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"This time," Salvini insisted, "change is coming". Now he has formed a new government with the leader of the populist Five Star Movement (M5S), Luigi Di Maio. And, as Salvini's statement suggests, the coalition between M5S and the League could represent a new euroskeptic movement capable of exacting revenge on financial markets, the European Union and German fiscal hawks. In fact, Salvini has already declared "round two" in the larger battle between Italian populism and the European establishment. An Italian government combining two very different strands of populism will pose a serious threat to the European project, because it could form the core of a new federation of populists and euroskeptics that have hitherto operated separately.According to a recent study from the European Council on Foreign Relations, public support for the EU declined more in Italy than in any other member state between 2007 and 2017 . Little wonder, then, that Italy has quickly gone from having one of the most pro-EU governments in the bloc to serving potentially as the new vanguard of European populism.
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