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Salvini’s folly

By Gwynne Dyer      

Many Italians are sick to death of the country’s political and economic stagnation, and Salvini was brash and new. Nasty and bullying, too, especially towards non-whites and migrants, but many people didn’t mind that.

Matteo Salvini, Italy's hard-right populist, demonized migrants, Romanies, Muslims, and left-wing 'do-gooders' as enemies of the people, and presented himself as the super-patriotic hard man who could see them all off and Make Italy Great Again. Photograph courtesy of Matteo Salvini's Twitter

There is something very gratifying about watching a political thug get hoist by his own petard. Matteo Salvini, the hard-right populist who thought he could force an early election and become Italy’s strongman by breaking up the coalition government he served in, has publicly cut his own throat. And almost everybody is enjoying the spectacle.

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