Italy: how dangerous is Luigi Di Maio?

Roughly a month after the elections in Italy the first round of talks on the formation of a new government has ended without a result. Election winner Luigi Di Maio, the leader of the Movimento 5 Stelle, wants to form a coalition with the Lega Nord provided the party breaks its ties with its original alliance partner Silvio Berlusconi. Commentators are having a hard time imagining an Italy under Di Maio's leadership.

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Corriere della Sera (IT) /

Election winner's ploy won't work

Di Maio is proposing a contract because he always ruled out an alliance with other parties. But you can't forge alliances by playing on words, Corriere della Sera writes mockingly:

“The idea of a contract instead of an alliance is a clever rhetorical ploy aimed at depoliticising the pact with the Lega Nord, with which the Movimento 5 Stelle party has little in common on issues of foreign policy, migration and the economy. But it is unlikely to suffice. ... The claim that he wants to be head of government in the name of a relative majority collides with the reality of the balance of power. The 'contract' with Lega Nord's leader Matteo Salvini will only be possible if the latter breaks with Berlusconi, an unlikely scenario.”

Il Giornale (IT) /

With M5S Italy is drifting towards fascism

The rhetoric used by Di Maio in opposing cooperation with Berlusconi does not bode well, Alessandro Sallusti, editor-in-chief of the Berlusconi-owned daily Il Giornale comments:

“Humiliating someone who has written important chapters in our country's history, treating his voters like pariahs and ostracising dissenters are things - if you allow me to say so - that fascists do. ... If this is the start of the '5 Stelle government' then there can be little doubt about what is to come. Italians will be divided into good and evil on the basis of their political opinions. Today Berlusconi is being targeted, tomorrow all of us will be. We'll be dragged before Grillo's people's court. This is no science-fiction scenario, because it's already happened with the lists of journalists [put out by the Movimento 5 Stelle] who have been pilloried.”