Government coalition talks fail in Italy

Two months after the elections in Italy the attempts to form a government have failed. None of the parties can rule alone and none are willing to make compromises. President Mattarella has proposed the formation of a "neutral government" until new elections can be held, but Lega leader Matteo Salvini and the chairman of the Five Star Movement Luigi Di Maio have rejected the idea. Commentators voice their outrage - and their concerns.

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La Stampa (IT) /

Hopefully punishment will come from the voters

La Stampa finds the rejection of President Matarella's proposal by the leaders of the Lega Nord and the Five Star Movement outright outrageous:

“When the referee no longer has the possibility to stop the game; when his proposals are trashed even before he has finished explaining them; when it's the players who dictate the rules without any respect for others - then we can no longer talk of just a political crisis. ... This has never happened before in the 60 years of the republic's history. ... It may be true that people can get used to anything. But perhaps not this time. ... Who knows whether the Italians, after seeing what happened yesterday, won't change their minds in the next elections.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

Self-serving demagogues

The Lega Nord and the Five Star Movement are only capable of destructive alliances, La Repubblica also criticises:

“Blinded by their own interests, they have revealed their inability to adopt any kind of constructive attitude. They were and still are trapped in the demagogy that enabled them to assert themselves - but not to win. Riding on the wave of populism, they are confusing the interests of the Italians with the political or electoral interests of the Five Star Movement and the Lega Nord. Both are seeking a kind of rebirth at the ballot boxes of tomorrow because they are unable to deal with the realities of today. They evoked the needs of the country and its citizens, but in effect they have cast them away and sacrificed them for their own profit.”

Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

New elections could bring the final catastrophe

The Süddeutsche Zeitung sees this as only a temporary reprieve:

“After the failure of the coalition-building talks one danger seems to have been banished for the time being: the Five Star protest movement and the far-right party The League were unable to agree on joining forces. An anti-European, pro-Russian populist government would have been disastrous for the country and the continent. But all the polls show that the voters' support for the two parties is unbroken. So it is to be feared that in the next, upcoming elections a real catastrophe could occur: the League and the Five Star Movement will end up ruling the parliament without any competition, like plague and cholera.”