Aug 22, 2019

Political instability is nothing new for Italy

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Data: Gleditsc and Chiozza, 2016, "Archigos — A Data Set on Leaders 1875–2015", Axios research; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Italy is used to changes at the top, so the resignation this week of Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte won't have come as a massive shock.

The big picture: Italy has shuffled through 17 prime ministers over the last 30 years, second only to Japan among G7 countries. With only 3 chancellors since 1982, Germany is on the other end of the spectrum — though Angela Merkel is expected to step aside by 2021.

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Disruption takes over the G7

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump has generally been outnumbered at summits like the G7 — the disrupter-in-chief in a room of more sober-minded leaders. This time around, disruption is the rule. 

Why it matters: French President Emmanuel Macron, who's hosting the summit this weekend in the seaside town of Biarritz, warned ahead of the gathering that twin threats to democracy and capitalism must be vanquished in order to ensure a free and prosperous future. For this weekend, though, he’d probably settle for anything short of disaster.

Go deeperArrowAug 24, 2019

Italian parties agree to new coalition without far-right Salvini

Matteo Salvini. Photo: Marco Cantile/LightRocket via Getty Images

Italy's center-left Democratic Party and populist Five Star Movement said Wednesday they have agreed to form a coalition government, staving off new elections that appeared likely after the resignation of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte earlier this month, the BBC reports.

Why it matters: Matteo Salvini, the leader of the far-right League party and perhaps the most popular politician in Italy, withdrew his support on Aug. 8 from the unlikely coalition he had formed with Five Star after the 2018 election. Salvini hoped fresh elections might allow him to become prime minister. Instead, his gamble has expelled his party out of power. Conte has agreed to stay on as prime minister of the new coalition, per BBC.

Go deeper: Italy's history of political instability

Keep ReadingArrowAug 28, 2019

G7 summit: Leaders flash baggage en route to Biarritz

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Little sunshine is expected when the leaders of most of the world's major economic powers gather this weekend in the French seaside town of Biarritz.

The big picture: With President Trump reprising his role as disrupter-in-chief and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson arriving aboard a runaway Brexit train, there's little the leaders of the G7 countries agree on. So little, in fact, that the host has already warned that there won't be a joint statement.

Go deeperArrowAug 22, 2019