18.03.04 Italy Elections

March 5, 2018
Quick Reads background image

Italy Elects New Gov’t
Why It Matters

  • Italy: European Union (EU) founding member country; symbolic & economic importance.
  • First election in 5 years – will determine gov’t for next 5 years.
  • No clear winner, but Euroskeptic, anti-establishment parties gained most votes, & ruling center-left party lost ground. This marks a change.

Word To Know:


Political platform that doubts the benefits of a unified Europe aka “EU” & advocates for its dismantling.

New York Times: “That anti-immigrant sentiment, as well as a strong dose of euroskepticism, swept Italy this election season.”

The Major Players

  • 5-Star Movement:A Euroskeptic, anti-establishment & pro-worker’s rights.
  • Ex-PM Berlusconi’s Center Right Coalition: Anti-immigrant & anti-austerity (Berlusconi can’t run due to tax fraud conviction)
  • Center-Left Coalition: Former ruling party led by Ex-PM Renzi, focusedA on proposals to revive the economy.

Key Issues: Immigration & the Economy

600K have migrated to Italy since the last election in 2013.

8th largest global economy is growing, but debt is at the 2nd highest level in Euro area.

Unemployment at 10.8% with more than 32% of Italians under 25 unemployed.

No Clear Winner?

  • 5-Star movement & Center Right Coalition win most votes.
  • Any party or coalition needs more than 40% support to win enough seats to govern. None did.
  • Meant to encourage coalition building, but may end in a “hung Parliament.”
  • Experts say 2017 changes to Italy’s election laws make it harder for one single party to win.
‘Bottom line: Italy is far from having sorted its longstanding problems, and now it will have new ones. Be prepared for long and complex negotiations that will take months.”

Lorenzo Codogno, founder & chief economist of LC Macro Advisors, NYT March 4, 2018

by Jenna Lee,