Italy Embracing Populism Is A Major Headache For Europe

Authored by Tom Luongo,

For years Italy’s Northern League kept to itself, being focused on secession rather than reform from within.  That change began last year with their non-binding referenda to petition Rome for more fiscal autonomy.  But, as the Italian parliamentary elections come into view, the Northern League is playing politics.

And doing it well.

Having made a coalition with Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and two smaller center-right parties, the Leag Norda (Northern League) is now in a great position to win the election.  It’s leader, Matteo Salvini has wholly embraced populism and is now in open opposition to Europe as a whole. From a report at Breitbart:

During a heated interview with Italian TV Channel Rete 4 this week, Mr. Salvini reaffirmed his eurosceptic credentials, blasting: “Europe can go f*ck itself!”

“Europe has been punishing us for the last 15 years and we are worse off than 15 years ago,” he added. “European measures are the last thing I am interested in.”

Salvini’s populist stance goes much further than that.  His Twitter feed reads like Nigel Farage’s after a lengthy stay at the pub.  He’s pushing for a 15% flat tax, the bane of the Progressive left who understands that a progressive tax system is the biggest obstacle to wealth generation.  Salvini invokes U.S. President Donald Trump whenever he can especially on defending Italy’s borders and EU immigration policy.

If Italy elects a government hostile to Angela Merkel’s open immigration policy she will have no choice but the back down on her stance against the Visegrad nations – Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia.

But, the big question it the euro.  And where does this new coalition and Salvini really stand on taking one of the lynchpin economies out of the failing monetary union?  Honestly, we don’t know.

Polls suggest that anti-euro sentiment is still not high enough for it to be a winning electoral strategy.  Even the front-running party, Five-Star Movement, is backing off rhetorically on its most radical position, calling a referendum on the euro a ‘last resort’ now.

But, this isn’t 2015 and Salvini isn’t the feckless idiot that Alexis Tsipras in Greece is.  The Leag Norda comes for truly radical roots. It understands the problems Italy has stem from Germany’s punitive ideas on austerity.

He directly discusses them in his stump speeches and Tweets.  So, a lot of this softening on the euro is simply campaign strategy to get elected.  Is it also a means by which to blunt the rise of Five Star Movement and shut them out of the government?

Absolutely.  And in that respect one has to be skeptical if this embracing of populism isn’t just another ruse.  If a member of Berlusconi’s Forza Italia was the face of the coalition then I would be more circumspect, but because of Leag Norda’s secessionist roots, I have to believe that this move to challenge Brussels on tax and spending policies is real.

The problem lies with the polls.  Five-Star is in the lead but like Alternative for Germany (AfD) in Germany no one wants to make a coalition with them.  It would be like the Republicans making a coalition deal with the Libertarians here in the U.S.  It seems like a natural fit to outsiders but it’s not because the radical outsiders are a threat to the power of the entrenched players.

And that, I think, is the likely dynamic here.

Either way, though, Leag Norda becoming a real political force in Italy spells real trouble for a European Union and the Troika.  Salvini is advocating the opposite of the plans favored by the power elite in Europe.

Cut taxes, stop immigration and bring the Italian middle class back into the mix.  The problem is that Germany favors a strong euro over a weak one.  It gives them a massive advantage over the rest of Europe.  It drastically over-values non-German European labor on the open market, retarding investment and trade.  While Germany’s industrial base is strengthened comparatively.

And so, Salvini and Berlusconi, if they win, will have to then sell this idea of Germany using the euro to trap Italy, like Greece in a death spiral, for the next generation if not longer.

And it is an easy sell on the campaign trail and will be an even easier sell once elected.


Thoresen Mon, 01/22/2018 - 03:35 Permalink

Richer countries spend all their money on imports, and accept endless migration of so called refugees. The standard of living falls, as the poor new EU members gain.

UK was first to wake up. Greece was too in love with the Euro. Italy will follow UK, and so may France if Macron is to be believed. 

Offthebeach Thoresen Mon, 01/22/2018 - 10:22 Permalink

immigrants are useful to suppress lower class, working class, small buisness as they distract them, depress their wages and property values.  

Gov loves illegals because it gives the various useless gov parasites justification for their bureaucracies,  jobs and pensions.  

The elite love illegals because the illegals tie up the energy and anger of the lower class, which otherwise would be turned to them.  Plus the illegals crush wages of service/servant working class thus making the elite richer, comparatively. 


In reply to by Thoresen

Fireman Mon, 01/22/2018 - 03:43 Permalink

Italy will give the Pedophile Politburo in the Brussels sewer of Natostan, aka EUSSR the stinky finger. After the latest disgusting copulation of STASI "Erika" and Mr Urupp Schulz I can smell it in the air.

MK ULTRA Alpha Fireman Mon, 01/22/2018 - 03:58 Permalink

Sweden is on the edge of civil war with plans to call in US troops. Poland and Hungary won't cooperate and refuse EU orders. It's coming a part at the seams. The only pan Euro Zone unified political structure will be NATO.

NATO member Turkey has alienated Europe with wave after wave of economic and war refugees flowing from Turkey and demands from Turkish leaders to take more economic refugees, and then Turkish leaders bragging about conquering Europe for Islam. The EU turned down Turkey for EU membership.

The French leader is hinting at a referendum on EU membership, France has been completely conquered by Islam. And it's getting worse, pull the plug now before it's too late. The French want out of the EU.

Europe has had enough of the International Communist goal of one world government, the EU is a block to be combined with blocks all over the world, for the eventual ascension of the UN as one world government. 

Open Borders, One World Government have taken a toll of the people of Europe and they're demanding the ethnic invasion stop. It may mean a break up of the EU.

In reply to by Fireman

action jackson 911 MK ULTRA Alpha Mon, 01/22/2018 - 04:48 Permalink

Hope all of you from here have read some post-apocalyps book or novels, will be good for you and your health in the near future :)) A was told you a long time ago that there will be a time when those stupid idiot sheeps from Swedenistan will face the reckoning. Maybe it will be more sooner than we would expect. Just don`t you think that the muzzie lover swedish gobbernment will tell to their slaves the truth in their faces :)) It wouldn`t be fun for anybody, just like the global psychopathic elite don`t tell you anything about the 3 nuclear bombs at the WTC 1, 2 and 7 in Manhattan, how they don`t told you about the 2.000 deaths at the Bali nuclear mini-nukes bombings, about the fact that Hitler don`t died in 1945, but escaped to Argentina and died there around 1960-1962. So, when you see nukes going-off in Swedenistan, don`t be too surprised, you really think that America will let Swedenistan turning into a jihadist muzzie shithole, from there the new swedes :)) will launch attacks against anyone ? Do you ? Use your little brains, and act accordingly. The hundreds of civil and religious wars in Western Europeistan are more closer than anyone of you would think. There will be cities figting against another cities, even neighborhoods against another ones, so buckle up, that`s what`s happen over there is you elect psychopaths like Murkill, Macaroni, Schultz, Mogherini and Co. you will get fucked :)) Fight or die, fuckers :))

In reply to by MK ULTRA Alpha

tato1969 Mon, 01/22/2018 - 03:51 Permalink

The most likely output of italian elections will be a no-winner. So the government will have to be formed putting together different parties, probably in the moderate area leaving out the populist wings. The financial markets bet on a coalition of Forza Italia (Berlusconi center-right) and Partito Democratico (Renzi center-left) with the aid of smaller center parties. In this scenario both Lega Nord and Movimento 5 Stelle will be out of the government. The real threat (or opportunity depending on the personal view) is a coalition of Lega Nord and M5S that will defy Europe and themes like immigration and the Euro. In this scenario be ready to sell all italian assets you own (at least at the beginning). Interesting times we live in...

To Hell In A H… Mon, 01/22/2018 - 04:10 Permalink

When the Italians can go African style and be crushed for 50+ years after independence with all sorts of bogus Chicago Style school of economic nonsense forced on them to adopt, then we can start talking. 

All 1st world countries are experiencing stagnation, while the official organs of the state and private entities complicit in the scam tell everybody things are fine. 

There are many reasons for this stagnation, but the main cause is the complete rigging of our financial system, the pandemic corruption, fraud, crimes and robbery, with no repercussion. 

GreatUncle To Hell In A H… Mon, 01/22/2018 - 05:56 Permalink

Now what particular sect / group do you think is in charge of the banking system?

They have done this kind of financial behavior many times before over the centuries and in many countries also, eventually forced to run and flee from the anger they generated because of their criminality.

When you figure out that the persecution then becomes expected as a rational behavior against a criminal.

When you start to see articles that this form of anger is not allowed, as in some 'ism you know they know we are putting the pieces together.

The problem they have this time round though is where would one go in this world to flee when the whole world is now known and mapped.

So in 1 year or 50 the same old shit is going to happen yet again because the same criminals have not been eradicated.

I am just a DIN-DU-NOTHING WHITEY playing join the dots game I did as a child. Was good at it then.


In reply to by To Hell In A H…

MPJones Mon, 01/22/2018 - 04:14 Permalink

I would like to warn against accepting and adopting the language and terminology of your enemies: the terms 'populist' and 'populism' should be avoided. We 'populists' are simply democrats. We want rule of law, common law if you will, by the people for the people. We do not want rule by huge parasitic bureaucracies, and we most certainly do not want rule by a fascist construct like the EU and its unelected commission or by mega-corporations!

You could e.g. replace 'populist' with true democrats.

Batman11 Mon, 01/22/2018 - 04:31 Permalink

It’s a competitive world and the West needs better central bankers and many of the Euro-zones problems are due to financial mismanagement at the highest level, the ECB.

Trichet was the biggest disaster, and chronic mismanagement of the Euro-zone prior to the Euro-zone crisis, and his handling of the crisis when it hit has caused problems that are still affecting the Euro-zone today.

Mario did help clear up many of the problems in the banking system, but he didn’t understand the dangers of austerity on economies in balance sheet recessions. Austerity has, and is still is, damaging economies in the South and the empirical evidence shows the harsher the austerity the more damage is done to the economy.

The data is there for all to see.

Mark Blythe:

Richard Koo:

Richard Koo worked in a central bank (Federal Reserve Bank of New  York) and looks at the data central banks have available. What the ECB were doing with this data is anyone’s guess.

The West put its trust in central bankers for financial stability and gave China a huge advantage. China’s central bank has spotted the coming Minsky Moment, unlike the FED and BoE in 2008.

Australia, Canada, Norway and Sweden are sailing blindly into their Minsky Moments.

JDFX Mon, 01/22/2018 - 05:19 Permalink

Populism is another word for moral fairness in an independent nation. 


Italy is not independent, hence populism is a problem for the EU controlling minds. Great news for Italy though.


' Tradition is not the worship of ashes it's preserving the fire . ' 



whatisthat Mon, 01/22/2018 - 05:53 Permalink

I would observe the EU is a mess due to corruption and moron politicians like the is fortunate as the EU members go their own way they can place reliance on the Americans as we will flush our own corrupt establishment and politicians down the toilet in the future...

andrewp111 Mon, 01/22/2018 - 06:51 Permalink

In the unlikely event that secessionists gain a majority in Rome, The EU will have to send in German troops and the French Foreign Legion to occupy Italy. Secession of Italy will not be tolerated.

Mustahattu Mon, 01/22/2018 - 07:14 Permalink

The hordes of nigger migrants looking for welfare in Germany and beyond prefer to travel through Italy as it’s the shortest route. Should Italy leave the EU it will be responsible for the refugees inside the country but it would also stop the migration through Italy. It’s a win win for everyone till the migrants find another route through e.g. Spain and France. Then Spain will also leave as will France. Those three countries are sort of close anyway so they will all leave the EU and Euro. Then Greece will be forced to leave as their olives just got super expensive. Again a win win for all and the EU can continue in the north without the continuous stream of shitholers able to find their way there.

I’m just dreaming... none of it will happen. These countries are tied to the Mark, sorry Euro, till the day they die in WW3 or revolution. It’s more likely that Merkel will live to 140 and continue to rule and bring 1 million muzzies to the EU area every year. She will be replaced by a muzzie in the end and then she can die in peace as she has put the “Nazi shame” in the closet. You see Germans are by then all mixed and align to Mecca rather than their Lutheran churches.

ukipboy Mon, 01/22/2018 - 07:23 Permalink

Martin Armstrong called it back in 1999. Without joint bonds for the whole Eurozone and sharing of the economic burdens between North and South, the Euro is bound to fail. The fact that some politicians like Juncker are corrupt, and some bankers like Trichet are incompetent, only adds to the disaster. But the foundation of the system is cracked from the ground up. So it is only a matter of time before the Eurozone completely falls apart.

Capish Mon, 01/22/2018 - 07:34 Permalink

The rejection of the Euro is the main reason that the UK can conciser leaving the EU relatively unscathed, The Damage done to Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland by adopting the Euro is the main reason that these country's will have difficulty leaving the EU. Only a concerted effort by all these country's for change within the Union can help them. Its all about democratizing Brussels. 

Offthebeach Capish Mon, 01/22/2018 - 10:35 Permalink

I don't see why Italy,  or others, don't issue their own paper, a national Bitcoin if you will.  Plenty needs done in Italy, plenty of Italians need productive work, why not flood the interface between the parties with valuable, legal trade notes.  Let the Euro do what ever the fig it does and let Italians trade amongst themselves.


In reply to by Capish

Easyp Mon, 01/22/2018 - 07:56 Permalink

Populism = Anything the EU does not like

Its part of the smear and sneer campaign against any voters who see the EU as a threat to their way of life.

dunroamin Mon, 01/22/2018 - 08:10 Permalink

"a progressive tax system is the biggest obstacle to wealth generation"

Oh yes! Progressive means the more you have, the more (and more and more) we take!


iLLivaniLLi19 dunroamin Mon, 01/22/2018 - 08:47 Permalink

If we have a progressive tax system, why is inequality exploding? Preventing gross inequality is the whole point of implementing a progressive income tax, or so they say.


No. The point of the progressive income tax is to prevent new money from threatening old money. Old money sits on capital gains income and new money is punished for maximizing their labor efficiency. 

In reply to by dunroamin

InnVestuhrr Mon, 01/22/2018 - 08:20 Permalink

Society & Politics: Italy is the most advanced of all the 3rd world shit-holes with the best food, drink & young women, but horrific government, over-population hyper-density, astronomical housing cost, mediocre infrastructure, unbearably high population of coercive collectivists (the communists even have parades!), and way too much influence & control by the catholic cult.

Investing: As the EU inevitably approaches disintegration, the mega-tsunami of money fleeing the Euro will drive US treasury yields down to negative levels, and all bond portfolios denominated in USD will skyrocket like a silicon valley moonshot.