Italy looks set to be heading towards a hung parliament based on results in the general election this weekend.  The Five Star Movement won the largest share of the votes in a result largely seen to be a rejection of the country’s traditional parties and a move to the far-right. Former Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi has resigned as leader of the governing centre-left Democratic Party, which performed poorly, taking less than 20% of the vote. Matteo Salvini’s anti-immigration League party also outperformed Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia.

Commenting on the outcome, European Green Party co-chairs Monica Frassoni and Reinhard Bütikofer said:

“The results from this weekend’s general election in Italy appear to show that no coalition has won the mandate to form a new government. A very harsh campaign and extreme polarisation on issues connected to migration and corruption had a major role in determining the result, and gave an unprecedented platform to extreme right and openly xenophobic forces.

Italians have felt a growing sense of frustration with the establishment and have responded by voting for untested politicians who are ill-equipped to deal with the challenges of the Eurozone’s third largest economy.  The vote is also a major rejection of the EU and its perceived ability to deliver opportunities for Italian citizens. It is the duty of European policy makers to express its solidarity and support for Italy and make sure that its calls have been heeded with concrete policy and reform.

Italian pro-European progressive forces have shown themselves to be unable to find a solution to the growing feelings of fear and precariousness felt by so many Italians.  They were also incapable of offering the prospect of political and economic renewal, and capturing a sense of hope in the future.

Italy is a founding member of the European Union and its only viable option is to be part of a strong and united Europe.  As Greens, our challenge is to help stop the erosion of shared European values and internal cohesion, and ensure the voice of the people is heard and acted on.”