Right-wing par­ties gain in Ger­many and Italy

The National - News - - NEWS WORLD - CAL­LUM PATON The Na­tional

Right-wing par­ties in Ger­many and Italy made gains in re­gional elec­tions, mak­ing in­roads at the ex­pense of the two coun­tries’ cen­trist rul­ing coali­tions.

In Ger­many, vot­ers in the east­ern state of Thuringia pro­pelled the Al­ter­na­tive for Ger­many party (AfD) into sec­ond place with 23.4 per cent of the vote, plac­ing the pop­ulist, right-wing party ahead of Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel’s rul­ing Chris­tian Demo­cratic Union of Ger­many party.

The Left party, Ger­many’s demo­cratic so­cial­ist party, re­tained its dom­i­nance in the for­mer East Ger­man state but the gains by the AfD have made its path to coali­tion gov­ern­ment un­clear.

In Italy, right-wing leader Mat­teo Salvini’s League party, in coali­tion with the cen­tre-right Forza Italia and the far-right Brothers of Italy, de­liv­ered a net vic­tory in the Ital­ian re­gion of Um­bria.

Se­na­tor Donatella Te­sei was elected gov­er­nor of the tiny cen­tral re­gion with 56.5 per cent to 60.5 per cent of the vote, an exit poll for na­tional broad­caster RAI sug­gested.

The fore­casted re­sult is be­ing viewed as a big de­feat for the coun­try’s rul­ing coali­tion in Rome. Vin­cenzo Bian­coni, leader of a civic al­liance backed by the pop­ulist Five Star Move­ment and the cen­tre-left Demo­cratic Party, won 35.5 per cent to 39.5 per cent of the vote.

Francesco Galietti, chief ex­ec­u­tive of po­lit­i­cal risk con­sul­tancy Pol­icy Sonar in Rome, told Mr Salvini’s vic­tory was a land­slide. “Salvini has re­gained mo­men­tum – lots of it – and fis­sures within the gov­ern­ment are play­ing into his hands,” Mr Galietti said.

Bjo­ern Hoecke of the Al­ter­na­tive for Ger­many

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