The most vivid and pessimistic description comes from The Economist.

A potential Salvini government will be the most right-wing government since Spanish dictator Gerneralissimo Francisco Franco.

If that prospect is combined with a disorderly Brexit, the European structure may face fatal dangers.

The elections which the Italian nationalist interior minister demands – cultivating tensions and spewing invective at his opponents, disseminating fake news, and asking his compatriots for absolute power – should be postponed.

The country’s very serious President Sergio Matarela is aware of this and is trying to form a pro-European, anti-nationalist salvation government which can keep the government on a liberal path until the spring.

Of course, that cannot be a permanent solution – sooner or later the Italian people will be called upon to determine freely and democratically its future.

For its verdict to be constructive and not divisive, the people must be persuaded that the position of the country is in Europe and with Europe, and not with Russia.

It must be persuaded in contrast with the British people, that the decisions on its future are not taken by certain grey bureaucratsin Brussels, but rather through transparent and democratic procedures in which it participates.

The hourglass is emptying and Europe faces historic responsibilities.

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