BRUSSELS – Since the European Union’s founding treaty was signed in Rome more than 60 years ago, Italy has been an unabashed booster of increased unity and common purpose. That may have come to an end.
Euroskeptics and populists rode a wave of hostility toward all things EU and surged to the fore in Italian elections on Sunday, turning the founding EU nation into a potential obstructionist just when the bloc was emerging from a decade of economic gloom and seemed poised to rekindle its grand ambitions.
Beyond moving away from the EU policies in Brussels, the Italian results were the latest indication that the continent is tilting further to the right.
“The European Union is having a bad evening,” France’s far-right Marine Le Pen tweeted elatedly as it became clear that more than half the Italian electorate had backed two stridently anti-EU parties.
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