In this post in The Conversation, Martin Bull shares his analysis on Italian constitutional referendum.
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It is widely believed that if Sunday’s referendum on constitutional reform in Italy is not passed, then comedian Beppe Grillo’s Five-star Movement (M5s) could cause considerable political, not to say economic, upset. The belief arises from the fact that the M5s wants a referendum on Italy’s membership of the Euro. And if Italy were to leave the Euro, it is suggested, then the EU itself would be placed in danger.
It is thought that if the No side loses then Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi will resign. A period of political uncertainty and turmoil will, so one story goes, put wind in the Movement’s sails, and fresh elections will see an M5s victory. Elections have to be held no later than early 2018.
This coming Sunday, Italians go to the polls in a constitutional referendum. This has been widely dubbed as offering the stage for a third ‘popular revolt’ against the establishment following Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. Matteo Salvini, the leader of the right-wing populist Northern League, on receiving the news of Trump’s election was heard to exclaim: “Now its our turn!”
And the potential consequences of the referendum have often been painted in lurid colours with suggestions that it could bring the populist Five-star Movement (M5S) to power. The party has demanded a referendum on Italy’s membership of the euro. This could herald the break-up of the EU, it is said. On the left, it is pointed out that the proposed changes to the Constitution are massive. These, it is said, could lead to a reduction of political accountability and checks and balances that put in doubt Italy’s very status as a constitutional democracy.
The reality is much more prosaic and here’s why.
2017 will mark nearly a decade since the unleashing of the biggest economic crisis the western world has experienced since the 1930s. No country has been immune from this crisis, and Italy in particular has found itself, for lengthy periods, at the forefront of one important regional reflection of that worldwide recession, the Eurozone crisis. Unlike the previous decade, since 2008 the economic recession has provided not just an essential backdrop or context to the changes that have occurred in the Italian polity but the prime motivating factor. Continue reading “CONGRIPS Panel at 2017 APSA Annual Conference – CALL FOR PAPERS: Italian Politics after a Decade of Economic Recession”
In a post on Political Insight James Newell shares his interesting analysis on Italian constitutional referendum to be held in Fall 2016.
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