Matteo Renzi

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A showing of just 19 per cent for Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party in the Italian election last week means its vote has halved since 2014. Photograph: Elisabetta Villa/Getty Images

At the turn of the century, European social democracy enjoyed the unchallenged ascendancy it had held through most of the previous 100 years. In 2000,(...)

With the decision by members of the Social Democratic Party to approve going into coalition with her Christian Democratic Union, Angela Merkel is assured of a fourth term as German chancellor. Photograph: Felipe Trueba/EPA

Never in the postwar era has Germany had a longer hiatus between an election and the emergence of a government. It took more than five months and incl(...)

 Lega leader Matteo Salvini: the party represents Italy’s wealthy north and taxpayers who resent corruption. Photograph: Daniel Dal Zennaro

Italy’s president Sergio Mattarella has one hell of a dilemma. Normally it’s simple. He asks the largest party in parliament to see if it can put toge(...)

Five Star Movement founder Beppe Grillo (L) speaks next to leader Luigi Di Maio during the finally rally ahead of the March 4th elections in downtown Rome. Photograph: Tony Gentile

After an election campaign dominated by immigration and economic uncertainty, Italy’s voters last night strongly backed the maverick populist Five Sta(...)

As Italian voters go to the polls, surveys suggest the 82-year-old former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi could emerge as kingmaker. Photograph: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

Having had 40 prime ministers and more than 60 governments since the second World War, Italians have learned not to expect their elections to deliver (...)

Northern League leader Matteo Salvini: Could end up in a position of power, either as interior minister or even prime minister – a scenario that could disturb investors and EU policymakers. Photograph: Riccardo Antimiani/EPA

Just after the start of one of his final campaign rallies this week, Matteo Salvini lunged into the kind of provocative anti-Muslim pitch to voters th(...)

Silvio Berlusconi is cheered by supporters prior to a meeting with European People’s Party president Manfred Weber in Rome on February 21st. Photograph: Ettore Ferrari/Ansa via AP

On the evening of Italy’s March 4th general election, Tiziana Stellato will be counting ballots in the hospital where she works. But like many disgrun(...)

PD party leader Matteo Renzi has tried to make the case that continuity is the best recipe for Italy in matters of security and migration as well as economic policy. Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters

The traditional Tuscan ribollita stew was about to be served and the red wine was already on the tables: in front of a cheerful and admiring lunchtime(...)

Silvio Berlusconi: Despite his political departure in 2011 following a sex scandal and fraud conviction, he has re-emerged as “Italy’s kindly granddad”. Photograph: Remo Casilli/Reuters

Matteo Salvini* does not pull his punches. And his supporters love his bluntness. At a rally in Rome, the leader of the Northern League (NL) earned hi(...)

Five Star Movement leader Luigi Di Maio said he would “find the bad apples and throw them out”. Photograph: Ciro De Luca/Reuters

Italy’s anti-establishment Five Star Movement has been rattled by allegations that some of its politicians failed to abide by a pledge to direct half (...)

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