by Nick Reid
The populist fervor of President Trump is apparently not confined to US shores. It is beginning an increasingly effective and vociferous movement in Western Europe that threatens destabilization of the euro and the European Union, as a whole.
Bolstered (and likely encouraged) by Trump’s election on a MAGA platform that stood in opposition to globalist and central control tendencies in the past decade, Italy’s parliament elected a Prime Minister who ran (seriously) with an “Italy First” platform that swept him to power with the right-wing 5 Star Movement party.
Giuseppe Conteis not a politician, he’s a businessman. He has never held elected office, but is strong on the need to pay attention to his homeland over the needs of his occasional friends in the EU. He is also a strong supporter of pulling out of the common European currency, the euro, under burgeoning fears across Europe that another Brexit (Italexit?) is on the horizon. With that would likely come a steady erosion of the Union and an end to the continent’s big kumbaya moment.
Unfortunately for Italians, the president was having none of it. In Italy, the PM leads the parliament and is generally considered the voice of the people, while the president is the voice of government. In this scenario, the PM and parliament submit cabinet officials to the president who generally just approves them without debate (the few times one has been rejected, it has been with agreement between the PM and pres.).
Two days ago, this precedent was upset as President Sergio Matterella rejected the submitted finance minister because of his open opposition to Italy’s part in the euro. In a show of outrage, PM Conte resigned and an interim PM was then appointed by the President.
Mass political chaos has erupted with opponents of Pres. Matterella calling for impeachment and his supporters cheering on the Sicilian renegade. It is really the first constitutional crisis in Italy’s history (the constitution was adopted in 1947) and will prove to be a test of the strength of the political structures and the weight of the EU in individual European governments.
Whichever way it goes, the MIGA movement is young, but healthy and the Trump Effect is fuel for the fire. The election of Donald Trump is proving to have an effect on not just Americans, but across the globe. The next orange faced Trumpavelli may be on his way.