Crisis? Not yet. But a problem…sure. December 5, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Educative to see a certain degree of walking back in the light of the defeat for Renzi (and really what was he thinking of by such sweeping changes and moreover putting his job on the line in quite that way?) from the predictions for immediate disaster.
It was clear from the high voter turnout – 68% of eligible voters cast ballots on Sunday – that Italians were indeed sending a message to the political establishment in Rome. But deciphering that message will not be easy, despite celebratory claims from Europe’s far right.
Italy is facing a number of big issues that were not technically on the ballot: a migration crisis in which the country feels abandoned by Europe; an unresolved banking crisis; steep unemployment and a debt load of 132% of GDP with no solution in sight.
The fact is that Renzi’s defeat was almost a foregone conclusion give the scale of the opposition he faced, and not just from Salvini and Beppe Grillo, the bombastic former comedian and head of the Five Star Movement. But even from within the Democratic party and leftwing voters who defied the prime minister for a whole host of reasons, including a former prime minister, Mario Monti.
But list the problems and issues and note the lack of cohesion in regard to those who might push a strong left line and it’s clear that the likely outcomes are a shift to the right by most political forces. So yet again the right and further right win a victory even if not quite the one they might hope for.
What’s also interesting and depressing is this:
The undeniable boost to the Five Star Movement and the Northern League could solidify a historic allegiance between Italy’s two traditional parties – Renzi’s Democratic party and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia – in order to block more possible gains for the anti-establishment groups.
Is that really the best that can be done? And has everyone forgotten how these ‘anti-establishment’ groups, or some of them, were in the Berlusconi camp in the past?
How does all this play out in the future?