Dutch elections aren’t the end to European populism
A possible anti-establishment coalition in Italy is another reason to short Italian debt
Despite media reports hailing a blow to European populism, Dutch elections were no such thing. The Netherland’s government has seen the center implode, and the Social Democrats are down to 6 seats, effectively wiped out. Outside of Holland, the wave of right-wing populism could still triumph in upcoming elections. In Italy, if you combine the numbers for Lega Nord, 5 Stars, Fratelli d’Italia and other micro parties, the vast majority of Italians are disenfranchised from mainstream politics. A 5 stars-led anti-establishment coalition is not inevitable, but the chances are considerably higher than anywhere else in continental Europe. We are now seeing names proposed for a potential 5 stars cabinet. Unlike 5 stars, Lega Nord have experience, but not the kind of experience they would require if in power: Think of spread widening, QE shutting down, and all kinds of emergencies – in extreme conditions. There is also a Russian angle to be watched. As the Financial Times reported, Vladimir Putin’s ruling party has signed a co-operation deal with Lega Nord, as part of his on-going efforts to fuel nationalist, anti-EU movements.