Italy: 'Dictated by fear and despair' — Italians react to early election results

Citizens in Rome reacted early Monday to the preliminary results of the Italian national elections which saw the 5 Star Movement (M5S) projected to emerge as the largest party, though without having a party claiming enough seats to form a government. Commenting on the hung parliament that will likely ensue as a result of the elections, one citizen said «We are in the situation of five years ago... Еще again. We find ourselves again in a political confusion which has not brought a certain result. Therefore we will be in trouble again.» One resident commented on the major gains made by anti-establishment M5S and right-wing Lega Nord as an indication that the vote «is a vote that is dictated by fear and despair. Because there are too many disparities in our society, so the ones who are in trouble protest because in this period of crisis — for 10 years now — the strong have been favoured and the weak have increasingly become weaker. A reaction of the people was to be expected.» According to exit polls, M5S has so far gained at least 32 percent of votes for the House, while Lega gained at least 17 percent, becoming the biggest right-wing party. Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia gained at least 13 percent, and Matteo Renzi's Partito Democratico (PD) gained at least 18 percent, a sharp decrease from its 25 percent in 2013. None of the parties or coalitions managed to gain the 40 percent necessary to form a government. Parliament will meet on March 23 and President Sergio Mattarella is not expected to begin formal talks on assembling a government until early April.

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