By Laura Serra
Interesting political times are anything but over. The upcoming Italian general elections seem bound to shake again both national politics, and the politics of Europe at large. As in several other countries, and especially due to the impact of the refugee crisis on its shores, the populist wind blowing throughout Europe has found in Italy an especially receptive audience. Two out of the four main parties running can be considered ‘populist’, with the Five Star Movement (which supposedly has no political colouring) and the Northern League (which has a very dark political colouring) respectively making use of the anti-establishment and anti-immigration rhetoric; and finding common ground on their vigorous Euroscepticism. Immigration, specifically, is the issue most heavily discussed in political debates and the one most likely to be driving Italian votes. Like elsewhere in Europe, the ‘economic cleavage’ of working class and white-collar voters is being superseded by the ‘cultural cleavage’ of those who support cosmopolitanism and multiculturalism and those who do not.