Italy

When the League and the Five Star Movement finally agreed to form a government last year after months of faltering talks, many doubted that the shotgun marriage of two parties from opposite ends of the political spectrum – with little in common aside from being nominally ‘anti-establishment’ – would long endure.

And to be sure, the fact that their union has even lasted this long is a testament to the frustration that many Italians felt toward the center-left and center-right parties in the aftermath of buffoonish antics of Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s longest-serving post-war ruler, and the ineffectual reign of Matteo Renzi.

But Matteo Salvini’s confrontational approach to the Italian migrant crisis – including his controversial decisions to turn away boats loaded with refugees – has caused support for his right-wing, anti-immigrant League party to surge. At the same time, M5s, led by Salvini’s deputy prime minister Luigi Di Maio, has grown increasingly antagonistic, most recently supporting the ouster of a key Salvini advisor over allegations of corruption.

The growing rift, which has intensified as Salvini and Di Maio took shots at one another in the Italian press, also fueled speculation that Salvini might soon reach for the nuclear option: Calling another general election to try and capitalize on the League’s soaring popularity to ditch M5S, and form a new conservative coalition, perhaps with the very same establishment figure that enabled Salvini’s rise in the first place.

Italy’s Matteo Salvini recently said his nationalist party, The League, is here to stay.

According to Bloomberg, which cited several reports in the local press, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who had no experience in government before being brought in as prime minister to lead the new ‘government of change’, suspects that Salvini might be plotting to topple the government.

Adding to the pressure on Salvini, Berlusconi has been active in the press accusing Five Star of deliberately undermining Salvini despite everything the League leader has done to hold the coalition together.

Support for Salvini has soared since the new government formally took power in June. But over the past week, he has suffered a series of defeats, first when Conte moved to oust Armando Siri, the League undersecretary and advisor, and again when plans for a private bailout of Italian lender Banca Carige after BlackRock pulled out. The Salvini-led coalition of nationalist MEPs vying for seats in the European Parliament is set to make big gains during elections later this month.

Adding a sense of urgency to Salvini’s deliberations, Five Star, which is beginning to look more like a rival to the League than a partner, won two runoff elections in Sicily, while two League-backed candidates lost two other races.

All of this is happening as the prospects for Italian growth continue to deteriorate. The European Commission recently issued revised growth projections that would place the Italian budget deficit well beyond the 2.04% agreed to by the Italian government and Brussels late last year. This could make financing all of the generous social programs proposed by M5S untenable.

Di Maio has attacked Salvini’s plan to try and stop migrant rescue ships from approaching Italian ports, slamming it as a “provocation” and a power grab.

Currently, the transportation ministry, which is led by an M5S minister, is in charge of these policies. Salvini and Di Maio have also clashed over a cardinal’s decision to restore power to a state-owned building housing hundreds of homeless people.

In an interview with Rai2 TV, Salvini cheered on Berlusconi ahead of the European elections later this month.

“Good luck for this battle which, in Europe, I think we’ll be able to fight on the same front; because in the name of jobs, security, health, the environment and the family, I hope something will change also in Europe, if the left is finally out of power.”

The tensions within the ruling coalition could intensify ahead of a cabinet meeting next week, where the League and M5S are expected to unveil their (presumably very different) policy platforms.

All of the instability and uncertainty is beginning to bleed over into Italian bond markets, sending yields back toward their highs from the thick of the conflict with Brussels.

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Source: InfoWars


French authorities are investigating the suspicious death of an Italian intelligence agent after he was found lying in a pool of his own blood and vomit with a serious wound to his chin.

According to French magazine Le Point, the agent – identified only as 50-year-old Massimo I – had been living at the hotel in the Montmartre district since May 3, arriving from Rome that day. He was carrying a business card in his name mentioning his employer as “Presidenza Del Consiglio Dei ministri,” or the Presidency of the Italian Council off Ministers, currently headed by Giuseppe Conte.

According to the report, the agent was in France on a language course.

(Photo by Daxis / Flickr)

French security sources told Le Point that Massimo I was a member of the Italian intelligence services, while the Italian Embassy in Paris says it believes he died of natural causes – and that the gaping wound could have been caused during a fall. Firefighters attempted to resuscitate him around 1:30 a.m.

The hotel room safe contained an encrypted security key, 1700 Euros ($1,900 US), a USB key, an SD card adapter and an SD card. Agence France Presse also reported that classified documents were found. AFP also added that Massimo was identified as a “high-ranking civil servant in Italian intelligence.”

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Nine law enforcement officers were injured by a lone “foreign prisoner” during a melee at a detention facility in Bologna, Italy, according to local media.

Two of the officers were transported to hospital by ambulance with “severe head injuries” after an inmate of “non-EU origin” attacked prison police in the infirmary at Dozza prison, Il Resto del Carlino reports.

The assailant reportedly has a history of such rampages.

“Aggressions towards prison guards are increasingly common, sometimes caused by prisoners with mental illness, but many times by individuals who do not accept the rules imposed by law,” penitentiary police union Sappe said in a statement blasting the working conditions of its members.

“If it is true that the same detainee, at other times, had already made himself responsible for similar episodes, we ask the administration to put in place adequate and appropriate initiatives in order to prevent the personnel from continuing to pay the consequences of absolutely inadequate organization.”

Italian officers are often victims of assaults by violent migrants, as Infowars Europe regularly documents.

Last week, a Senegalese migrant was charged with attempted murder after brutally attacking two police officers in Turin while yelling “Allahu akbar.”

In October, a mob of more than 50 migrants set upon two officers attempting to arrest a Gambian criminal who had led them on a high-speed chase directly into a migrant ghetto in Cerignola.

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(PHOTO: Pigi CipelliMondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

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A Senegalese migrant has been charged with attempted murder after brutally attacking two police officers in Turin, Italy, while yelling “Allahu akbar,” according to local media.

The suspect, identified as Ndiaye Migui, 26, has two outstanding deportation orders against him as well as a history of assaulting officers.

“He shouted ‘Allah Akbar,’ the exclamation used by Islamic terrorists before carrying out an attack,” Il Giornale reports. “Then, brandishing an iron bar, he ran at two policemen who were in the area, and attacked them.”

One officer was hospitalized with head wounds, while the other suffered injuries to their hand.

Migui had reportedly assaulted other officers on March 29, but never faced trial because a prosecutor placed a phone call ordering his release, “even though he was unable to trace the identity and the legal status of the person in question,” Il Giornale reports, citing minutes from a police report about the incident.

Migui is known to live in a makeshift shack in Turin, and officers attempting to confront him have been subjected to violence as well, leading to deportation orders being filed against him by top law enforcement officials on two occasions.

“The fact is he shows indications of an absolute lack of fear and respect for the police,” said police union spokesman Pietro Di Lorenzo.

Migui reportedly attempted to assault staff at the police station during his latest arrest, while yelling condemnations of Interior Minister Matteo Salvini.

“There will be no tolerance for thugs and violent people who attack the police,” Salvini said in response.

Alarm regarding security and safety in Turin is growing, according to Il Giornale, which notes that, “Not a day goes by, in fact, that there are no episodes of violence.”

Authorities recently began clearing out one of Italy’s most infamous migrant settlements at the former Olympic Village in Turin, removing hundreds of squatters from multiple buildings under orders from Salvini.

Infowars Europe reported from the Turin Olympic Village last year, as it was situated just a stone’s throw across the railroad tracks from the NH Lingotto Hotel, site of the 2018 Bilderberg meeting of globalist elites.

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(PHOTO: Mauro Ujetto/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Source: InfoWars

Italian authorities are removing hundreds of migrants from the former Olympic Village in Turin, Italy, which had become one of the largest illegal encampments in the country.

Evacuation of approximately 1,000 migrants from the crumbling facility has been slow-moving for years and was expected to wear on until 2021, but at the urging of Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, the project has picked up pace and is slated to be finished by the end of the year.

“Within a year, all the buildings of the former Turin Olympic Village will be freed,” Salvini vowed in January. “We want to give a quick solution to a problem that has been dragging on since 2013.”

Some 183 migrants have been evacuated from the “blue building,” with two more structures to clear, according to La Repubblica, earning the praise of Salvini.

“Forward with security and legality! After years of chatter, from words to deeds,” Salvini tweeted on Monday.

The migrants are now in the custody of Civil Protection Department, which will work to process them and determine whether to resettle them elsewhere, or if other measures should be taken, La Repubblica reports.

Infowars Europe reported from the Turin Olympic Village last year, as it was situated just a stone’s throw across the railroad tracks from the NH Lingotto Hotel, site of the 2018 Bilderberg meeting of globalist elites.

Local Italian journalist Luca Donadel told Infowars Europe that the migrant village is essentially a ‘no-go zone,’ as police were generally unable or disinterested in enforcing the law there.

“It’s a huge public security problem because nobody can do anything about it,” Donadel explained.

“We’ve had several incidents where girls were passing by and were raped, and police can’t really do something about it. It’s very difficult to find out who the aggressors are and arrest them, because what can you do when you have 1,000 people who you know nothing about? They have no documents, nothing.”

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(PHOTO: Mauro Ujetto/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Source: InfoWars

The U.S. National Security Council issued a direct warning to Italy last weekend for its coziness with China.

The country has been considering participating in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), where one segment of the global economic effort aims to unite Europe with China.

“Italy is a major global economy and a great investment destination. Endorsing BRI lends legitimacy to China’s predatory approach to investment and will bring no benefits to the Italian people,” tweeted the US National Security Council.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte believes otherwise. Conte has overruled the foreign ministry and joined right-wing Eurosceptics in his push for closer cooperation with China.

“With all the necessary precautions, Italy’s accession to a new silk route represents an opportunity for our country,” Conte said Friday.

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President Xi Jinping is expected to travel to Italy from March 22-24, and Conte said Rome and Beijing are expected to agree to a framework deal during the state visit. Conte also announced his plan to attend an upcoming BRI summit in China.

The Italian leader’s plan to attend a BRI summit in Beijing next month has caused panic in Brussels and Washington, as Italy is on course to become the first G7 country to gravitate to China’s trade initiative that US and EU officials have intensely criticized.

“Italian governments have always had a keen eye on the belt and road, as the attention with which the current administration follows developments is largely inherited from the previous governments,” said Giovanni Andornino, a China expert based at the University of Torino in northern Italy.

“What is different now is that this government is much happier in having interaction with China, as opposed to being a driving force in the process of the EU-wide negotiation with China,” Andornino said.

Wang Yiwei, director of the Centre for EU Studies at the Renmin University of China, said Rome’s resistance against Washington and Brussels stemmed from the Eurosceptic roots of its populist government.

“The current Italian government has always opposed the European Union, so they are less prejudiced against [China’s initiative] than the traditional political parties in Europe,” said Wang, who was a diplomat at the Chinese mission to the European Union from 2008 to 2011.”

(Photo by Пресс-служба Президента Российской Федерации / Wikimedia Commons)

Like many other nations in southern Europe, Italy is attempting to pull itself out of a deep economic recession that started at the end of 2018. Italy can’t turn to Brussels nor Washington because they currently don’t have a viable plan to restore economic growth. So right-wing Eurosceptics are increasingly resorting to aligning with China (and often, Russia), a move that has left Washington furious.

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Five Star Movement lawmakers overcame their reservations about impeding investigations into politicians and on Tuesday voted to block an investigation into Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini – the leader of M5S’s coalition partner – over allegations that he “kidnapped” 177 undocumented migrants last summer when he refused to let them disembark from a ship in a Sicilian port for five days.

The Senate’s Immunity Committee would have needed to lift Salvini’s immunity for the investigation to proceed.

Instead, it voted to back immunity for Salvini. The vote resolves what had become a serious source of tension between the two coalition partners, even prompting some of Salvini’s allies to publicly push their leader to call for fresh elections to try and oust M5S and take advantage of the League’s rising popularity.

The investigation into Salvini was initiated in August by a Sicilian prosecutor. Salvini has publicly mocked the probe, saying it would be “an honor” to go to prison for defending Italy’s borders.

“If he wants to interrogate me or even arrest me because I defend the borders and security of my country, I’m proud…Being investigated for defending the rights of Italians is a disgrace,” Salvini said at the time.

(Photo by Wiki)

The Diciotti crisis, named in reference to the rescue vessel that carried the migrants, began on Aug.15 when 190 migrants fleeing Eritrea were rescued from an overcrowded boat off the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Salvini refused to allow them to disembark at a Sicilian port. After allowing 43 unaccompanied minors and some in need of urgent medical care off the ship, Salvini and his ministry refused to allow the rest to disembark, purportedly violating EU rule stipulating that migrants detained for more than 48 hours should be released and allowed to apply for asylum.

Now that the dispute, which had blossomed into a serious threat to political stability in Italy, has been resolved, investors have one more reason to pile back into Italian after data released Tuesday showed money managers sold $68 billion in Italian debt last year amid Rome’s showdown with Brussels over its budget deficit, according to Bloomberg.

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Source: InfoWars


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