Italian Elections: A Gridlock that Hurts Europe

My latest article on Impakter, here’s the opening:

Last week I asked you to imagine the worst and the worst happened. Gridlock. A hung parliament.

But not quite in the way I thought. The two winners – both populist, Euro-skeptic and anti-establishment – were a big surprise, even for the usually savvy financial markets and yet they didn’t see it coming: the Lega’s firebrand Salvini and Five Star Movement’s bright boy Di Maio won, and won by a big margin.

Everyone had expected Berlusconi (Forza Italia) and Renzi (Democratic Party – PD) to do better, indeed, to do well enough so that in the event of a gridlock, there would be a way out, a possible government based on a Democratic Party (PD) alliance with Forza Italia(FI). After all, Renzi and Berlusconi were on talking terms, so hopes were high, especially in the financial community that prefers to see political stability. Berlusconi himself was so confident that he had already indicated Tajani, the President of the European Parliament, as his choice for Prime Minister.

Now, of course, that won’t happen. FI got stuck at 14% (I’m rounding off all the numbers here) while the PD dropped calamitously below 19%. And that means they just don’t have the numbers to pull it off.

To read the rest, click here. It’s a mess that’s making Marine Le Pen and Putin happy!

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