On Geopolitics

Europe Braces for the Next Italian Election

Adriano Bosoni
Senior Europe Analyst, Stratfor
Jan 23, 2018 | 17:15 GMT
The Italian and EU flags fly over the Quirinale Palace in Rome.

The Italian flag and the European Union flag fly above the roof of the Quirinale palace during consulations with political leaders on March 21, 2013 in Rome. 

(VINCENZO PINTO,VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images)

Italy's general election will be one of the most important political events for the European Union this year. Italian voters will head to the polls March 4 dissatisfied with their current leaders and with the state of the economy. What's more, they will find no shortage of anti-establishment candidates on the ballot. The rise of the Five Star Movement, a protest party made up mostly of political outsiders that lambastes Italy's traditional leaders, has pushed mainstream parties to espouse populist and Euroskeptic views. The right-wing Northern League, for example, has called for stronger immigration controls and proposed a referendum on Italy's membership in the eurozone. Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's center-right Forza Italia, meanwhile, has suggested introducing a parallel currency to coexist with the euro and ignoring EU rules that limit state intervention to rescue troubled banks. Even the center-left Democratic Party, while still pro-European Union, has criticized Brussels for...

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