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Renzi Quits as Democratic Party Chief After Italian Election Defeat

Renzi Quits as Democratic Party Chief After Italian Election Defeat

A solution will probably turn out to be to reach an agreement with the Democratic Party (PD).

The surge in right-wing and populist parties has drawn comparisons to Britain's vote to leave the European Union and the rise of US President Donald Trump.

"Lower taxes and faster justice should stimulate investment", he said, adding that "Italians decide for Italy, not Berlin or the (bond) spread".

Things could have hardly turned out worse for the European Union.

"Italy is, more than anywhere else in the world right now - even more than Brexit, even more than the Trump revolution in the U.S. - the cutting edge of the sovereignty movement, of people saying we've tried to play by the rules, we've voted in centre-left governments and centre-right governments and none of that has worked", Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, remarked in Rome.

Berlusconi faces opposition from his ambitious coalition partner Salvini, whose anti-immigration and euro-sceptic rhetoric has fired up the campaign while spooking financial markets.

Claudio Borghi of the League told Sky that the election results send a clear message to Brussels, and he didn't rule out a melding of positions with 5-Star.

"I am and remain a populist", Salvini claimed on Monday, adding that the euro was "destined to fail".

This is very significant since the agreement between the two was that whichever of them came on top would have a right to put forward the prime minister.

The rightist alliance that also includes former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia (Go Italy!) won around 37 percent of the vote - but for the first time the League emerged as the senior partner. Forza Italia is led by billionaire media mogul Silvio Berlusconi, who is also a former prime minister.

Before the vote, analysts predicted a grand coalition built around the center-left Democrats and Forza Italia. The parties campaigned on the promise to boot out 600,000 migrants.

The ruling centre left lost ground after the Democratic Party, led by Matteo Renzi, secured just 18.9% of the vote.

The Italian political world has been struck by a populist tsunami - 50 percent of voters in Sunday's parliamentary elections chose candidates from anti-establishment, anti-immigrant and euroskeptic parties. The Five-Star Movement, however, has previously ruled out joining any coalition at all.

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Five Star began in 2009 as a radical, even anti-political party.

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen is celebrating the strong showing of the League party.

"We have no intention of isolating Italy". "I am proud to call myself a populist", he said.

Di Maio preaches a carefully moderate version of the party's amorphous politics.

Di Maio, who grew up in the corruption-blighted environs of Naples, is a university dropout and has never held a job as a professional.

4 What are the origins of Italians' frustration?

"There is a strong feeling of being abandoned, a feeling that Europe has left them to their sorry fate on immigration".

5 Could it repeat elsewhere in Europe? "Italy was always going to be the country where some of the Eurozone construction issues would be the most acute". However, 2016 Italian census reported over 420,000 Moroccans living in Italy, regardless of citizenship or residency.

Previous remarks along these lines were not central to the parties' election campaigns, but they signal a departure from Italy's traditionally strong support for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the US.

Now, to a certain extent, Italy is repeating its old experiments.

But in Europe's parliamentary democracies, the fragmentation of votes appears to also make it increasingly hard to govern at all.

Minority governments have become more common across Europe in an indication that traditional mainstream parties are losing support across the continent.


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