shutdown.
Furthermore, it remains the world’s leader at the top of the top end of various sectors. Think top end sports cars, fashion, shoes, and some others. It will not be displaced from those positions by anybody, some of which it has held for centuries. Italy may not be a booming economy down the road, but declaring having “no future” is just silly.
I do not think your fingers can keep up with your mind or you need a new keyboard.
Hey now you are on my turf (I am typing in my apartment in Rome).
I’d note that the soldiers all over are not totally new. They were posted in metro stations some years ago. I barely notice them any more.
It is alarming that the Lega is now the number 1 party in polls. Salvini in particular is the current star of Italian politics (the 5 star movement is having a bit of trouble converting from blog to party).
It is worth noting that no country has ever actually been punished for violating the stability and growth pact. Also Italy has reliably come close to but missed targets. I certainly think that less respect for the fiscal rools would be a good thing (I hate to agree with Salvini but there are like 10 posts to that effect here at AngryBear).
Other important coalition initiatives are a flat tax with multiple brackets (in the land of parallel convergence). The UBI isn’t U at all. It really means more generous unemployment benefits (which would be a good thing — Italy is not like Northern Europe & the safety net definitely has gaps which are patched up by, for example, declaring long term unemployed disabled).
But it is clear that the main issue is xenophobia (I’m not scared because by xenophobia I really mean racism — I don’t count as foreign)
Who cares if they “block” boats of Africans. THOSE REFUGEES COME EVERY YEAR!!!! It doesn’t matter where they sit down. Lega can slobber all they want, it is all a PR junk. Those boats are a big pile of yearly trash that went to Spain, will be processed out and removed from Europe. Just like they would in Italy. That doesn’t even start with the traffickers that pump bodies across borders. Why do you think illegal immigration has spiked under Donald Trump? Massive corruption.
Italy like all European “nations” are dead. After the Plague, when the Kingdoms allowed the Ashkenazi(and then the Sephards, who are the real inventors of Calvinism aka Cohenism, came in the 1400’s) to expand debt to rebuild from the plague. I think “Europe” is stuck in 2000 year slump in many respects. It only exists materially. That is what happens when you adopt the cults of Abraham and its economically driven rituals.
The next financial crisis, Lega will be toast. Salvini(who isn’t even fully Italian) will be drug out and beaten to death. One of many. Yes, the next financial crisis is knocking on your door………….