Italy’s coalition government seems ready to break apart, with Matteo Salvini of the League (who is seen as the country’s real leader) calling for new elections to force the Five Star Movement out of his alliance and Five Star trying to form a new coalition with the Democratic Party in order to oust Salvini. In an engaging new essay for Acton’s Religion & Liberty Transatlantic website, Italian journalist Stefano Magni writes about the unexpected role played in this electoral crisis by the Vatican.
How did these two conflicting movements find enough common ground to form a coalition in the first place? Magni writes:
The answer is socialism. While Five Star Movement favors degrowth and the League supports massive infrastructure projects, both adhere to a statist economic system. In this government, both parties introduced more public spending.
After Magni details the government-expanding policies supported by both parties, he notes how the Roman Catholic Church in Italy has contributed to the two parties’ marriage of convenience – and the popularity of Salvini’s economics – by supporting extreme Keynesian economics:
One of the most influential economists in the Vatican today is Joseph Stiglitz, who is also one of the League’s favorites. That’s why most Catholics agree with Pope Francis and with the League on economics.
You can read his full essay here.
(Photo credit: U.S. government photo. Public domain.)