I think this quote, from Will Italy’s Populists Upend Europe? by Mark Leonard today at Project Syndicate, makes the salient point with an economy of words:
“An Italian government combining two very different strands of populism will pose a serious threat to the European project, because it could form the core of a new federation of populists and Euroskeptics that have hitherto operated separately. No longer would Euroskeptics be fragmented into different tribes of anti-immigrant politicians on the right and anti-austerity politicians on the left.”
Seems to me this is the key to making an effective (if potentially frightening) populism adhere. Can opposite poles hold together?
I’m with the less austerity camp, and I find some level of “common currency abuse” on the part of “German fiscal hawks,” as Leonard calls them. I’m less inclined toward the xenophobes and God-and-country nationalists at the other pole. Perhaps they feel the same in reverse?
Can this coalition hold together?
Italy is the European spot to watch this summer. That is, unless the May government falls.