Italy’s rival anti-establishment parties — the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) and the nationalist League (Lega) — have formed a “eurosceptic” coalition government.
The new government has pledged to pursue a host of populist policies, including reclaiming national sovereignty from the European Union over issues ranging from border protection and immigration to economics and finance. For now, however, it has abandoned previous plans to hold a referendum on whether Italy should abandon the euro.
The viability of a M5S/Lega government initially was thrown into doubt after Italian President Sergio Mattarella vetoed their eurosceptic choice for finance minister: Paolo Savona, an 81-year-old former industry minister who has called Italy’s entry into the euro a “historic mistake.”
M5S/Lega reached a compromised by nominating Giovanni Tria, an economics professor who holds politically correct views on the euro, to head the finance ministry. Fittingly, Savona will become Italy’s new Minister for European Affairs.