The Washington Post: Italy’s thwarted populists may have their revenge on Europe

The leaders of Italy’s two main populist parties appeared to be throwing down a gauntlet at Europe last week, forming an anti-establishment government that they imagined would act on their staunchly anti-Brussels agenda.

But on Sunday, Italian President Sergio Mattarella picked that gauntlet up and delivered his own challenge.

Mattarella, who holds rarely used veto power over cabinet ministers, blocked the appointment of 81-year-old Paolo Savona as finance minister, citing Savona’s long-held opposition to the euro. Neither of the two parties forming Italy’s coalition government — the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the ultranationalist League — had campaigned on exiting the single currency, and Mattarella suggested he was acting in the country’s interests by vetoing Savona…

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