Italy thumbs its nose at EU

Election will have repercussions for Europe, warns Brunello Rosa

The World Today
4 minute READ

Brunello Rosa

Chief Executive and Visiting Professor, Rosa & Roubini Associates and Bocconi University

The Italian general election held on March 4, 2018, resulted in a radical political change whose consequences have not yet been fully appreciated abroad. Italians voted en masse for parties that explicitly propose a more confrontational stance towards issues such as fiscal discipline and immigration which are at the core of Italy’s relationship with the European Union.

With a high turnout of around 73 per cent, some 55 per cent of votes went to the Five Star Movement, the League and Brothers of Italy, parties that do not intend to follow the country’s traditional pro-European path.

Two other parties − Free and Equal, a party born from the splintering of the Democratic Party, and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia − have large Eurosceptic components, so the magnitude of the political shift is easily understood.

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