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Italy: Elections: Why the Italian elections are no test for the European Union - by Cas Mudde

This Sunday, more than 30 million Italians will go to the polls to elect a new legislature and, indirectly, a government. It will be the first major European election of 2018, after a somewhat confusing and inconsistent pattern of elections in 2017, and the international media is sparing few cliches.

Almost no journalist can resist making references to Italy’s almost inherent “political instability”, referring to the many “political crises” and national elections and governments the country has had in recent history – even though Italy had one government more and held one election less than the (allegedly stable) Netherlands in the 21st century.

In the runup to the 2018 Italian elections, the international coverage is dominated by stories that present the usual Italian tropes in all possible combinations. As always, Italy is “on the brink” of political chaos or worse. Article after article covers topics such as mafia and immigration, the rise of fascism, the risk of political violence, or the threat of populism to Italian democracy and the European Union. Don’t get me wrong, many stories are factually correct, even if they often overstate the relevance of their topic. 

Read more: Why the Italian elections are no test for the European Union | Cas Mudde | Opinion | The Guardian

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