PARIS: The surge of populist parties in Italy's election shows the extent to which the country on the frontline of the migrant crisis "feels abandoned by Europe", France's European affairs minister said today.
The anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the far-right euro-skeptic League party were the big winners of the election, which laid bare widespread anger over immigration and frustration with mainstream politics.
Italy "is a country that has faced the biggest influx of migrants in its history and has felt alone, abandoned by the European Union," minister Nathalie Loiseau told France Info radio.
"It is striking how this country, a founding member of the European Union, is gripped by disappointment with Europe," she added.
As in France and Germany, which held elections last year, the chief losers of Italy's vote were the traditional, parties of the mainstream left and right.
"It shows that, across Europe, traditional parties are tired," said Loiseau, one of the many first-time ministers in the cabinet of France's Emmanuel Macron, who is himself a relative newcomer to politics.
But she also warned against giving into "doom-mongering", pointing to "good news" in Germany, where the centre-left ratified a coalition deal with German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, ending a long stalemate.