Parade of Premiers

Mikhail Katkov

The year of the blue water tiger has become fatal for many ruling elites in the West. The economic crisis caused by the pandemic was exacerbated by the sanctions war and soaring energy prices. The UK had the hardest time, but Italy, Israel and Brazil also attracted the attention of the world media. About what has changed in these countries – in the material of RIA Novosti.
In the outgoing year, Great Britain became the undisputed leader in the resignations of heads of state. From July to October, there were three prime ministers. Moreover, the political crisis is far from over.
Boris Johnson was the first to quit — after all, he could not survive a series of scandals related to his personnel policy and parties during the coronavirus pandemic. The resignation was supported by almost 70 percent of the British. The last straw was the story connected with the deputy chief organizer of the Conservative Party in the House of Commons, Chris Pincher. He made a drunken brawl in the elite Carlton club and harassed men. Moreover, the journalists found out that Pincher had already been in such stories. Johnson knew about this, but still decided to employ a fellow party member and even called him a “cool guy.”
A couple of days after the disclosure of information about the scandal, more than 50 ministers left the Johnson government. Publicly, only Foreign Minister Liz Truss, who became his successor, declared her loyalty to the prime minister.
However, she lasted only 45 days, setting the record for the shortest tenure. The desire to be like Margaret Thatcher did not play into her hands. Following the precepts of the idol, Truss decided that the economy should be saved by the rich (those who earn more than 150 thousand pounds a year), so they need to reduce the income tax rate for them from 45 percent to 40. To compensate for the shortfall in funds, London wanted to borrow from international financial institutions 45 billion pounds, and in the long term, investment should have poured into the country.
However, the IMF said: in this way, Truss will increase the socio-economic gap between the poor and the rich. A mere declaration of intent was enough for the British currency to equalize with the dollar, which has not happened since 1985. At the same time, 75 percent of the British felt that the government had lost control over the economic situation in the country.
The next prime minister was former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak. Despite his attempts to bring the country out of the economic crisis, in December, according to an Opinium poll, only 29 percent of respondents were ready to vote for the Conservative Party, and 44 percent would have chosen Labor. Moreover, dissatisfaction with Sunak is brewing among conservatives – some believe that he is pursuing too left-wing policies, including avoiding radical steps against migrants.
As noted by The Guardian, the Conservative Party may face a split. At the same time, some donors have already frozen funding for the organization. Peer Peter Cruddas, who has donated over £3.5 million to the Tories, says he won’t give a penny more as they are no longer centre-right.
Campaign to Rome
Unable to cope with the economic crisis caused by the pandemic, Italy’s centre-left government collapsed. And at the end of September, the right-wing coalition led by Giorgi Meloni, who was dubbed “Mussolini’s successor”, won the parliamentary elections. From a young age, she was a member of the ultra-right movement and is going to pursue a tough policy to combat illegal migration.
In addition, as prime minister, Meloni hopes to reform the EU into a “free economic union.” In turn, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said: if the Italian behaves like the authorities of Poland or Hungary, zealously protecting traditional values, Rome risks falling under sanctions.
Meloni also has problems with the coalition. The leaders of the “League of the North” and “Forward Italy” Matteo Salvini and Silvio Berlusconi are clearly unhappy that the triad was headed by a woman who until recently was considered a junior partner. All three divided ministerial portfolios with such bitterness that some observers did not even rule out re-elections to parliament.
In particular, Berlusconi called Meloni “powerful, arrogant and unwilling to change.” She, in turn, said that in her team there is no place for those who do not see Italy in NATO and the European Union – and this despite the fact that Salvini and Berlusconi never hid warm feelings for Russia. The League of the North even sent an observer to a referendum in Crimea. On average, Italian governments live from one to two years, about the same experts expect from the Meloni cabinet.
Promised land
In Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu has returned to the post of prime minister. The coalition of right-wing, far-right and ultra-Orthodox parties headed by him took 64 seats out of 120 in parliament. The previous head of government, Yair Lapid, said that he would not be able to work with these people under any circumstances and went into opposition.
Netanyahu has led Israel for 12 years and enjoys significant support among ordinary citizens. However, in 2021 he had to resign – the opposition, including representatives of the Arabs, united and opposed him with a united front. True, this alliance lasted a little over a year and again opened the way for Bibi to the political Olympus.
Now he and his supporters are hoping the government will be the most resilient in five years. They want to allow Parliament to overturn High Court rulings and are going to revise many of Israel’s basic laws, including those relating to gay rights and repatriation rules. In this regard, Israeli President Yitzhak Herzog called on the government not to split society.
Netanyahu is a staunch supporter of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, occupied after the 1967 Middle East war. The international community considers them illegal. At the same time, Netanyahu opposes the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, although most UN member countries, including the United States, support this option for resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In addition, the newly minted prime minister is accused of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. True, the members of the winning coalition are promising reforms that will put an end to the prosecution of their leader.
Red October
In Brazil, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva returned to power 11 years later. In the presidential elections, he overtook Jair Bolsonaro by 1.8 percent. The country split in two after this, but on the whole, Latin America accepted the victory of the socialist da Silva with joy. No wonder: along with Brazil, 13 states on the continent fell under the rule of the left.
“We are ready to work hard for the strengthening of Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as for the economic and social development of our peoples,” said the head of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro. “Your victory will strengthen democracy and integration in Latin America,” said Bolivian President Luis Arce. “Lula. Joy!” – Chilean leader Gabriel Borich did not hide his emotions. “Long live Lula!” Colombian President Gustavo Petro wrote on social media.
Da Silva’s rival was a man who was often called a fascist by the left in Brazil itself, and compared by the liberal media to Donald Trump. Jair Bolsonaro was remembered by the general public for cutting down the rainforests of the Amazon, the fight against socialists and LGBT people. At the same time, he did not want to leave the presidency so much that observers did not rule out armed clashes after the elections. However, da Silva was supported by many world leaders, including Russia, the United States and the EU countries.
In turn, the new head of state for foreign policy does not plan to choose between Moscow and Washington. According to him, the actions of not only Russia, but also the West led to the special operation. In domestic politics, da Silva has even more problems than Sunak or Meloni. Despite winning the presidential election, his supporters failed to win a majority in parliament.