Luigi Di Maio stepped down on Wednesday (22 January) as leader of Italy's co-governing 5-Star movement, as it seeks to stem a wave of defections that threatens the government's parliamentary majority.
A court in Sicily has suspended the results of an internal primary ballot by the anti-establishment 5 Star Movement, potentially disrupting its bid to win control of the island in an election in November.
The Lega Nord has won the election. Or so one would be inclined to believe, surveying the stories on Italian politics published since August in the (mostly) UK press. A bit of Brexit projection, perhaps? Not exactly, but it can’t be excluded either.
He is an 80-year-old convicted criminal whose last government ended with Italy on the brink of bankruptcy - and he may well be kingmaker at the next election within a year.
It was a wipeout. Failing to win a single contest in 1,004 local elections in Italy on Sunday (11 June), Beppe Grillo’s 5 Star Movement was quickly assigned to the list of declining populist parties that began with Geert Wilders’ defeat in March’s Dutch poll.
In the wake of Brexit and the growing dissatisfaction of European voters, populists are gaining ground across the continent. But experts don’t seem concerned, as they see the shake-up as a healthy sign of democracy.