EU news: Former Italian PM warns Brussels must change to escape breaking point | World | News

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The Italian election shocked political commentators after the centre-left was replaced by a rising tide of euro-scepticism, with anti-EU parties Lega and Movimento Cinque Stelle (M5S) taking over more traditional centre-right and centre-left parties.

Former PM Massimo D’Alema has warned the European Union the March 4 results could represent a “breaking point” for the European project unless Eurocrats agree on changing the institution.

Writing on Il Manifesto, Mr D’Alema said: “The March 4 vote is yet another stronger alarm to Europe and the expression of a deeper crisis of society and the Italian political system.

“Much had been written about the collapse of support of the European project, but it is important to highlight that the Italian vote marks a possible breaking point.

“It can be argued that the surge in nationalism is not a proper response to global challenges but it is evident that either the European Union is able to reorientate towards growth, social inclusion and the protection of continental citizens or the ‘sovereign’ wave and anti-EU will endanger the very pillars of integration.”

Italy was one of the founding members of the EU and its eurosceptic turn was interpreted as a bad sign for the institution.

The two-time PM continued: “The defeat and the drastic decrease of support for both the Democratic Party and Forza Italian – which used to represent the pillars of the Italian political system and were the personification of two big European political factions – will lead to unexpected scenarios.

“But nothing was done over the past few years to steer the course of the country. On the contrary, the choices that were made have transformed slowness into a disastrous landslide.

“I believe it to be correct to say that the ability of so-called populist or anti-establishment forces to come up on top against traditional political forces is a European phenomenon.”

Nearly two months after the vote Italy is still locked in a political standoff following the second round of consultations led by Italian President Sergio Mattarella.

Members of the centre-right coalition, which emerged as the largest bloc following the March 4 election but fell short of a majority, presented a joint programme to President Mattarella to demonstrate their unity.

In the press conference that followed, Lega leader Mr Salvini said Forza Italia, Brothers of Italy and his party were ready to take on the responsibility of forming a government as a united front.

Speaking in the name of the whole coalition, the anti-EU leader also said Lega would indicate the name of the person who should lead the government.

M5S leader Luigi Di Maio has been trying to break the centre-right wing coalition to form a government alliance with Mr Salvini, who gained 18 percent of the votes.



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