Italian election result: ‘MAJOR BLOW to EU’ with 5 Star ‘able to form anti-euro coalition’

Should the 5 Star Movement chose to enter a coalition, they could put forward a radical anti-EU programme in a crushing blow to Brussels.

Luigi Di Maio’s party is on track to win 33.1 per cent of the vote in the upper house of the Italian Parliament, putting them in the driving seat should they chose to enter talks for negotiations.

The 5 Star Movement has previously ruled out governing with any other political party, however, following the announcement of the exit polls, Alfonso Bonafede, a close ally of 5-Star leader Luigi Di Maio, told La7 television: “We will be a pillar of the legislature.”

Analysing the exit poll, former Chief Economist to the Italian Treasury Department, Lorenzo Codogno, said: “The 5 Star Movement is by far the first party in Italy, and it posted a better than expected outcome.

“At least, in theory, the 5 Star Movement, the Northern League and the Brothers of Italy may be able to form an anti-establishment anti-euro coalition.

“We will see the final results, but it appears possible.”

The result is likely to concern Brussels Bureaucrats who will fear a coalition led by the 5 Star Movement will demand major reforms to the EU to return sovereignty to Rome and may even look to hold a referendum on membership of the trade bloc.

There has been a dramatic increase in Euroscepticism in Italy since the 2008 financial crash.

A decade ago Italy was one of the largest advocates for further integration in Europe and a strong supporter of the Euro.

However, a Eurobarometer survey conducted by the EU itself at the end of last year, highlighted a dramatic shift in the views of Italians.

Under 60 per cent supported the retention of the status quo, making Italy one of the most Eurosceptic countries of the EU27.

Speaking to prior to polling day, Mr Codogno indicated it was unlikely the international organisation would listen to Italy’s demands for reform, pushing the country to the edge of “Italexit”.

He said: “Europe is made up of many countries and Italy will not be allowed to have an election and then go to Europe and say we want to change everything.

“We saw that happen in Greece and the negotiation didn’t end up going very well.

“So there is very little change to change policies in the EU.

“I’m not sure Italy alone can do much.”

The ex-Italian official indicated the lack of reform could cause Italy’s exit from the trade bloc.

Parliament will meet for the first time on March 23 and formal talks on forming a government are not likely to start until early April.

Highlighting there would likely be no quick solution after election day Mr Codogno added: “Be prepared for long and complex negotiations that will take months.”