Italian parliament opens for first time since election but still no coalition

Italian parliament opens for first time since election but still no coalition

Italy’s parliament will reconvene today to commence the process of electing speakers for the Senate and Lower House.

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Photo: Reuters

Following inconclusive elections earlier this month, Italy’s parliament will reconvene today to commence the process of electing speakers for the Senate and Lower House.

Both speakers must be chosen before President Sergio Mattarella can begin consultations with Italy’s various parties about the country’s next prime minister and government. As the 630-seat Lower House speaker position requires a majority vote, today’s discussions should reveal whether a coalition government is possible.

With the Five Star Movement winning 32% of the vote, making it by far Italy’s largest single party, the ball is in leader Luigi Di Maio’s court. One potential solution to the political deadlock could see the centre-right alliance broken up and a parliamentary majority forged between the Five Star Movement and Matteo Salvini’s League, which won 17% of the vote, thereby discarding Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party.

Such an outcome could be disastrous for the EU. With Berlusconi’s party often responsible for moderating the League’s anti-European sentiments, an exclusion of Forza Italia in Italy’s government could see anti-EU policies– such as Italy’s abandoning the euro– gain traction.

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