European Interest

Brussels ‘confident’ Italy can form stable government

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A view of the European Commission's Berlaymont Building, Brussels, Belgium.

Italy is still able to form a stable government after elections on March 4 delivered a hung parliament, according to the European Commission.

“We understand that the official result will not be announced until later today,” the Commission’s spokesman Margaritis Schinas told a news briefing on March 5.

“We have confidence in President [Sergio] Mattarella’s abilities to facilitate the formation of a stable government in Italy and in the meantime Italy has a government with whom we are working closely,” he said.

However, the Agence France-Presse (AFP) noted that the advance of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and far-right anti-migrant eurosceptics in Italy could undermine the push for EU reforms.

The advance in Italy of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and far-right anti-migrant eurosceptics is being analysed in Brussels.

“You will have people against striking a reform deal, saying that now, especially with this mess in Italy, it is not the right moment for taking up risks,” said Janis A. Emmanouilidis, research director at the European Policy Centre in Brussels.

Meanwhile “there will be others who will say if you look at Italy and the anti-establishment voters fed up with the economic situation and migration, that we simply can’t pretend to go on as we are,” he added.

In a separate report, the Italian news agency ANSA quoted German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert as saying on March 4 that Berlin hoped for “a stable government for the good of Italy and Europe”.

“The definitive result of the elections has not yet come. Italy is a profound friend and partner and we hope for a stable government for the good of the country and Europe,” Seibert added.

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