Seven Losers Share the Stage in Italy at G7 Summit

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Politico nailed it: "The G7 summit in the southern Italian coastal resort of Borgo Egnazia features arguably the weakest gathering of leaders the group has mustered for years."

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The hostess of this sorry bunch, conservative Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, is the only leader present with an approval rating above 40%. And she's actually the only leader present who has anything to smile about. Recent elections for the European Parliament show large gains for conservative parties across the continent.

Another reason for the glumness is the aforementioned approval ratings of the rest of the losers. According to the Morning Consult tracker, Biden's 37% approval positively shines next to "Canadian PM Justin Trudeau (30%), German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (25%), U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (25%), French President Emmanuel Macron (21%) and Japanese PM Fumio Kishida (13%)," according to Axios.

You kind of get the feeling that Western voters don't like their leaders very much.

Both France’s Emmanuel Macron and Britain’s Rishi Sunak have called for snap elections, where Sunak is expected to be blown away by the Labor Party, and Macron may possibly hang on by his fingernails. 

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's Social Democrats were blown away in the recent EU parliament elections, finishing third behind the populist AfD party. He may soon be removed as chancellor. 

Japan’s Fumio Kishida, he of the 13% approval (I didn't think that was possible), is treading water until he is likely replaced at a leadership election later this year. 

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Biden is the rock star of this group, which says a lot about the terrible state of leadership in the West.

“With the exception of Meloni, the leaders at the G7 summit are all pretty weak,” said Ivo Daalder, who served as U.S. ambassador to NATO under former President Barack Obama. “Trudeau is probably not going to win the next election. Biden has a tough election race. Scholz is weakened. Macron is weakened. Sunak is a ‘dead man walking,’ and Kishida has serious issues at home as well.”

Now, these losers have got to come together to decide what to do about funding Ukraine's increasingly desperate war against Russia. The plan is to seize (steal) Russian assets and use them to fund Ukraine's war.

But there are problems.

Politico:

For months, under Italian stewardship, officials in Europe and the U.S. have been trying to hammer out their differences to announce a G7 plan to leverage Russian assets frozen in Western banks to provide a huge loan to Ukraine. 

But on the eve of the summit there’s still no sign of a deal. Instead, European officials are expressing palpable anger at a U.S. proposal for sharing the burden on financing as unreasonably one-sided and a potentially massive liability for the EU.

If the deal for using Russian assets doesn't get done now, the issue will drift through the summer and get tangled in the U.S. election. The leaders at the summit believe that if Trump is elected, the agreement to use Russian assets to fund Ukraine's war will be dead.

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It's more than that. A strong wind is blowing from the right, and these mostly left-wing leaders are at sea regarding how to handle the upheaval.

“We have seen around the world a rise of populist, right-wing forces in just about every democracy,” Trudeau said Monday in Quebec City. Trudeau was replying to a question about the National Rally Party in France. “It is of concern to see political parties choosing to instrumentalize anger, fear, division, anxiety.”

This is exactly what Macron, Sunak, Scholz, and the rest of them do when raising the specter of "fascism," "racism," and "nativism" when running for office. And the worst of them in this regard is Joe Biden, who will not hesitate to suggest that Trump will "destroy democracy" if he's elected.

 Not much instrumentalizing "anger, fear, division," or "anxiety” there, right?

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