Sabotage: Italian President Blocks Eurosceptic Coalition Govt, Populist Leader Calls for Impeachment
Italian President Sergio Mattarella announced his rejection of Italy’s populist coalition government Sunday evening in what is being billed as one of the worst days in Italian political history.
Mattarella’s move is being widely interpreted as a rejection not only of the government but of the national will as expressed in democratic elections, and massive demonstrations are expected Monday. The Italian president was reportedly under heavy pressure from Brussels, Berlin, and other centres of European power to abort the eurosceptic government, which they viewed as a threat to European stability.In the March 4th national elections, Italians voted overwhelmingly for anti-establishment parties, with the Five-Star Movement taking the largest share, followed by the eurosceptic and anti-mass immigration League.
Since neither party had the necessary parliamentary seats to form a government, the leaders of the two groups — Five-Star’s Luigi Di Maio and League’s Matteo Salvini — worked together to form a coalition government, working through their differences and hammering out a 58-page unified political program last week.
According to Italian law, the president of the republic, who in ordinary circumstances has little executive power, takes on a decisive role in the formation of a new government and has the authority to confirm or reject the appointment of cabinet ministers.Breitbart News former executive chairman Stephen K. Bannon, who is currently in Rome, had been invited by the Center for American Studies to give a public address on Italy’s historic populist moment Monday afternoon, but organizers cancelled the event Sunday night out of fear of riots.
Event organizers told Breitbart News that within an hour after announcing Bannon’s talk, hundreds of requests poured in to attend the conference, along with numerous petitions from national and international media outlets to cover it.
On Sunday, Bannon met with Armando Siri, the mastermind behind the coalition’s economic reform program, ccentred on a 15 per cent flat tax designed to replace Italy’s Byzantine fiscal code and significantly curb the tax evasion that is rife in the country. Siri said that the flat tax was expected to jump-start the Italian economy with projected GDP growth of 3 percent in the first year.
In recent days, the populist coalition had acceded to all of President Mattarella’s requests to be able to launch the new government and the president had accepted the nomination of Giuseppe Conte, a relatively unknown university professor, as prime minister.
Earlier on Sunday, the leaders of the two parties delivered their final list of ministry appointments to Mattarella, including the controversial choice for finance minister of Paolo Savona, an accomplished economist who has expressed reservations regarding a gradual erosion of national sovereignty to the European Union over time.
While it appeared that Mattarella would have no choice but to confirm the elected government, in the end he decided against it, underscoring his opposition to the coalition’s choice of finance minister and his fears that the new government would end by pulling he country out of the Europe Union’s common currency, the euro.
Even among critics of the new government the president’s move is being broadly condemned as a rejection of the democratic process for ideological ends and a demonstration of preference for European Union interests over those of the nation.