Italy Next in Line to Oppose Liberalism and Exit the EU?
UNTIL YESTERDAY ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER MATTEO RENZI had been advocating a referendum to “slim down” and “defang” the Upper Chamber of the Italian Parliament (from 315 to 100). A move that would in effect eradicate a check on the lower house and empower the central government thereby enabling Renzi to more efficiently implement his pro-European program. A widely advertised and highly emotional campaign resulted in a near 70 percent turn put of Italy’s electorate. Of this large group a significant 60 percent voted no for the referendum.
A “No-Vote” to the Renzi sponsored referendum could be interpreted as a vote of no-confidence in Renzi and his attempts to strengthen ties with Paris and Berlin in favor of the EU and Eurozone. However, it should be pointed out up front that this referendum did not involve an exit from the European Union per se. Unlike the Brexit referendum, the Renzi referendum sought to tie Italy closer to the EU. Thus, its failure may be indirectly interpreted as a vote to widen the gap between Italy and the EU.
Renzi promised his countrymen that if he failed to get his referendum approved, he would tender his resignation and step down from office. In wake of yesterday’s referendum’s failure, Renzi is faced with a dilemma, keeping his word and actually stepping down or ignoring his statement as political rhetoric. Renzi, has chosen the former.
Being a man of principle, he has kept his word. Sunday morning the Prime Minister announced:
“When you lose you cannot pretend that nothing has happened and go to bed and sleep. My government ends here today” (Fox News).
“I take full responsibility for the defeat. I will greet my successor with a smile and a hug, whoever it might be” (CNN Money).
The main beneficiary of the Renzi defeat seems to be the Italian “Five Star” movement, which is in favor of imitating Brexit in Italy by spearheading plans for another referendum asking the Italian people to withdraw from the European Union and the Euro Zone thereby discontinuing use of the Euro and reinstating the Italian Lira in its place.
In the wake of Brexit and aspiring Eurospkeoptic movements in France, Greece and Spain exacerbated by successful Euroskeptic movements in Hungary, Poland, Moldova, and Slovakia, liberal globalists are awakening to the likelihood that another populist party, such as Five Star, will rise to national prominence in Italy thereby creating ever-deepening crisis leading to questions about the on going viability of the EU itself.
Matteo Renzi Accepts Defeat Giving Rise to Hopes among Euroskeptic Parties such as Five Star for an Italian Exit
WHO IS FIVE STAR
As stated in the above video, Five Star is a “populist, anti-establishment, anti-European, increasingly popular” movement in Italy. Five Star was established by an Italian comedian, Beppe Grillo and web strategist Gianroberto Casaleggio in 2009. As stated, the party is populist, Euroskeptic, and anti globalist. It is named Five Stars because it coalesces around five primary issues: (1) transportation (2) water (3) development (4) internet access (5) non-violence. Five Stars is in favor of direct digital democracy (direct participation of all citizens in public affairs by use of computer technology) and rejects foreign military intervention in the Middle East and specifically American intervention in Syria.
Five Star favors green technology, is anti-pollution and social justice oriented, ecological-minded, anti-capitalist and anti-consumerist. As such, it favors limited but sustainable growth, reduced production and consumption, and the growth of arts and more humane use of leisure time. Currently, Five Star has 109 deputies in the lower house known in Italy as the Chamber of Deputies, which consists of 630 members.
The BBC and other media agencies are focusing on Five Star and presenting it as the apparent front runner leading the way to change among Euroskeptic elements throughout Italy. New Era does not agree with the BBC, which seemingly forecasts and implicitly promotes the rise of Five Star. Five Star is a left wing movement committed to an aberrant moral agenda. The BBC is apparently pinning its hopes on a Five Star rise to power thereby presenting the movement as another populist party like those coming to the fore throughout Europe. Unfortunately, Five Star is not one of these.
A MORE LIKELY SCENARIO
There are other populist parties developing in Italy, parties more in tune with what is happening in Eastern Europe, France, Asia and Africa than Five Star. Five Star has many valid and potentially good ideas, but without a moral foundation, it risks running the gamut of just another “hippie movement” backed by technological savvy.
Beppe Grillo, and Gianroberto Casaleggio Co-Founders of Five Star
Technological savvy and direct democracy, however, are not the answer to future problems. Future problems require deep roots in philosophy, theology, spirituality, social science and then technology and professional expertise.
Five Star is being presented favorably by outlets such as the BBC because the BBC and others are fully aware that the Euroskeptic anti-liberal movement is in full swing. Unfortunately, although Five Star has an innovative political and economic reform package, morally Five Star is just another liberal program masquerading in progressive populist guise. In 2014 the party voted for gay rights and same sex unions.
That was 2014, given the current political landscape, Five Star is back peddling on the issue. According to the Guardian:
“After seemingly supporting the legislation for months, Beppe Grillo, the former comic who heads the protest party (Five Star), announced that members of his party could vote their conscience on the bill (advocating same sex unions).”
“It was a reflection, analysts said, of the changing political landscape in Italy. The country’s conservative and right-wing parties are largely in disarray and Grillo likely sees an opportunity to pick up conservative voters in upcoming local elections if he can scupper or weaken the civil unions bill.”
“There is an element in this of M5S (Five Star) generally not being reliable partners. They are also opportunistic. There is an opportunity to grab votes from centre-right parties, which at this point cannot even put forward candidates in key cities,” said Wolfango Piccoli, an analyst at Teneo Intelligence in London.”
This is an opportunistic vote and party that is not to be trusted. Beppe Grillo is asking his followers to “trust their gut not their brain“ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37aUvz-v0FE at 2:57 in video) as if they were a pack of animals unable to think for themselves. Thus, BBC and others are hoping that people are still dim-witted enough to be unable to see through the propaganda, but that is exactly what the Euroskeptic anti-liberal movement is about: People are tired of the propaganda and will see through this campaign with just a little insight:
A win for Five Star is a win for liberalism.
To hide this fact, leaders of Five Star are beginning to strategize. According to the Economist, “Five Star is “Smartening Up” :
“EVEN fans of the Five Star Movement, an Italian political group often described as populist, maverick and anti-establishment, would never have credited it with slickness.”
Slickness, however is not wisdom. Given the current Christian family values renewal under way in Europe, and Five Star’s reluctance to form political alliances with other parties, Five Star’s chances of making it to power on a pro-gay agenda are slim. The Party has not definitively disowned or modified its agenda; it has merely refused to make a statement at this time and in an attempt to be “slick” it has merely left the vote to individual conscience. This ploy will have its effect, but it will not result in victory. A more likely political party candidate for the future of Italy is Lega Nord.
As reported by the Guardian:
“When Matteo Salvini took over the leadership of the Northern League (Lega Nord) at the end of 2013, Italian politicians and the media said his job would be to officiate at the party’s funeral. Two years later, it is back from the near dead — and stronger than ever.”
“Whether you credit the refugee crisis, the Marine Le Pen bandwagon or what party insiders prefer to call the #effettoSalvini (the Salvini effect), the party that sank to an historic low of 4 percent in the 2013 election — below the threshold for seats in the Senate — now has 16-17 percent support in nationwide polls.
A likely scenario for Italy is a coalition movement consisting of Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, right-wing Fratelli d’Italia and Lega Nord.
Lega Nord, promotes Italy’s cultural values, supports the traditional family, is opposed to same sex union, globalism, and the spread of liberalism.
Recently, Salvini, leader of Lega Nord, hosted a Milan Conference for a new group in the European Parliament known as Europe of Nations and Freedom Group (ENF), which includes Marine Le Pen and other Euroskeptic party leaders from throughout the continent. ENF is working to establish a “Europe of free nations in which power is fully returned from the European Union to the voters of sovereign states. The group’s commitments are to sovereignty, democracy, freedom and ending mass immigration so that members may advance their own interests at the domestic level.”
In the words of Marine le Pen VP of ENF:
“Each day, the Europe of Brussels unveils its fatal design: deconstructing nations to build a new globalist order, dangerous for the security, prosperity, identity, the very survival of the European peoples.”
“Faced with the proponents of federalism, we are the guardians informed of the national spirit and the defenders of the interests of European peoples.”
“An opposing force that embodies the patriotic alternative to the globalist Europe, Brussels…”
“This pole of resistance, which today unites the elect of eight European nations, pursues a compelling purpose: to free Europe from the chains of servitude…and build a continent of peace and prosperity.”
At the close of the Milan meeting of ENF hosted by Salvini, Salvini had a photo taken with Le Pen and others containing the caption:
““We will not surrender to the clandestine invasion.”
In a recent Facebook Post carried by the Guardian, Salvini stated:
Then he thanked supporters on Twitter and beckoned Renzi
“We’re coming”, #Salvini.
If Lega Nord or Five Star happen to pull a surprise victory (a surprise victory like the Trump surprise and the many similar surprises occurring throughout Europe) in the next election, Italian voters should expect a referendum to withdraw from the European Union or Euro Zone.