Italy: Political Developments and Data in 2018
European Journal of Political Research
GB : Blackwell Publishing
149 - 161 p.
Introduction The year 2018 shattered Italian politics. During the campaign for national elections in February, the police arrested right‐wing extremist Luca Traini after injuring six migrants in the city of Macerata in central Italy. A few weeks later, in March, the general elections marked the success of Luigi di Maio's Five Star Movement (M5s) and Matteo Salvini's League (Lega) and relegated the parties that dominated the previous phase –the Democratic Party (PD) and Go Italy (FI) – and their leaders – Matteo Renzi and Silvio Berlusconi – to the margins of Italy's party system. Since no political coalition or party won an outright majority in the elections, the elections resulted in a hung Parliament. After three months of negotiations, the Lega and M5S eventually managed to strike a deal that set up the first Giuseppe Conte government. While the issue of migration shaped public debates and policy‐making, putting Italy's bilateral relations with France under strain, the Italian government's difficulty to pass the 2019 budget plan triggered tensions with the European Commission and instability on the financial markets.