Letter: Italy’s woes have little to do with the EU

PUBLISHED: 18:00 09 June 2018

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte and Labour Minister Luigi Di Maio in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Silvia Lore/NurPhoto/Sipa USA)

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte and Labour Minister Luigi Di Maio in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Silvia Lore/NurPhoto/Sipa USA)

SIPA USA/PA Images

It was striking to note the portents of doom heralded by various sections of the media around the issue of the so-called constitutional crisis besetting Italy. This was, as they saw it, yet another nail in the EU’s coffin post-Brexit.

Much to their disappointment, this issue was quickly resolved, with a new populist government comprising M5S and the League sworn in. This saw a previous eurosceptic economy minister being replaced with Giovanni Tria, who is in favour of Italy’s continued membership of the eurozone.

Every so often certain wings of the press seemingly rejoice in such matters, heralding this as the beginning of the end of the EU.

It is however striking to look at the actual support there is for EU membership within the member countries. The latest polling from the Eurobarometer survey, published in May, highlights the fact that two-thirds of Europeans believe their country has benefited from being a member of the EU, the highest number for 35 years.

In addition 60% consider EU membership a good thing. This includes Italy, where more than twice as many view EU membership as a good thing rather than a bad thing.

Likewise, in Brexit Britain, almost twice as many people now view EU membership as a good thing, by 43% to 23%.

Alex Orr

Edinburgh

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