The insurgent Five Star movement, Italy’s version of the Tea Party, is fighting to win the country’s next general election. To increase its chances, the party has put forward a new leader, Luigi Di Maio, a 31 year old who has worked in Parliament. Di Maio looks and sounds like a regular minister of parliament, and despite his youth, adds a level of credibility to the party it couldn’t muster with other less experienced candidates. Giovanni Legorano reports from Rome that despite the fresh face, the Five Star movement is still a potential sea change in Italy’s politcs.
Even as Mr. Di Maio provides a moderate face for the party at the election, 5 Star still supports unorthodox ideas.
For instance, the 5 Star Movement opposed the government’s decision this year to require children to be vaccinated to attend school. The group also supports a reduced workweek that it says will help create jobs—youth unemployment is at 36%.
With Mr. Di Maio, “they are trying to show they can be in charge,” says Giovanni Orsina, professor at Rome’s Luiss University. But “behind the facade, who knows what’s there.”
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