Tuesday 22 May
Two populist parties in Italy have begun the process of forming a coalition government by announcing a law professor with no previous political experience as its leader.
Giuseppe Conte will take the helm of both the Five Star Movement and League in what is being seen as a hard turn to the right in one of Europe’s most indebted countries.
However, the final say on who will govern Italy will be made by president Sergio Mattarella, as he will need to decide if the coalition is in the best interest of the country.
It’s a nightmare for Brussels as the coalition’s expensive plans to reform Italy’s infrastructure is likely to clash with the EU’s agreement with the previous government to reduce the country’s budget deficit. That, coupled with the reality of dealing with a nation inside the bloc that sympathises with Moscow, is openly Eurosceptic and vows to reverse immigration could be the biggest threat to the European Union since Brexit.
Luigi Scazzieri, Research Fellow at the Centre for European Reform
Robert Ould, Director of The Bruges Group
Federico Fabbrini, Principle of the Brexit Institute