Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini just declared himself the leader of the Europe’s future. He refuses to budge one inch in negotiations with the European Union over Italy’s budget now threatening to take down the government.
And in doing this he not only speaks for Italians, he is now speaking for that growing part of the European population who sees what the EU is morphing into and recoiling in horror.
Protests in France over Emmanuel Macron’s new tax on diesel have turned violent. The British leadership has completely betrayed the people over Brexit. They may win this battle but the animosity towards the Britain’s leadership will only grow more virulent over time.
As the core leadership in France and Germany fades in popularity, held in place because of domestic political squabbling, Angela Merkel and Macron are ratcheting up the rhetoric against the rising nationalism Salvini represents and are now pushing hard for their Federation of Europe before both of them leave the scene in the next few years, at best.
If they lose their battles with Salvini and Hungary’s Viktor Orban they may be run out of office with pitchforks and firebrands.
Bernard Connelly, author of the brilliant expose The Rotten Heart of Europe (which should be required reading) asks the salient question about Brexit no one associated with Project Fear can confront.
If separation from the EU is so complicated, why was no one talking about blockades and economic catastrophe before the Scottish Independence referendum in 2014?
The answer is simple. No one in power expected the referendum to pass and when it didn’t the issue ended.
Now, back to Italy.
Salvini can do make these bold threats because his Lega keeps rising in opinion polls every time he makes them.
Since then, Salvini has continued to pull ahead of Luigi Di Maio, the country’s other deputy premier, as the public face of hardline opposition to the EU. Salvini’s League party rose to 36.2% in voter intentions in November, the fourth straight poll showing an increase, according to an Ipsos survey in newspaper Corriere della Sera.