Resentment, Populism and Political Strategies in Italy

After Matteo Salvini announced his plan of holding snap elections, the former Italian prime minister (Presidente del Consiglio), Matteo Renzi launched the idea to postpone elections by forming a transistional government supported by the Partito democratico and the MoVimento 5 stelle, amongst others. Renzi knows that, according to the polls, Salvini’s political party (the Lega) could win the elections and form a government with Fratelli d’Italia, a post-fascist and still far-right party or with Forza Italia, the party created by Silvio Berlusconi. But would this move prevent a populist government?

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Pre-Modern Understandings of Rule-Making

Since his entering into office a year ago, Italy’s Minister of Interior Matteo Salvini has proved to be the true leader of the governmental coalition between the Five Star Movement and the Lega, run by Salvini himself. His populist approach looks far closer to that of Orbán than to the confused ideology of the Five Star Movement. Contrary to the latter, Salvini always gives the impression of knowing exactly what he wants. Being far more predictable than his allies, he has succeeded both in seizing control of Italy’s political agenda and in gaining a huge electoral consent, not least because he knows how to fuel the popular anxiety.

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Ende einer Irrfahrt

Die deutsche Kapitänin des Rettungsschiffes „SeaWatch 3“, Carola Rackete, wird beschuldigt, sich durch die unerlaubte Einfahrt in italienische Küstengewässer, durch die Nichtbeachtung des Anlegeverbots im Hafen von Lampedusa und durch das Rammen eines „Kriegsschiffs“ bei der Einfahrt in den Hafen strafbar gemacht zu haben. Ihr drohen Freiheitsstrafen bis zu zehn Jahren. Nach italienischem Straf- und Verfassungsrecht sind die Vorwürfe indessen haltlos.

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Verbrechen der Menschlichkeit?

Carola Rackete, Kapitänin der Sea-Watch, droht ein Strafverfahren in Italien. Bei diesem Verfahren steht nicht nur für das italienische, sondern für das gesamte europäische Recht viel auf dem Spiel. Wenn ein weithin als moralisch richtig oder gar geboten angesehenes Verhalten sich als strafbar erweist, dann gefährdet das die Akzeptanz und Autorität von Recht.

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Mini-BOTs, complementary currencies and the European monetary malaise

On May 28th, the Italian Chamber of Deputies approved a resolution requiring the government to issue the so-called mini-BOTs. Under such a name, reference is made to Treasury bills issued in small denominations (in Euros), bearing no interest, with no expiry date, and which the Italian Exchequer would accept as a means of payment of taxes. The proposal has been predictably met with marked skepticism by European institutions and by the Italian Minister of Economy and Finance. However, the wisest move, in prudential, political and economic terms, would be that European institutions would embrace experimentation with complementary currencies, in genuine federal spirit.

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Not to be Pushed Aside: the Italian Constitutional Court and the European Court of Justice

A few days ago, with the decision no 20/2019, the Italian Constitutional Court (ICC) has set a new cornerstone in its relationship with EU law and, in particular, with the judicial treatment of issues covered by both national fundamental rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. In so doing, the Consulta shows the intention to act as a pivotal institution in the field of judicial protection of fundamental rights.

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Rationalising political representation within the European Parliament: the Italian Constitutional Court rules on the threshold for the European elections

In December 2018, the Italian Constitutional Court found the national 4% threshold for elections to the European Parliament to be constitutional. Unlike the Bundesverfassungsgericht, which focused in-depth on the European state of affairs at a given stage, the Corte costituzionale has pointed to a gradual evolutionary development towards “a rationalisation of the representation of political forces within the European parliamentary assembly”. According to this interpretation, both the national parliaments and the European Parliament face similar challenges.

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Playing the chicken game: The conflict over Italy’s draft budget reveals a construction flaw in the EMU

The next period of nightlong European summits and standoffs between the European institutions and one of its member states is looming: Italy and the EU are at odds about its new budget proposal. This is a result of the setup of the Economic and Monetary Union, which will continue to produce such stalemates as long as dominant countries make common rules for their own sake and others try to circumvent them.

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The Italian Budget Drama – Brussels and Rome on Collision Course

The EU Commission has, for the first time, rejected a budget plan of a member state. While the Italian government drums its chest and the markets get increasingly nervous, the situation remains deadly serious. It is moreover deeply symptomatic of the potential, limits and fundamental shortcomings of the current architecture of Eurozone fiscal governance.

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