Why center-right victory in Italy is important for the whole West


After several losses of populist movements across Europe leftist and neoliberal lobbies breathed out. For a short moment it seemed that Trump’s victory in US and BREXIT are nothing more but exception to the rule: globalization and unification are inevitable. Poor results of National Front in France, defeats of Geert Wilders in Netherlands and Norbert Hofer in Austria calmed down the globalist elites and gave them some time to regroup. But recent mayoral elections in Italy clearly indicate that populism and Right turn are here to stay.

Landslide victory of conservatives

16 out of 25 communes voted for center-right mayors. They have triplicated the result in comparison to previous electoral circle and even managed to win in Genoa, a major seaport that have been dominated by leftists. The success of the wide coalition is based on a balanced mixture of consistent eurosceptics and nationalists like Matteo Salvini’s Lega Nord, Brothers of Italy and National Movement for Sovereignty on the other hand and moderate but still conservative forces dominated by Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia. Together they managed to push neoliberals, leftists and globalists on the periphery of current political arena.

Italians have had enough

The main reason for conservatives’ success in recent elections is security and migration issues. Every year more and more migrants enter Europe both from Africa and Middle East. Local authorities and activists in some regions already say that the scale of problem can be described as uncontrolled invasion. Pro-EU governments execute liberal paradigm of policymaking, media is controlled my major groups of influence, that eventually leads to a undercover protest among people across the country. This deep discontent gave a great opportunity to the populists that used identitarian rhetoric and patriotic as the core of their political program.

The Christian factor

Migration from mainly Muslim regions is perceived by most of Europeans as aggressive invasion as well as civilizational and religious challenge. Some observers and experts indicate that success of populist and anti-liberal movements often depends on the percentage of Christians in countries. For example, less than a half of current citizens of Netherlands identify as Christians where Eurosceptic Party of Freedom lost during last parliamentary elections. France is showing consistent decline in this number as well as Austria – both these countries have not succeeded in bringing populists and patriots to power. Italy, on the contrary, preserves one of the highest rates in Europe with more than 85% of people calling themselves Christians. Religious identity remain crucial when it comes to defending both identity of the people and sovereignty of the state.