Former Italian PM warns anti-EU sentiment too high
Monday, 23 October 2017

Italy is on the brink of becoming "ungovernable" due to the rise of Eurosceptic parties, ex-Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said.
The Democratic Party (PD) secretary yesterday blasted the growth of right-wing populism in Italy, branding it "very dangerous".

Mr Renzi, who quit as PM last year after losing a referendum on constitutional reform, admitted: "Ungovernability in Italy is a great risk.

"That is why I am so disgusted to have lost the referendum. We would have ended this situation."
He also attacked Forza Italia leader Silvio Berlusconi, Lega Nord chief Matteo Salvini and the Five-Star Movement (M5S)'s Beppe Grillo.

Mr Renzi told El Pais: "It is true that there are populist forces in Italy that are very dangerous in the eyes of the European observer.

"The M5S is, in the European group, more anti-European. Salvini, who has made the agreement with Berlusconi, is a populist.
"And with them, of course, it is impossible to reach agreements."

Pro-Brussels Mr Renzi added: "Berlusconi and the right are in the hands of Salvini, which is a piece of populism.
"And M5S are in the hands of the other great populist front.

"There is a political space for one who, like us, reasons the heart and intelligence of the average Italian."
The centre-left politician went on to call for Italy to embrace French president Emmanuel Macron's proposed EU reforms.

He said: "Europe has to change. Europe was born on coal and steel because it was not possible to do politics and have shared values.

"But coal and steel in 2017 no longer serve.

"We must invent new arguments of a political nature, and Macron goes in the right direction."

Two wealthy regions of northern Italy are holding referendums for greater autonomy today.

Lombardy and Veneto, both governed by Lega Nord, are holding votes in a bid to negotiate better financial deals from Rome.

The ballots could fan regional tensions in Europe at a time when neighbouring Spain is trying to stop Catalonia from breaking away.

Both referendums are non-binding and central government has branded them unnecessary.

 



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