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Eurosceptics Matteo Salvini, Beppe Grillo

Eurosceptics in Italy could gain from early election

Eurosceptics in Italy might soon take control of the country if an early election is called. The next scheduled elections are not until 2018.

Published: February 5, 2017, 7:50 pm

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    Former prime minister Matteo Renzi had to abandon ship in December after his proposed referendum failed spectacularly, but Italy’s president Sergio Mattarella, said he would not hold new elections until differences on how the lower house of parliament assignes seats, were resolved.

    As things stand, the matter has been put to rest as both houses of Parliament are back on a proportional system and thus new elections are possible.

    Matteo Renzi wants new elections in June. Even though he resigned, his time to make a comeback is running out. Beppe Grillo too, wants elections as soon as possible because he believes he stands a chance of winning at the ballot as Silvio Berlusconi cannot run for prime minister until 2018 because of a tax fraud conviction.

    It is up to the president to call new elections, and there is pressure on him from two fronts to do so.

    Italian media reports that Renzi’s party is now very likely heading for a split after disagreements surfaced over the election date. Pier Luigi Bersani, Renzi’s predecessor as general secretary of the party, came out strongly against an early election in June saying that the PD would be finished as a party if Renzi were to go ahead.

    Renzi maintains that another year of political chaos in the PD would drive even more voters to Grillo.

    With a politically weak centre-right and a fragmented left, the probability of a victory by the Five Star Movement of Beppe Grillo, perhaps in alliance with other non-elitist forces, are therefore considered to be very high.

    The Italian establishment is not sufficiently united to be able to keep Grillo out, and most importantly, they have gotten most predictions on how Italians feel about the Euro and Brussels dead wrong.

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