Italy: An Innovative Government?

When it comes to political dysfunction, Italy is an innovator. In the 73 years since the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini collapsed, the country has had 64 governments (soon to be 65).


Yet as my pal @gflipton explains, an unlikely pact between Italy’s left-wing 5-Star Movement and far-right Lega, which should be finalized this week, would represent an even more novel accomplishment: a marriage of evenly-matched populist parties from opposite ends of the political spectrum that even the most creative anti-establishment leaders have struggled to emulate elsewhere.

But beyond a shared disdain of the status quo and establishment politicians, there are few areas of agreement between Five-Star and the League, meaning that this marriage could be a rocky one.

Perhaps the thorniest issue is fiscal policy, where both parties want to put more money in Italians’ pockets, but disagree on how to do that: 5-Star wants to implement a universal basic income scheme for all citizens, while the League favors a 15 percent flat tax. Either of those options would severely test Italy’s already-shaky adherence to EU fiscal rules — current estimates suggest they would cost an additional $100 billion to $120 billion a year, a potentially dangerous economic burden for Europe’s second-most indebted country (after Greece).

Can both parties get what they’ve promised their voters without coming to blows with each other or provoking a crisis with Brussels? The 5-Star/Lega tie-up is a political high-wire act with almost no safety net below.

How much material do we use to send a package? Too much. Does recycling help? Yes – but not really. Packaging material often accumulates as waste, contributing to its own "polluting weight." To solve our packaging dilemma, Finland came up with RePack: a "circular" solution for the reuse of material.

Learn more about RePack in Eni's new Energy Superfacts series.

A steady increase of violence in the Sahel region of Africa over the past eight years has imposed fear and hardship on millions of the people who live there. It has also pushed the governments of Sahel countries to work together to fight terrorists.

The region's troubles have also captured the attention of European leaders, who worry that if instability there continues, it could generate a movement of migrants that might well dwarf the EU refugee crisis of 2015-2016.

But is Europe helping to make things better?

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In a new interview with Ian Bremmer for GZERO World, former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden says that the single most important step to reopening schools in the fall is to control infection in the community. But as of now, too many communities across the United States have lost control of the Covid-19 virus. Opening schools will only become a possibility once a majority of people start practicing the "Three 'W's" ("Wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance") and local and federal governments enforce stricter protective policies. The full episode of GZERO World begins airing on US public television on Friday, August 7, 2020. Check local listings.

2,500: Google has deleted around 2,500 YouTube accounts linked to a coordinated misinformation campaign about Hong Kong, Chinese regime critics and China's coronavirus response. It's been a busy week for social media platforms cracking down on fake news, after Facebook and Twitter censored a post from US President Donald Trump for containing misinformation about COVID-19, and Brazil's Supreme Court ordered Facebook to block accounts tied to allies of President Jair Bolsonaro for spreading lies about judges.

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Jim Geraghty argues in a National Review op-ed that we shouldn't blame Trump for the fact that the US has one of the highest coronavirus death rates in the world. But though he's right that not everything is Trump's fault, Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group analyst Scott Rosenstein take out The Red Pen to show that the evidence he cites to let Trump off the hook doesn't hold water.

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