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Corriere della Sera - Italy | Monday, October 21, 2013

Massimo Nava distinguishes between self-determination and populism

The people's desire for self-determination and the defence of national interests must not be carelessly brushed off as populism, writes the Paris correspondent for the liberal-conservative daily Corriere della Sera, Massimo Nava: "Topics that move large sections of the population must not be dismissed with an elitist, intellectual, disdainful definition [like populism]. The calls for security, a voice in national and European issues, a fair tax system, efforts to check the flood of refugees and respect for national traditions and cultures have nothing to do with populism. And neither does defending the people's interests vis-à-vis a European model that has disappointed expectations. The menace of populism grows when governments focus on their power to exclude minorities rather than dialogue. When they fool the people with alleged tax breaks. When they shift responsibility to others and blame Europe for national shortcomings. And when public order becomes the only guideline in a society that is now multi-ethnic."

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