The Eurosceptic Lega party won key local elections against its coalition partner, the 5-Star Movement, in a regional in Abruzzo, a mountainous region in central Italy on February 10.
Lega, or League in English, took part in the Abruzzo poll as part of a coalition with its traditional arch-conservative allies – Forza Italia and the Brothers of Italia. According to official results, the centre-right candidate, Marco Marsilio, won 48% of the vote, with Lega supporters making up 28% of the votes cast for Marsillo.
The poor showing by the 5-Star candidate, who came in third, was far below the 40% it gained in the same region in March.
the loss for 5-Star comes amid growing tensions between Lega and 5-Star, who have publicly sparred over significant policy and ideological differences over the construction of an Alpine tunnel land who to support in the Venezuelan political crisis.
The two parties have, however, remained in synch on important policy issues that include the overhaul of the management of the Bank of Italy. This consensus is significant as two other members of the bank’s board, including the deputy governor, are up for the renewal of their term in May.
Lega’s leader, Matteo Salvini and his counterpart from 5-Star, Luigi Di Maio, have accused the Bank of Italy of failing to effectively supervise a number of troubled lenders, including Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca.
The government has set aside €1,5bn to compensate shareholders in the two troubled banks, with Di Maio and Salvini making it clear that they are concerned about contravening the EU laws with the compensation.
The Bank of Italy infuriated the anti-establishment government after it questioned the fiscal sustainability of the Italian budget. The bank’s governor, Ignazio Visco, contradicted the government’s projection of 1% GDP growth for 2019, suggesting it is close to 0.6%.